Everywhere in the area of Maralal we saw the Samburu Moran or warriors in their traditional clothing. We saw them in the towncentre, but also with their camels at the Yare lodge.
These men still live in symbiosis with their environment and the wildlife. They didn't change their culture and traditions in more than 1000 years. Like the Samburu women, also the morans are wearing necklaces and ornaments for arms and head, made of multi-coloured beads. Red and blue are the most used and favourite colours.
Maralal is the adminstrative headquarters of the Samburu people, whose district is over 20.000 sq KMs. In Maralal and the surrounding villages we saw a lot of Samburu women, dressed in the most colourful clothes and with necklaces with thousands of beads, like they allready do for ages. The Samburu people are close relatives of the Maasai.
The women we met were very friendly. I loved the necklaces they were wearing. The necklaces show, that they are married, I understand anyway. One of the Samburu people tried to explain more meanings and differences of the necklaces, but I didn't understand it very well.
Maralal has a lively market at the west edge of the towncentre. It's rather shady, so it was nice to walk around, even during the hotter times of the day.
You can buy Samburu handicrafts, like the colourful necklaces, made of thousands of beads. There are also a lot of stalls, selling the bright coloured clothes. We saw also huge heaps of sandals, made of tyres. And of course it was a good place to buy fruits.
Maralal is the main centre of the Samburu people. The town with two wide tree-lined dusty streets and ramshackle wooden shops has a ''wild-west'' atmosphere. Only a few visitors come to Maralal on their way to Turkana or for a camel trekking.
At one hand the town is hot, dusty and sleepy at midday, at the other hand it's lively with all the stores, the lively market and the colourful Samburu warriors and women around.
One of the monuments in town is the house of Kenyatta, where he was detained prior to his release.