Olpopongi Maasai village is a cultural museum that is located near the Tinga tinga village ward of eastern Arusha region. It was purposely built with the help of the local Maasai to be a museum, with the main aim of letting the tourist not only see but also experience the authentic Maasai life. Most of the Maasai you would find there are employees and rather than residents, ensuring little to no disturbance of the actual Maasai villages, culture and lifestyle.
Olpopongi has a museum that showcases Maasai equipment, jewelry, housing, furniture and other equipment that you would find in a Maasai village. On top of that it also offers overnight stay where guests get to sleep in a traditional Maasai house and bed. A visit to the place would also be filled with tours of the surrounding areas as well as walking safaris and traditional hunting.
Olpopongi has the shape and structure of traditional Maasai villages, locally known as Boma*. Most of the structures were built using traditional materials and architecture to be similar to those found in nearby Maasai villages, with the exception of a few facilities such as the toilets, kitchen and benches which have modern equipment for higher guest comfort.
The camp provides employment with the proceeds contributing towards the education, food, water of the local Maasai. Most of the jewelry and curios on sale are hand made by locals.
* Boma - traditional Maasai compound, usually round in shape, with more than one house inside, enclosed by a thick fence made of branches of thorn trees that serve as protection from wild animals.
Location of Olpopongi maasai villageOlpopongi Maasai village is located just outside Tingatinga village in Tingatinga ward of Longido district - Tanzania. Longido being a district of Arusha region and Tingatinga ward being along the northern border of the country. Olpopongi is otherwise located deep inside the country's Maasai land, a semi arid area between the mountains Kilimanjaro, Meru and Longido
From Moshi the village is about 74 km away, while for those coming from Arusha, the village is about 85 km. To get there from Moshi or Arusha, you would have to travel along the Arusha-Moshi highway and then turn and head north at Boma Ngombe(Hai) into the road that heads to Rongai or the Tanzania-Kenya border north of mt. Kilimanjaro. Olpopongi lies well off the tarmac roads on the left of this highway with a turning point somewhere around Engare-Nairobi. However, there is a signpost along the Rongai rd, indicating where to turn as well as several others on the dirt road that will direct you to the village.
Olpopongi's location put its close to the Kilimanjaro international airport, where there are international flights to a number of countries. It also within close proximity to mount Kilimanjaro, mount Meru and Arusha national park, making it easier to make it a stop at Olpopongi while on your way to either of these places.
The vegetation in the area consists mostly of thorny trees, cactus and dry lands that turn into grass covered lands in the rainy season. Ant hills are not an uncommon sight.