The first thing you notice is that all kids are terrible dusty, which is not surprising because they live in an area that lacks water. Next thing you notice that they are very close and friendly and if overcome by sentimentality it will not be easy to get rid of them.
Maasai are a proud people who cherishes their traditional way of life and do not deviate from it. They brought up children in this spirit and, unlike many others, these children who live at subsistence level have neither tried to intercede something from us.
Trading with Maasais
Most of the souveniers, you see all over Kenya, coming out from Mombasa where huge factory is situated. The employes in the factory are mostly disable people and it is good effort of the Kenyan government in order to ecourage them for being part of the society.
But then, all this souveiers look alike, no matter if you buy them north in Nakuru or south in Mombasa.
Maasais do their souveniers alone and most of the families do not have any other chances to get some cash money they need. I bought medium size wooden statue of an Maasai warrior which is much more beautiful and crafty than those simmilar I saw around.
Maasai village - fire making
Oh yeah, firing is another job which is striktly men's duty. Nowadays most of the Maasais use matches to make fire, however, they learn to do it in a traditional way in case they left without matches somwhere in the savannah. Bellow, on the pictures, you can see the demonstration of making fire done by group of young Maasai warriors. It works but need few minutes to make it.
Maasai village - the houses
Maasai people are nomads, moving oftenly their cattles for good pasture and water. Therefore their huts are very simple and quick to build. It is strictkly women's job, as all other jobs inside the village, bcause men take care about cattles only. In case of danger, coming out from the predators or their traditional enemies, the Turkana people, men are suppose to defend the village.
The Maasai hut is very simple one, first they built wooden construction and than covering it by the mixture of mud and cattle droppings. Usually there are three rooms inside the hut, one for man only, one for kids and small kitchen which serve as a woman's bedroom too. In case man have more than one wife, which is allowed, there will be added separate huts for each of his wifes.
Maasai village - welcoming dance by Maasai woman
The village, which is situated in the middle of savannah, is fenced all around by spinous faggots in order to protect people from the predators. There was group women and children, standing in the open space and welcoming us by the traditional Maasai dances. We were asked to join them in the semi-circle and dance together. All I had to do was banding my knees in a rhytm and pretending to sing a song.
Masai village - officially visiting not allowed
There is a small Masai village, right next to Kimana Safari Park, and I was expecting to visit it in organize tour. Unfortunatelly, it wasn't possible because, as I was told, there is some corruption problem between Park and Masai people. Therefore I had to arranged this visit in secrecy asking my driver to help me about.
This Masai woman is welcoming our small group right in approaching to the village. Later on I found that she is a money holder, a kind of Masai banker, coz she was collecting money from us, 500 ksh per visitor.
Sneaking into Tanzania
Oloitokitok is very close to the Tanzanian border, and I loved going for a walk up through the forest and sneak into Tanzania for a while. With a bit of luck you might even see some colobus monkeys in the trees. The trail will bring you to where the Nalemoru route up the Kilimanjaro start. You should not go any further than this, though. While noboby is bothered if you sneak across the border for a while the Tanzanian authorities take it very seriously if they catch you in the Kilimanjaro National Park without you having paid your park fees. And have fun trying to find the borderstone, which sits somewhere in the middle of a maizefield!
Shetani Lava Flow
One of the excursions that we did during my stay in Oloitokitok was to the Shetani Lava Flow in the Chyulu Hills (Tsavo West). This relatively young (200 year old) lava flow stretches like a black belt through the Chyulu Hills, and is an impressive spectacle.
As a bonus we saw a few klipspringers on the lava rocksjust by the side of the road.
- National/State Park