Building Manyattas with the Maasai

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  • No booking fees
  • COVID-19protected
  • Family
  • Cultural, religious and historic sites
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  • duration 7.5 hours
  • tour type Group
  • max group size 12
  • guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
  • Starts Nairobi, Kenya
  • Ends Nairobi, Kenya
  • Learn how to build a manyatta (a type of hut), using traditional weaving techniques and mud
  • Stand sidebyside with the women of the Maasai and gain insight into how a modern tribe lives as you learn about their deeprooted culture and traditions
  • Enjoy a typical, local lunch of ugali and vegetables and spend time getting to know your hosts
  • Get out of the city for a day and spend time soaking up the views and vibe of the beautiful Kenyan countryside
The Building Manyattas with the Maasai tour starts and ends in Nairobi. The Building Manyattas with the Maasai is a family tour that takes 7.5 hours.

Meet members of one of the most well-known surviving tribes in the world, the Maasai, and learn a quirky new skill in the process. Ever built a hut before?! Well, you will find out how to do just that on this very special tour, picking up tips from the Maasai masters themselves. You will spend the day in the beautiful Kenyan countryside, getting to know some of the friendly members of the tribe as they teach you how to build manyattas. The building of these huts is important to the continued survival of the tribe, providing homes for families and, as most are built by female members, a vital source of income for local women. A traditional lunch is included, which will offer another chance to chat to your hosts and compare life stories. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with a modern day tribe and should not be missed while you’re in Nairobi.
5 - Excellent
Based on 802 reviews
  • Mrs. Ines
  • On Jan 16 2016
5 - Excellent
Mrs. Ines' review for another Urban Adventures tour
“This was the best birthday i could imagine, travelling alone! Everyone from Intrepid helped to make my stay so special - including birthdaycake, candles and a surprise rooftop-ending with spectacular views, food and company. Special thanks to Sanem - she was terrific to have as an Insider on the food and design-scene of Istanbul! I am filled with amazing memories, flavours and fortune (from my coffeecup;) )! Thank you so much!”
  • Mr. Glyn
  • On Mar 12 2016
4.5 - Excellent
Mr. Glyn's review for another Urban Adventures tour
“The title "Istanbul - Picnic on Two Continents" doesn't do justice to this half-day experience. Our guide Can took us through the small alleyways surrounding the Spice Market, stopping at tiny cafes to taste single dishes, whilst slowly building up the ingredients for our final picnic. At each stop we learnt a little more about the food, language & culture. We found it ideal for a first day in Istanbul, and it made the rest of our stay much more productive, giving us the confidence with transport, eating, buying ... Can was enthusiastic & informative, adjusting our experience to our questions and to sights we encountered on our walk. The group of 8 was just right for interaction as we walked around Istanbul. Finally we crossed under the Bosphorus for our picnic in Asia, before returning to Europe by ferry. The time flew by, and we were too full to eat a meal that evening! To summarise - fun & informative. We would highly recommend it for early in your stay in Istanbul. Thank you Can for a memorable experience.”
  • Ms. Terry
  • On Jan 11 2016
4.5 - Excellent
Ms. Terry's review for another Urban Adventures tour
“It was so much fun want to do it again next year !!!”

One Horizon is a non-profit organisation that aims to arm local women with the education and life skills they need to make a sustainable income and support their families. Urban Adventures is working in partnership with One Horizon to bring you this very special tour, offering you the unique opportunity to spend a day with the Maasai community. Your entire tour fee is donated to One Horizon, who will use it to purchase building materials for the tribe. A fascinating day out that also supports the locals? Sign us up please! 

Your local guide will pick you up from your hotel bright and early for a scenic, hour-long journey to our destination outside the city. Along the way, we’ll see traditional tribesmen, herding their cattle through the streets of Nairobi and in the hills around the city and we’ll pass by Nairobi National Park, which is home to a who’s who of African animals — lions, giraffes, zebras and rhinos to name a few. 

We will arrive in the Maasai homelands in the hills around Kiserian, a settlement in the Rift Valley Province. Your guide will make introductions between yourself and the elder Maasai women, who will be supervising the day’s events. You will also get to meet the women whose home you will be helping to build. Over a cup of delicious Kenyan tea they will share with you the story of their life and talk about what it’s like to live in a modern day tribe.   

Once we’re all acquainted, it’s time to get stuck into your project for the day: building a manyatta! Firstly, you will be shown how to replicate the intricate weave that is required. Then you will be shown how to build the walls and ceiling of a mud hut. These instructions are very special as you will bear witness to the transfer of traditional home-making skills and wisdom, imparted by the elder Maasai to a younger generation of Maasai homemakers. 

After a couple of hours, we’re sure you will have built up quite an appetite, so we’ll stop for a hearty lunch of local ugali, which is like a cornmeal porridge, served with fresh vegetables, water and fruit. And best of all, you will eat with your hosts, giving you more time to get to know them and find out more about their way of life and how it might compare to your own. 

The afternoon continues with the building of the manyattas, punctuated with traditional songs and dances performed by the community. You will have the unique opportunity of watching some of the dances that are often only performed at special Maasai events such as births and marriages. 

It is worth noting that a home like this can take up to 3 weeks to build, due to the need to wait for the materials to properly dry out but with your help this time can be reduced significantly. So you my not finish the job while you are here but you can pat yourself on the back for helping to fast track homes that help to keep Maasai families together. 

You will leave your new Maasai friends behind mid-afternoon after a productive and rewarding day. Along with your guide, you’ll make the journey back to your accommodation. Before you go, don’t forget to ask him or her for tips on what else to see, do and eat during your stay in Nairobi. 

  • Lunch of ugali and vegetables
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Unlimited bottled water
  • Tea and coffee
  • Photograph mementos of each participant and a group shot taken by One Horizon.
  • Tips and gratuities for your guide.
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Cancellation for this Building Manyattas with the Maasai tour is free up to 48 hours before the chosen start date - full refund will be given. If cancellation is made less than 48 hours before the chosen start date, no refund applies.


For any tour departures within 16 June 2021, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 16 June 2021, a deposit of 100% is required to confirm this tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 0 days before trip departure.

Travel Insurance

Building Manyattas with the Maasai tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.


For this Building Manyattas with the Maasai tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Meeting start point :

Pick up at your hotel

Meeting end point :

At your hotel

COVID-19 Safety Measures

This trip incorporates the following COVID-19 measures:

  • This tour follows established guidelines that are in line with the World Travel and Tourism Council’s ‘Safe Travels’ framework against COVID-19.
  • This tour follows the local government(s) recommendations for gatherings and group sizes.
  • Wearing a mask, hand washing and sanitizing is highly encouraged on this tour. Frequently touched surfaces are regularly disinfected.
If you have any question about this tour or need help with planning a trip, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We're ready to help.
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