Nature of Arusha Park.

Massai p.2 The village.

Each man of the house is treated with respect and worship by all his kids and wives. The women are the ones who work most, though. While the men are sitting the whole day somewhere on the rock, looking at their cows, talking to the fellow shepherds, the women are looking after kids, selling convincing Massai jewelry and…. building the shelters!  Yes, it’s a female job to build a manyatta –  a house made of sticks fixed into the ground and interwoven with branches. The construction is plastered with a mix of mud, ash, sticks, grass, cow dung and human urine! Some Mzungu, which means “white people” in suahili, feel too ashamed to enter those houses. Everyone, however, looks curiously inside. The reason for those hesitations is the striking poverty of Massai people. They don’t even earn anything for tourist visits. They still smile and show their kindness and hospitality to Mzungu counting silently for their generosity. Sometimes this few dollars are enough to buy necessary medicine or school equipment for kids.

This particular village was lucky enough to live close to the Snake Park in Arusha, created by a couple of the Europeans. BJ and Ma are great people who apart from owning a campsite, a bar and reptile park were iniciators of a free medical clinic and a home for orphans, as well as the rebuilding of a local school.

Massai p.1

What do you see when you hear“Massai”? A bunch of tall man jumping in their ritual dance? Scenes from a famous movie “The white Massai”? (I should watch it by the way).  I was always recalling portraits of Massai people seen in one of the National Geographic magazines. Those beautiful, proud people, wearing multicolored jewelry were looking deep into our eyes almost asking: “What do you really know about us (you ignorant Mzungu)?” The truth is – we don’t know too much. 

The Massai are one of the semi- nomadic tribes in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. Their welfare is measured by the amount of cows a shepherd and head of the family has. The animals give them food- meat and their favorite drink-  milk with cows’ blood. After they are killed, skin, hair and horns are used for parts of the wardrobe, accessoires and interior design elements. 

Lion King.

This time we DO leave Kenya and head towards Tanzania. But before we do that, a few pictures of the last moments in Massai Mara, which made the whole trip worth waking up at 5am. Early in the morning we had a chance to observe two big groups of lions- parents with 4 kids and a clique of 7! Apparently they didn’t enjoy each other’s company and were trying to win the right for the spot. However, just after the family gave up, youngsters lost their interest and left lazily.

A few more animals and a picnik under Acacia tree.

Thanks to Jackson, our brilliant driver we saw a great variety of Massai Mara wild life, starting with the giants and finishing with the tiniest, but not less fascinating creatures. We found out how those hideous hyenas, which trespassed our camp site at night, ate trash and kept waking us up with their terrifying giggle hihihihihihi, spend their day. Apparently, in order to cool down, they take a mud bath in safari SPA. In the afternoons they lazily wait for the lions to get bored with their lunch. Why would they hunt if they can have a bite from the abandoned leftovers?

Breakfast.

I am fighting with stupid FB plugs and there is no light in this tunnel. Oh well, that is not the most important part of this blog. This time another picture of Massai woman and hungry Massai shepherds. The day before we saw a cow giving birth, almost at the same spot. This time we caught those two man…. preparing their breakfast. As known Massai diet is based on cows’ blood and milk. Those guys were either in a hurry or really, really hungry- poor cow.

Mieow?

In the world of wild cats there is not too much space for “sweet kittens”. They are proud, self-confident and incredibly dangerous… beautiful but dangerous. It is really easy to forget about that wild part. There are many accidents happening in the parks, where tourists in order to take a good picture simply risk their lives. The whole families are known to be attacked and killed by lions after leaving the car and coming close to the “sleeping” animal. Watching a leopard walking close to the truck is priceless… looking at a group of youngsters running behind it asking “where is it? Have you seen it? Our driver is as idiot and got stuck in the sand for the 5th time today (…)” -terrifying! Fortunately nothing happened. However, such pictures are surely tempting for bored lions resting near by …