“But African time was not the same as American time…As African time passed, I surmised that the pace of Western countries was insane, that the speed of modern technology accomplished nothing, and that because Africa was going its own way at its own pace for its own reasons, it was a refuge and a resting place.”
– Paul Theroux (author, from Dark Star Safari)
Africa Amini Life Maasai Lodge – Days 3 & 4
October 1-2, 2018
We weren’t expecting Africa Amini Maasai Lodge to be as incredible as it was. Situated on a hillside in the middle of the Maasai steppe is a collection of 12 bungalows and a central gathering place that provides striking views of Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru.
The setting was made more incredible by the traditionally constructed Maasai homes that make up each guest bungalow. The houses are scattered along the hillside, with each house having its own private view of the “the bush” – a savannah of rolling hills that seemed to stretch into the horizon. Each bungalow is named with a traditional Maasai phrase or word. (Our bungalow was “Reach in Milk”). Though constructed with traditional materials and methods, the homes feature a number of amenities for guests, including comfortable beds, private patios, and windows. Inside our home featured a clean concrete floor, lighting, power strips for charging, running water, a hot shower, and a private bathroom.
The rooms are luxurious and creatively designed, each is work of art. Our very comfortable bed was adorned with rich and colorful textiles featuring traditional Maasai patterns and surrounded with hand-crafted furniture. Beaded dream catchers hung from a traditional thatched roof ceiling. Our room was the perfect combination of traditional materials and modern conveniences.
In addition to the wonderfully decorated bungalow rooms, the lodge features a large central lounge and dining area with an outdoor patio that looks out upon the savannah. The lounge has a bar and Wi-Fi access. Beyond the rooms and the other side of a small hill lies a small infinity pool and a pool house where guests can select a book from a small library or get a drink from the bartender. Below the pool is the Mirror Cave, an enclave of lounge chairs where guests can relax in the sun or shade accompanied by the local lizards that also enjoy the sun there.
Time here is meant to be spent slowly: immersing yourself in Maasai culture and the surrounding savannah. All staff at the lodge are Maasai and they are exuberant and very friendly. Coupled with their incredible humility and sense of humor are a people as interested in learning about us as we are about them.
The highlights of a day at Africa Amini Maasai Lodge are the afternoon and evening activities that begin with some singing and a friendly spear throwing competition with Maasai warriors – who harass one another as each takes a try at spearing the “lion” a section of a log hung from an Acacia tree. Then each guest gets to take their turn at the lion.
This is followed by a traditional Maasai tribal dance in which guests are invited and encouraged to join in and dance with the tribe. This joyous festival is followed by “MTV” (Maasai TV), where guests sit around a fire with their Maasai hosts while learning about the Maasai culture of storytelling and asking the hosts questions about their culture and lifestyle.
The lodge is a project of Africa Amini Amala, a non-profit organization that aims to help the Maasi and Meru peoples provide for their own stability and security, while promoting cultural togetherness and strengthening the foundation of future developments in the region. Our stay at the lodge helps fund a range projects launched by Africa Amini Amala, that are dedicated to health care, education, social care, tourism, and agriculture.