Maasai Wanderings is the tour operator I use when I lead my Africa Wildlife Photo Tours to Tanzania. One of the goals of Maasai Wanderings is to provide opportunities to those who otherwise would not have received them. They use a portion of their profits to provide assistance in these areas by funding various projects that they initiated themselves. Along the way they have received intermittent funding boosts from individuals from around the world.

In 2008, Maasai Wanderings began assisting in Esilalei, a Maasai village along the shores of Lake Manyara. Together with Into Africa UK and Belafrica (Europe), they built their first classroom – a Nursery school for 120 students. The elders of Esilalei heard along the ‘Maasai Grapevine’ of the success of Ilkurot (another project supported by Maasai Wanderings) and spent many months finding out who were responsible. They knocked on the gate at Maasai Wanderings who had no hesitation in bringing education back into the village.

Maasai Wanderings hopes to continue expanding the school with the first classroom for the primary school. During December 2008, three groups of students from Brisbane Girls Grammar (Australia) participated in building projects in both Ilkurot and Esilalei – the results have been amazing. There have been desks and murals painted, holes dug, playgrounds established, plastering and many other well appreciated chores. It was such a success.

Visiting Esilalei

Located on a key road for visiting national parks in the northern circuit, Esilalei is a convenient addition to most safaris, and many safari drivers are familiar with it. From Arusha, after turning left at the Makuyuni junction, Esilalei is 17.5 km down the road. From Serengeti-Ngorongoro-Manyara, Esilalei is about 16 km after MtoWaMbu. The boma (a traditional Maasai enclosure) is open every day 8 am – 6 pm. Visitors may come without notice.

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