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The cultural tourism project run out of Longido is one of the most accessible in the region for independent travellers, and it is an excellent place to visit for those who want to spend time among the Maasai. The programme co-ordinator is a local Maasai who studied abroad as a sociologist before he was paralysed in a serious accident, and he can tell you anything you want to know about Maasai culture. Three different walking modules are on offer to tourists. The first is a half-day bird walk through the Maasai plains, which also includes a visit to a rural Maasai boma (homestead), and a meal cooked by the local women’s group. Then there is a full-day tour which follows the same route as the bird walk does, before climbing to the top of Longido mountain, an ascent of roughly 400m, offering views to Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro on a clear day, as well as over the Maasai plains to Kenya. The two-day module follows the same route as the one-day walk, but involves camping out overnight in the green Kimokouwa Valley, before visiting a dense rainforest that still harbours a number of buffaloes as well as the usual birds and monkeys. On all modules, you can expect to see a variety of birds (including several colourful finches and barbets), and there is a fair amount of large game left in the area, notably gerenuk, lesser kudu, giraffe, Thomson’s gazelle and black-backed jackal. It is worth trying to be in Longido on Wednesday, when there is a busy cattle market.