If the Tanzanian government has its way, 40,000 Masai will be ousted from their homeland, and the area will be turned into a reserve where wild animals - from lions to leopards - will be hunted. The displacement will also affect the seminomadic Masai's cattle herds, who graze on the land.
The sale of the land, to a United Arab Emirates safari company, would also allow animals to be captured as pets and removed from their habitats. Hundreds of live animals - from big cats to giraffes - are exported out of Tanzania each year.
Tanzania is offering the Masai 1 billion shillings (about $580,000) worth of economic development if the sale of the land goes through, but it's a betrayal in the eyes of the Masai.
"It's inherited. Their mothers and grandmothers are buried in that land. There's nothing you can compare with it," Samwel Nangiria, the coordinator of a local civil society group, told The Guardian.
If the deal moves forward, the slap in the face would be particularly stinging: It's not the first time the Tanzanian government has considered the sale, but last year the country said it would back out.