Tourism has been a curse and credit to the Maasai

Often referred to as the most famous tribe in East Africa. You can’t help but wonder how much tourism has helped this indigenous group in Kenya. After visiting Nairobi, I felt incredibly sorry for them. Urban development in Kenya coupled with an increasingly westernised culture have left them more and more side-lined. Land once owned by them have been forcibly turned into game parks and reservation camps for tourists. Most Maasai now live in controlled reservation areas a little like those set up for Native Americans in the United States. But at the same time the growing tourist interest ensures their survival, there is money to be made from organised walks around their settlement.

What’s really sad though is if you walk past them, they automatically start doing their famous “jump” dance in expectation of a little gift of money. As this is now their only source of income, a once proud culture that lived in harmony with the natural environment.