Maasai are a Nilothic ethnic group inhabiting central and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best known local populations due to their residence near the many game parks of the African Great Lakes and their distinctive customs and dress. The Maasai speak the Maa language ,a member of the Nilo-Saharan family that is related to Dinka and Nuer languages. Some have become 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.