Initiator of the project
My name is Ingrid, I am Belgian, and I am the founder of the Maasai Giraffe Eco Lodge in partnership with Lepara, a Maasai guide.
In January 2013, during a trip to Zanzibar, I met Lepara who gave me the desire to discover his native region.
In 2014, I made this project a reality and stayed in the Lake Natron Conservation Area. I fell under the spell of this wild and untamed nesting region located in the heart of the Rift valley, its immense desert plains encircled by mythical volcanos, such as the Kilimandjaro and the Ol Doinyo Lengai.
A mystique region where only the Maasai population could survived.
Enamored by their culture and the harshness of their lives, I was fascinated by the humility of these men and women who live in total destituteness although proud of their meager cattle.
With my desire to spend more time among them, I had a small house built on the piece of land that the local leaders generously granted.
From my little hut, I had the infinite pleasure to observe herds of giraffes coming back from the river where they drank at night, leaving the place to the herds of sacred zebus.
In this infinite landscape, I observed these meager cows that, one after the other, their hooves raising the dust, disappear into the vastness of the plain in search of the little grass that resists on these lands burned by the sun.
During my long stays, I got to observe my maasai neighbors, as they were observing me. Women came to fetch water, curious children came to stare at me, and warriors watched me with a bewildered air, wondering what this mama muzungu (white) was doing in their space.
Through looks, smiles and some moments together, they adopted me and I began to bond with them. So much that the idea of building a camp slowly emerged! And why not a lodge?
I wanted to build a place that could attract visitors, create jobs for the community and offer work to the maasai guides while tourists would appreciate their culture.
With time, the camp, consisting of a few tents, evolved into a beautiful lodge that has become our little corner of paradise, the Maasai Giraffe Eco Lodge.
Years have gone by since my first encounter with these mythical people and the birth of my Maasai dream. Having the privilege of being accepted in the community and having gained the trust of its members, I embarked with my soul into a new authentic project like the one I have lived.
My desire is to offer visitors the opportunity to get fully immersed in the life of these families who can benefit from some income.
Native Maasai has born!
At the heart of this project, I wish to share with other muzungu the happiness of being part of the clan, to share for a few days the daily life of these humble Maasai, a life made of simplicity and based on the exchange.
Native Maasai offers the opportunity to experience the precarious way of life of the Maasai, but also to understand their philosophy and immerse oneself in the present moment, while benefitting from breathtaking landscapes.