The Maasai

We had a lovely overnight stay at Kibo Safari Camp located just 2 km from the main gate to Amboseli National Park.

All of us have been tent camping, but never like this before!

Yes, this is a tent with canvas walls.
and this is inside!

Plus a full bathroom with shower (concrete walls),

and buffet meals for lunch, dinner, and breakfast,

and lovely gardens with amazing views of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

gardens of Kibo Safari Camp with Mt. Kilimanjaro

The surprise was the Maasai village next to the camp.

Maasai villagers

Our driver arranged for us to have a tour and visit the village.  It was formed in a circle of thorn bushes to keep intruders and predators out.  Inside was a ring of mud houses and an additional ring of thorn bushes – the interior circle was the cattle pen, and the in between ring was for the village activities and safe place for children to play.

               

Imagine our surprise to be ushered into the middle circle for a traditional dance and music ( in the cowpens)!  We were invited to join them for a group photo – a very sneaky way to get us to dance with them, and try to sing with them.

         

We then had a tour and an explanation of traditional Maasai way of life. We learned about medicine, education, lifestyle, and how they care for the widowed and orphaned through our “admission” fees.  We were invited inside a typical mud hut house – very dark!  And a demonstration of fire starting – no matches are allowed in the village for fear of fire breaking out – roofs are made of sticks and twigs, the outer and inner circles are dry brush of thorns.  Reynold and Charlie gave it a try.

While many tribal groups have become westernized, the Maasai have retained much of their heritage – including the traditional red blanket shawls.  The men wore interesting shoes – made from the tires of motorbikes.

Before leaving we were invited to purchase handicrafts that they had made.  Each family had a
“store” by laying out handmade souvenirs on a blanket.

The contrasts we were experiencing were profound –

  • the tranquility of the ocean waves and white sands,
  • the harshness and beauty of the savanna and the amazing wildlife,
  • the luxury tents and accommodations,
  • and the primitive living conditions of the Maasai – by choice!

In just a few short hours we had experienced so much diversity – each had something to tell us.

Our family time was passing quickly, and soon we would each be back in our “routine world”, but hopefully we would be enriched through this time learning and experiencing new things together.

Be sure to check out our Facebook page (budshariyordy) for 2 videos: the Maasai dance, and learning how to make a fire rubbing sticks together.

Photo credits: family members

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