“We call this an Africans massage,” chuckles Kalebi, our guide from Masaka Safari, while he maneuvers the 4×4 over the bumpy sand trail. We departed from Moshi this morning, and bump and roll along the dirt road. The soil transforms from deep red to rocky. The earth is getting drier. “The territory between Mount Meru and the Kilimanjaro is volcanic,” he explains.
Africa Amini Alama Lodge
There are as many as 120 tribes in Tanzania. Tonight, we will stay with one of the biggest: the Masaai. The Africa Amini Alama Lodge is located in the middle of the extended steppe. During our stay, we will learn more about this special tribe and their customs. The entire proceeds of the lodge serves initiatives for the Masaai that support their education, healthcare, and employment.
We are greeted with singing and dancing. “Welcome to Masaai country!” After the kind request to wash our hands, we are handed a calabash filled with a beverage. A welcome drink. “Sometimes it’s cow’s blood, sometimes water,” says Peter, the Masai greeting us. “I don’t know what is in this one.” The enameled mugs are filled. It is a dark red beverage. “Ah, it’s cow’s blood today,” he chimes with satisfaction. Only to add that you do not have to drink it if you are a vegetarian.” For a second, I weigh the possibility of becoming a vegetarian today. Then I decide to go for the gamble anyway. I smell the beverage. A spicy scent fills my nostrils. When I take a sip, eventually, a well-known flavor fills my mouth. Peter starts to laugh “It’s a drink made from hibiscus,” he grins. The dazed look in our eyes must be hilarious.
Once we are settled, Lucas takes us along for a walk on the steppe. The soil is rocky, but surprisingly green. The tour takes us across the undulating terrain. He suddenly stops: “Zebras!” A team feasts on the grass. When we spot two antelopes, too, a while later, the first drops of rain land on the ground and the sky takes on an ominous shape, he is radiating. “You are so lucky. Zebras, antelopes… and now you get rain!” He is beaming. It was three weeks ago that it rained last, and the rain season is tardying its arrival. When it starts to rumble, we go back.
The spear throw and Masaai TV
It is quite the storm, so we seek the protection of our room. It looks like an original Masaai hut from the outside, but the interior is equipped with all comforts of a Western household, including hot, running water and a toilet. We are staying at the star room. From the bed, you stare straight into the clear night sky. The rain drums peacefully on the skylight. The covered seat outside offers a splendid view of the steppe. Not only the bungalow, for that matter: a bit further down, you can take a bath in the infinity pool that offers a panorama that is just as stunning. If things are too cold for you, you can warm up in an actual sauna.
Drumming on the door. The rain has passed through, how about we go throw the spear? This competition trains the young warriors in warding off lions and other animals. A log in the tree represents the enemy. We are welcome to give it a try ourselves, but the art of the spear throw seems wasted on us. On sundowner hill, the program is concluded with traditional songs and dancing. “We sing about the heroic stories about us and our forebears,” explains Lucas to us later on.
The day is concluded around the Maasai TV, as the campfire is called. They tell us about the training for warriors and the associated transfer of knowledge about matters such as natural medicine. This training is important, because you only get one shot to kill a lion: “We have a single bullet, that’s our spear,” Lucas tells us. “All warriors set out each year for bush camp. This is how culture and traditions are honored.”
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Review Africa Amini Alama Lodge
Location: Splendid view of the Masaai steppe.
Service & facilities: Service is excellent and the infinity pool with sauna definitely deserve mention.
Rooms: Luxurious, for European standards, including rain shower and an own patio with panorama.
Accessibility for the motorically challenged: No.
Explanation: Africa Amini Alama Lodge connects tourist and Masaai in a unique manner. The rooms are luxurious and spacious, service is excellent, and turnover funds the social projects to improve education, healthcare and employment. What’s not to love?
You can stay at Africa Amini Alama Lodge from 200$ a night. The entire proceeds of the lodge are dedicated to projects in the field of education, healthcare, and employment. You can book the lodge as well as a part of your tour through Tanzania via, e.g., Makasa Safari.