As national austerity policies come into effect around the world, western populations are being encouraged to reflect on whether thus far the excesses that they have enjoyed really are sustainable and whether indeed they should not rather be curbed somewhat. The launch of this operation is our response to a perceived growing awareness that travellers, holiday-makers, adventurers, etc from western countries are likely to have to streamline their spending patterns if they are to continue to enjoy international travel and life-defining experiences, without finding themselves in debt. Team Maasai’s remit is therefore to connect budget-conscious climbers with a diligent team of guides, cooks and porters who are used to making a little go as far as possible, and who enjoy the high-integrity leadership and company ethos that prides itself in getting as many of its clients to Kilimanjaro’s summit as is safely possible.
Climb with Team Maasai on Kilimanjaro
Our Arusha-based sponsor is a well known climb operator of British nationality who has accepted a commitment to work with the Nanapai foundation to promote the development of our people without compromise to our traditional culture. As such, we maintain our families and bomas in Ngorongoro and Natron, with frequent visits there between our climb schedules, and while in Arusha we undertake not to establish permanent residences, but only to enjoy the on-site hospitality of our sponsors.
Maasai men are not naturally suited to working as porters in cold weather but are generally lightly-built and not required to carry loads in their ordinary village occupations. They therefore understand acutely well the challenges undertaken by western people when preparing for a Kilimanjaro climb, as they themselves have had to train their shoulders to accept uncomfortable burdens without complaint and to endure a degree of cold that they are not used to on the Tanzanian savannah. That said, after the first difficult couple of training climbs, they enjoy their work on Kilimanjaro immensely. Indeed, if they did not enjoy their mountain work they would simply return to their bomas where they have lands, heifers, cows, bulls, sheep and goats and an extensive support structure and civic unity that ensures that no Maasai that remains in his village ever goes without his or her essential needs.
In this last respect then, Team Maasai are truly unique. Our brothers in other tribes, such as Chagga (the predominant tribe in Kilimanjaro), Haya, Wa’Arusha, Meru, and even Iraqw, are virtually all urbanised and are required to do the work of a porter in order to subsist, as their lives in town require an income to rent their houses, buy their foods, and educate and clothe their children. Our situation is very different: we climb because we enjoy it.
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