Safari #2

Masai Mara Travel Blog

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Well, the last of the Big 5 has now been spotted.  I saw loads of elephants.  When we were told they live by a matriarchal hierachy I loved them straight away.  The most amazing elephant sighting had to be when a herd with little babies stolled in between our vehicles.  Very cool.  But overall the most amazing site was Giraffe's "necking".  There were 2 males walking in circles, necks entwined, every once in a while giving a massive blow to their opposition.  The female calmly standing aside waiting for the men to finish their silly ritual before commencing a calmer version of the dance-like ritual with the winner.  Even though it was a rough battle, because we were so far away we couldn't hear the blows so they actually did look like they were dancing.  It was beautiful.  Apparently it's very rare to spot such a giraffe ritual.  Similarly, it's rare to spot a journey (group) of giraffes...and what did we see during sunrise?  A journey of 7 giraffes.  I managed to get some great siloette photos.  We've been son in credibly lucky on this trip so far.  We almost managed to see 2 lion kills but we've come to the conclusion that lions give up very easy.  They seem to allow the animals to walk straight past them without striking.  Once the animals have walked just out of reach they run.  Crazy lion logic I guess.

We also visited a Masai village near our campsite (which is like a 5* campsite by the way...it was amazing...cooked meals, hot showers, proper beds in massive shared tents with wildlife going on around you).  That was really interesting.  I found out quite a lot of cool stuff. 
1. Apparently women are allowed lovers if their husband dies but can never remarry, she's also allowed lovers after she's produced 3 children so as to keep their gene pool varied. 
2. The villages are whole familes so there is no sexual relations within villages.
3.  Women generally cost 10-15 cows.  Possibly more depending on the status of her family e.g. a doctors daughter would be worth more
4.  They are polygamous, but village men cannot exceed the amount of wives kept by the chief or doctors.  E.g.  If the chief has 8 wives, doctors can have 7 wives, and village men can have up to 6 wives only.
5.  Women pretty much do all the work...they build the houses, look after the children, make the jewellery to sell in the markets, cook for their husband.  Men try to make it sound like they do a lot but they pretty much just rear the cattle and 'secure the village'.
6.  Female circumcision is now illegal so only men get circumcised.  Men are usually around 18 when they get the snip, if they cry during the procedure they are exciled from the village and must live a solitary life as a wanderer.  Hard core!
7.  Their staple diet is cassava and maize with a glass of cows milk mixed with a few drops of cows blood daily.  They only eat meat during celebrations e.g. male circumcision, weddings etc.
8.  5 boys are cosen from each generation to go to african school.  They do not have their ear's stretched.  All other children attend masai school and learn english through visiting travellers. 

We also visited their houses.  Very small but very welcoming.  The masai man introduced us to his wife, she was very smiley and cute.  I also enquired about white masai...NB do not ask such questions, they will assume you are interested in becoming one.  I almost got married off.

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Masai Mara
photo by: Swedesurfer