The Maasai in northern Tanzania are among the most popular ethnic groups in the area, a proud people fervently attached to their cultural values. Ngorongoro is the home of the pastoral Maasai, who have been allowed to live in the conservation area, a pioneering experiment in multi-purpose land use where people, their livestock and wildlife coexist and share the same protected habitat. The Maasai move widely with their herds of cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys in search of pasture and water. In recent years the Maasai have been encouraged to work on the land to supplement their traditional staple food of milk and meat.
While in Ngorongoro most of the guests on safari love to include a visit to a Maasai Boma (homestead). The Seneto Maasai Boma on the western slopes of the Ngorongoro Highlands about two hundred metres off the main road to Serengeti is one of the most famous cultural visitor points for guests. Another popular Maasai village is Irkeepus which is located in the Ngorongoro Highlands and a visit can be combined with a trek of Olmoti or Empakaai Crater.
Visitors will be shown around the Maasai Boma, and are welcome to explore the huts where Maasai families live and learn a few things about their way of living. The huts, normally built by women, are made of wood, mud and cow dung.
The visit lasts about 30 to 45 minutes and at the end the villagers will show off and try to sell their colourful beadwork and other handcrafted wares. If time allows the Maasai warriors would challenge men to engage in a spear throwing match or perform a tribal dance, and ladies may choose to participate in beadwork. This is intended to expose visitors to the Maasai culture though briefly and enrich them with some authentic African experiences.