Visit the Maasai People of West Kilimanjaro’s Olpopongi Village
Maasai Cultural experience - West Kilimanjaro

West Kilimanjaro which is also home to about 2000 Maasai people is a 250-square-kilometer wilderness region that is remotely located in the north of Tanzania.

The Kilimanjaro region is not only inhabited by the Chaggah people but also the Maasai tribe makes a small share of the inhabitants around this mountain.

The territory, which is leased from the Maasai, is a real wilderness region with vast grasslands, acacia bush, and, most importantly, amazing vistas of Mount Kilimanjaro.
The beauty on West Kilimanjaro is a great draw. When Kilimanjaro bursts through the clouds, generally around dawn and twilight, it has a commanding presence, but the horizon is studded with several other peaks, including Mount Meru, Longido Mountain, and Namanga Mountain. During the thrilling trip to West Kilimanjaro, you’ll be treated to spectacular vistas of Kilimanjaro’s foothills and, on rare occasions, its snow-capped peaks. You’ll also come across beautiful broad, deserted savannah interspersed with wild brush and acacia trees.

Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro view
Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro view from West Kilimanjaro

Size: Enduimet wildlife management area is about 1,280 sq km (494 sq miles)
Distance from Arusha: about 150 km (94 miles)

You may learn about their culture as well. The Maasai work closely with the concession as part of its dedication to conservation and wildlife.

Where is West Kilimanjaro located?

This isolated community-owned Wildlife Management Area at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro gives visitors access to a wild and breathtakingly gorgeous section of Maasailand. West Kilimanjaro is a Kenyan concession region to the west of Mount Kilimanjaro and south of Amboseli National Park that is considered off-the-beaten-path. The spectacular Mt. Kilimanjaro (read more about this in our Kilimanjaro National Park guide) lies to the east, while Arusha National Park and Mt. Meru are to the southwest. Maasai herders coexist with a diverse range of species here.

The majority of the country is open savannah, mineral-rich flat pans, acacia woods, and flat grassland, with a few minor mountains ranging in height from 1000 to 2000 meters.

West Kilimanjaro locationWest Kilimanjaro wildlife

This unspoiled region, which lies next to Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, is home to elephants as well as lesser kudu, gerenuk, bat-eared fox, and striped hyena. The Maasai, from whom the property is leased, cooperate closely with the concession in terms of conservation and wildlife.
West Kilimanjaro is bleak at first glance, and it lacks the animal density of Serengeti National Park or the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Despite being a conservation area, it guarantees adventure. The entire region is considered an important wildlife corridor, including elephant numbers as well as lesser kudu, gerenuk, bat-eared fox, and striped hyena populations. West Kilimanjaro’s diverse birdlife allows for excellent birding. Masai ostriches, kori bustards, crested francolins, white-headed buffalo weavers, tawny eagles, and white-bellied go-away birds are among the prominent species. During your stay, your bird checklist will rapidly fill up!

West Kilimanjaro WildlifeMaasai Culture in West Kilimanjaro

A visit to West Kilimanjaro is as much about the people as it is about the wildlife, and a short stay will allow you to spend time with Maasai villages and learn about their fascinating culture.

Bed-night costs for all visitors staying in the concession are paid to the local community, and they, together with annual lease payments and other assistance, have helped to build school classrooms and teachers’ homes.

Maasai Culture West KilimanjaroWest Kilimanjaro activities

A visit to West Kilimanjaro is more about the people than the game, and a short stay will allow you to spend time with Maasai villages and learn about their fascinating culture. Learn more about the Maasai and Tanzania’s other ethnic groups. The concession’s bed-night fees, annual leasing payments, and other contributions go to the local community, which has given funds for school classrooms and teachers’ homes.

Walking safaris are a terrific opportunity to get up-close and personal with the local flora and animals, and visitors to West Kilimanjaro may explore the plains and woods with a Maasai warrior. Cultural trips are also available; visit a Maasai boma to learn about their way of life. Spend one night in a Maasai boma to get a taste of how this semi-nomadic tribe lives and coexists with nature if you want an even more unique experience.

West Kilimanjaro holds a lot of promise. The local government is attempting to collaborate with the numerous Maasai that live in this region to assist in conservation efforts and the establishment of anti-poaching squads.

Apart from getting to know the Maasai, resting and admiring the Kilimanjaro’s vista, or reading a nice book, are also options in West Kilimanjaro.

Accommodation in West Kilimanjaro

There are many accommodation options around West Kilimanjaro including Osiligilai Lodge and Africa Amini Maasai Lodge. Our favorite lodge in West Kilimanjaro, if not all of Tanzania, is Africa Amini Maasai Lodge! A visit and overnight stay at the beautiful Africa Amini Life Maasai Lodge is a must for those who want to include a genuine cultural experience in their Tanzanian safari. This lodge combines luxury accommodations with traditional Maasai architecture and cultural activities to provide an interesting experience. A visit here is an adventure in and of itself, and we recommend staying at least two nights to fully appreciate everything it has to offer.

The opportunity to participate in a variety of cultural activities, such as spear throwing, guided nature walks to learn about traditional Maasai medicine, traditional sundowner ceremony, beadwork lessons, storytelling around the campfire, and more, will be the true highlight of your stay at Africa Amini Maasai Lodge.

Africa Amini Maasai Lodge, founded by the non-profit Africa Amini Alama organization, aims to better educate tourists to Tanzania about the Maasai people’s distinctive culture while also helping to sustain and grow the local Maasai community. Africa Amini Maasai Lodge merges western luxury accommodations with traditional Maasai food, architecture, and activities. All earnings go to the local Maasai community for humanitarian projects.

Africa Amini Life’s position provides it with one of the greatest spots in Tanzania to overlook Africa’s tallest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro. Early morning wake-up calls (with coffee or tea) are possible. This lodge is extremely unique and a magical location that you will never forget!

Please contact us if you have any queries about West Kilimanjaro or how to effectively include it in your epic Tanzania journey.

Olpopongi Maasai Cultural Village

Traditional Maasai lodgings are available at the Olpopongi Maasai cultural village. You’ll get an opportunity to experience Maasai life and learn about what it means to be a Maasai in the Maasai village.

The settlement lies in the midst of nowhere (West-Kilimanjaro), where elephants and giraffes graze freely in the shadows of Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro. A wonderfully thrilling and unforgettable experience.

Maasai Cultural experienceStandard packages usually include…

  • Entrance / Village / Activity fees if applicable to the itinerary
  • Transfers as applicable to the tour from/to Moshi per group
  • 4×4 Safari Land cruiser / Minibus / Large bus as required for the tour
  • An English speaking driver-guide
  • English speaking Local guides / Mountain guides if applicable to the tour
  • Picnic or traditional lunch
  • 500ml bottled water per person


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Oct 28, 2022
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