Maasai boy herder
01.01. - 31.12.2023
A Day at Twala Tenebo, Il Polei
Twala/Tenebo Cultural Manyatta is a community project initiated by local Maasai women in 1998 and supported by Uaso Ngiro Baboon Project since 2000 and African Conservation Centre since 2008. Twala’s mission is to provide income for the women and a unique and authentic experience for visitors while fostering respect and understanding of the local environment and culture.
The women earn their income through a variety of enterprises including renting accommodations to tourists and leasing their meeting facility to local and international organizations. They also design and sell Maasai beaded items for sale, offer educational and cultural experiences for visitors via their indigenous plant walks and baboon walks, and sell aloe and honey commercially. Their work supports their families as well as women and girls in the community that need additional support. Twala women care for abused girls and elderly women with no income, and support girls' education, maintaining a school onsite.
"Three hundred women in El Poloi have switched from the age-old occupation of goat-keeping to the new and far more lucrative activity of farming aloe, a plant with healing properties. Along the way, they are transforming their economic status and creating educational opportunities for their daughters. Drought-prone Il Poloi lies to the northwest of snow-capped Mount Kenya in the Great Rift Valley. According to the Kenya Meteorological Department, the area receives less than 400 mm (16 inches) of rainfall annually. Knowing maize and vegetables would not produce good harvests in this climate, the women decided six years ago to cultivate Aloe secundiflora, a plant common to semi-arid parts of Kenya."
Twala women make beautiful beaded bracelets to enhance their income and support girls in completing their education. The bracelets are sold in Kenya and the US with 10% of the proceeds invested towards the Girls’ Boarding Block at Il Polei Secondary School. The Il Polei School helps young women complete their education, avoid early marriage, and even allows students to return to school after they are pregnant. These young mothers have become the stars of their classes earning A’s and A+ on their exams!
The Manyatta was initiated by local Maasai women to provide a unique and authentic experience for visitors while fostering respect and understanding of the local environment and culture. The Twala women offer guests traditional Maasai accommodations, conference facilities, and Maasai cultural experiences, including songs and dances, as well as indigenous plant and baboon walks. Visit for a day or stay in a traditional Maasai hut. Individuals or groups of up to 20 can be accommodated. Huts are self-catering. Food can be provided with advance notification. Teas and coffees also available. Traditional goat roast can be arranged. Water, bedding, lamps and firewood are provided. Please note, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reservations are very limited at this time.
Unwind and relax while experiencing wildlife, nature and Maasai culture in a unique way! The Manyatta offers many activities including birding/plant/nature tours, visiting the breathtaking Mukogodo Forest and the opportunity to participate in Maasai dances and songs. Below are some additional opportunities offered to Manyatta visitors.
Experience the traditional life of Maasai women. Enjoy dances and songs, find water, and learn how to bead. Learn about men’s traditional activities including making fire with sticks, playing bao, and fashioning arrows. Participate in a goat roast with songs and stories around the campfire.
WALKING WITH LIVESTOCK
The Maasai way of life revolves around cattle. Livestock pastoralism has been an important adaptation to the savanna environment. “Walking with Livestock” allows visitors to learn about Maasai herding techniques. This is a hands-on experience and one of the highlights of the Manyatta visit.
Learn about the women’s new efforts for income generation and conservation, including cultivating aloe for lotions and cosmetics, bee-keeping for honey, a kitchen garden, and restoration of the land and river.
WALKING WITH BABOONS
Take a guided walk among a troop of baboons and learn about these amazing primates. By contrast to other primates, baboon troops are filled with active, smart monkeys who practice sophisticated politics in their daily lives. What happens when smart baboons meet their smart human cousins? Truly a unique and exciting experience.
TOURING THE LANDSCAPE
The landscape tells the story of how cattle, people and wildlife have interacted in the past using the same savannah resources. Touring the landscape allows you to see the ways in which each member of the human/wildlife community shapes the world for the others.