Longido (Experience the real Maasai Cultures on foot).
The name Longido means the rocks or stones for sharpening weapons. Longido is situated 80kms North of Arusha on the way to Nairobi. The Town of Longido lies on the main road, just at the foot of Longido Mountain. The Mountain rises up steeply from the plains and forms an important point of orientation for people in the wide surrounding. On the Mountain and surrounding plains Maasai warriors wonder about with their cattle looking for pasture and water. Once a week on Wednesdays, the cattle are herded to a cattle market in Longido town for sale. Maasai families live in small traditional Boma’s scattered over the area. In the early morning, women leave the Boma to fetch water and collect firewood. At a very early age, young children play around mud houses and also begin to take care of the infants and animals. The area also is known for its ornithological sightings. The plains and the slopes of the mountain forms a natural refuge for the Gerenuks, Lesser Kundu, the Klipspringer, Giraffes, zebras, Gazelles, Buffalos, Mongooses and some Silver Jackals.
The cultural tourism program has improved the lifestyle around this remote town socially and economically e.g. the construction of cattle dip, building of a primary school and establishment of a common market to sell the traditional ware and animals. The visit to this area can be done from Arusha, Moshi or Namanga for half a day, full day and two days depending on time and the Zeal to learn more about the Maasai.
Longido Half a day tour.
Drive early in the morning after breakfast from Arusha or from Namanga border to Longido town, register at the cultural tourism program office where you will meet a guide after paying a fee and start your Bird walk on the Maasai plains to the Bomas of Ol Tepesi. The Maasai guides will help you to spot many colorful birds and also show you trees and plants that they use for making food and medicines. At Ol Tepesi, which is a Maasai word for Acacia Tree, the guides will invite you into a Maasai Boma and show their traditional way of life. Since it is known that cultural tourism sponsored the cattle dip and is now investing in the primary school, you will always get a warm welcome from both children and adults. Back in Longido town office, the guide will explain to you all the things you always wanted to know about the Maasai culture. Proceed to either Arusha for an overnight stay or Namanga border town to cross over to Kenya for your next program. Picnic lunch en-route.
Longido Full day Tour.
The one day tour at a walking safari from Ol Tepesi to Kimokouwa, along a narrow Maasai cattle trail, that winds over the slopes of Longido mountain. In 2hrs time, you gradually climb from the plains at an altitude of 1,200m to a view point at 1,600m. On clear days, you will have beautiful views of Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, and once you arrive at the North side of the Mountain, you can oversee the Maasai plains deep into Kenya. The last hour, you descend to Kimokouwa’s green “Valley of wells”. Nearby, you can visit a historic British Grave. In ½ hrs walk, you can reach a Jeep road where a car drives you back to Longido centre. Picnic lunch in action. On Wednesdays, you can extend your stay with a visit to the bustling colorful cattle market (Soko) to enjoy the bargain.