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The Maasai of Ngorongoro

The Maasai are proud pastoralists who live in Kenya and Tanzania. The 60,000 Maasai living in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area originally occupied the Serengeti Plains. They were relocated to make way for Serengeti National Park. They live traditionally in mud huts with their cattle, sheep and goats nearby. The Maasai in the NCA have many restrictions on their lifestyle as a result of residing in a multi-use area:

  • They are not permitted to farm
  • They are not permitted to build permanent structures including houses, thus they must live in traditional mud and dung huts
  • They may not drill water wells or bring in plastic water storage tanks
  • There are manned gates to the conservation area which prohibit entry and exit between the hours of 6 pm and 6 am
  • The curfew means it is not practical to seek daily employment outside the conservation area boundaries as people cannot travel freely back and forth
  • The area is vast (3,202 sq miles) with few public transportation options for the 60,000 residents
  • There are only two secondary schools within the whole conservation area
  • There are a dozen or so lodges/luxury campsites in the conservation area able to offer only limited employment opportunities to the Maasai