The Maasai (sometimes spelled "Masai" or "Masaai") are a Niloticethnic group of semi-nomadic people located in Kenya and northern Tanzania. The Maasai are among the best known of African ethnic groups, due to their residence near the many game parks of East Africa, and their distinctive customs and dress. They speak Maa (ɔl Maa), a member of the Nilo-Saharan language family that is related to Dinka and Nuer, and are also educated in the official languages of Kenya and Tanzania: Swahili and English. The Maasai population has been reported as numbering 841,622 in Kenya in the 2009 census, compared to 377,089 in the 1989 census.
The Tanzanian and Kenyan governments have instituted programs to encourage the Maasai to abandon their traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle, but the people have continued their age-old customs. Recently, Oxfam has claimed that the lifestyle of the Maasai should be embraced as a response to climate change because of their ability to farm in deserts and scrublands. Many Maasai tribes throughout Tanzania and Kenya welcome visits to their village to experience their culture, traditions, and lifestyle.
Kenya (/ˈkɛnjə/ or /ˈkiːnjə/), officially the Republic of Kenya, is a sovereign state in East Africa. The capital and largest city is Nairobi. Kenya lies on the equator with the Indian Ocean to the south-east, Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the north-west, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the north-east. Kenya covers 581,309 km2 (224,445 sq mi) and has a population of about 44 million in July 2013. The country is named after Mount Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa.