We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Gifts for Maasai Villagers

Springfield...
Level Contributor
329 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Gifts for Maasai Villagers

Hello...I am visiting the Reserve in August with a tour group, and will visit a Maasai village. I would like to give small gifts to the people, especially to the children. Is this a good idea, and if so, what should I give? I didn't know if the villagers routinely receive gifts and what their feelings are on this accordingly.

Thank you for any advice you can give...

Allentown...
Level Contributor
53 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
31. Re: Gifts for Maasai Villagers

thank you travel advisors for setting me straight. i've never been to africa so depended on my past experiences to figure out how to deal with begging children without going broke and breaking my heart. i'm figuring that they don't beg in africa as some 3rd world countries so that sets my heart at ease. i.m sorry i insulted you and the african culture. it was such a shock when i first was confronted by begging children that my husband had tobpull me away and my heart can't take that.i will keep my m&m s at home.fyi- it was adults who attacked me for the chocolate after a park put my carry on bag up for inspection!

Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
3,755 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
32. Re: Gifts for Maasai Villagers

"i.m sorry i insulted you and the african culture."

sharon, you didn't - you simply didn't know and yes, it is a shock for outsiders who come here and see how very different things are.

There is a kind of balance, no matter how delicate or precarious, and it is very easy to upset, even for those of us who were born and bred here.

There are many organisations doing great work here to educate the pastoralists so that they can provide a good future for themselves, including better land and wildlife management which will be essential as the population here continues to explode. Have a look at Starehe http://www.starehe.org/, one such organisation that is making a huge difference.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Kenya :-)

Boston...
Level Contributor
824 posts
181 reviews
Save Reply
33. Re: Gifts for Maasai Villagers

We visited the Samburu village .. before we went, the guide told us it would be a $25/person donation to the tribe which was fine.. at the end of the tour, we bought a couple of craft items... we had a $ amount in our head that we wanted to spend.

I totally agree.. commerce empowers a community

Shefford, United...
Level Contributor
129 posts
93 reviews
Save Reply
34. Re: Gifts for Maasai Villagers

My hubby now refuses to take 'gifts' with us after our experiences in other 3rd world countries. We felt embarrassed and that we were insulting them - "they may be poor but they have their pride" - so we now buy their crafts and everyone is happy and comfortable with it.

Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
3,755 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
35. Re: Gifts for Maasai Villagers

"before we went, the guide told us it would be a $25/person donation to the tribe which was fine"

A caveat should also be issued on the above - if your guide tells you this, DON'T give the money directly to him unless you can ensure that it is handed over straight to the village. Most villages have an agreement with the lodges and camps that support them, and will not require a payment direct from clients on arrival. Often, driver/guides will take the cash and pocket most, if not all, of it themselves.

UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
Level Contributor
4,761 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
36. Re: Gifts for Maasai Villagers

For years, the standard split - unbelievable as it sounds, has been 96% to the driver and 4% to the community, ie $24 to $1.

Richard

Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
3,755 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
37. Re: Gifts for Maasai Villagers

Thanks for clarifying that Richard. Disgusting, especially when taking into account how much the driver/guides invariably receive in tips.

Far better to organise a manyatta visit through a lodge or camp which supports a village or community directly.

Boston...
Level Contributor
824 posts
181 reviews
Save Reply
38. Re: Gifts for Maasai Villagers

""before we went, the guide told us it would be a $25/person donation to the tribe which was fine"

A caveat should also be issued on the above - if your guide tells you this, DON'T give the money directly to him unless you can ensure that it is handed over straight to the village. Most villages have an agreement with the lodges and camps that support them, and will not require a payment direct from clients on arrival. Often, driver/guides will take the cash and pocket most, if not all, of it themselves."

FL410.. actually, our guide was a Samburu tribe member and he told us to give the money directly to one of the tribe's elders when we get to the village.. and the chief explained how they use the money for the education of the children, he showed us the school they built, etc... the guide never touched our money..so we felt it was all on the up and up.

but your advice is definitely sound

39. Re: Gifts for Maasai Villagers

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 18 June 2013, 21:17
Get answers to your questions about Masai Mara National...
More Masai Mara National Reserve Topics