Masai Heartland - Loita Hills
Masai Mara Game Reserve Travel Blog› entry 54 of 68 › view all entries
December 2nd, 2009 – by: ronin2k
Its been about a week now in Africa and I have to say I absolutely love it! Kenya is such a beautiful country, weâ€™ve covered much of the south of Kenya and every few hours it seems like the landscape is different. From the Great Rift Valley, to a forest full of acacias, down to the south were I am now in the Masai Mara, where its open savannah In addition to the natural beauty here, the people seem very friendly and genuine, especially the kids.
Weâ€™ve spent the last 3 days in the south of Kenya, near Narok Town, in and around the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The Masai Mara is world renown for its abundant wildlife and for its Masai tribes. While here the first night we camped near a Masai village named Loita Hills; visiting this remote village was part of the cultural aspect of the trip.
That afternoon, we got to visit the village with Josphat. We were brought into an area were they keep their cows and goats to be entertained by the women of the village. [Before I continue, I should mention that of our some group I was elected the â€śChiefâ€ť! Thatâ€™s right respect! ;) As part of Masai culture before entering any village, any group from outside the village needs to be represented by a leader, a Chief. A chief can only be male as well! Hmm, yes that didnâ€™t go to well with one or two of the stronger women in the group! Lol.
That night we returned to the campsite and after dinner, we all sat by the campfire to hear the origins of the Masai from Josphat. Picture that, a Masai elder sitting there with a group of westerners, by campfire, in the middle of the African savannah, explaining the origins of his people. Amazing. Josphat, explained that the Masai were sent to Earth along with their cattle and goats by their god Encai to live here in Africa. Originally they were in the northern highlands of Kenya, but then when the Whiteman came, they were pushed south towards Northern Tanzania and now have settled here in and around Masai Mara and the Serengeti. Not all of the Masai were able to cross to southern Kenya/northern Tanzania and the ones that remained in the north of the country are called the Samburu Masai.
The next morning, the men in our group were greeted by the warriors. Talk about intimidating! They are all tall, cover in red ochre, have spears and look mean as fck! But hey, they actually turned out to be really nice guys! Lol For us they did a little ritual dance and then jumped for us. For those that have seen National Geographic specials on the Masai, the warriors are known to jump very high. The guy that could jump the highest was namedâ€¦.yup you guessed it, STEVE! Lol After the warriors jumped, they invited us guys to jump with them. I thought I did pretty good, well thatâ€™s until Steve basically jumped 2 feet higher then I did! But all in good fun. :) After words we got to take some pictures with them and throw spears and clubs! Good time.
Being the only coloured person in the group was interesting. As in every place I travel to I get looked at, in China I got laughed at, but here in Africa, like every other place I travel, there was a genuine interest in me and who I was. To the Masai, they didnâ€™t believe I was from Canada, they thought I must be from close to Nairobi, since Canada seemed so far for a dark man. No foreign black man had ever visited them one of the Elders told me. During our photo time, the warriors would come to me and touch the hair on my arms, look at my with a childish curiosity and then they would pose with me for a photo, it was great fun! At one point, I wore a Masai blanket, and held a spear, to them I was one of them, an equal. Who would of have thought these fearless warriors would stand with me and we all would laugh and share huge smile together. Very cool :)
Our time in the village soon ended, but not before the Chief of the village ask me to come with him, so he could give me a gift. I had to choose two others from my group to come as well, so I chose the two eldest women. We all went to the Chiefâ€™s hut, where he offered me a handcrafted Masai walking stick. What an honour. Iâ€™ve come all this way, to the heartland of Africa, frankly to the cradle of humankind, and a Masai Chief gives ME a gift. Wow.
Two days in the Masai Mara on game drive awaits!
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