Visit Kenya a home to great wildebeest and wildlife sanctuaries from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which raises orphaned elephants and black rhinos with the purpose of introducing them back into the wild. Between 11:00am and noon, visitors can watch the parade of baby elephants being fed and rolling around in mud baths.
They are cute but you are advised not to wear your best whites because these baby elephants like spraying brown-red water over unsuspecting tourists. In addition, you will also learn about elephant conservation and the challenges Kenya’s elephants face in the wild. There is also the famous Langata Giraffe Centre which also protects the highly endangered Rothschild’s giraffes. There is also the option of staying in the nearby Giraffe Manor which is also a home to the Rothschild giraffes as well as it is a good accommodation for Kenya travelers to stay.
Taste of Kenya Wildlife and Culture
Kenya is a perfect country for safari tours because besides its distinct national parks and reserves, Kenya’s culture is also another adventure of itself and thus a taste of Kenya wildlife and culture is really a tour of lifetime. Kenya’s amazing culture which include the Masai tribe, Samburu tribe, Meru tribe, Turkana people, Luo and others make the country more ideal for safaris because after the excellent game viewing in the parks you will then visit the nearby villages to meet these people and enjoy their dances, songs, and their culture at large including their amazing dressing styles.
Maasai Mara National Reserve and Amboseli National Park
These are the two best parks of Kenya and definitely among the best in Africa since both parks are so special in their own ways and their visitation will offer you easy access to meet the Masai people/tribe which is one of the tribes possessing the most amazing culture Africa wide. The special thing you will find in these two parks is that they both reside wildlife species in larger numbers and also possess all the big five species of Africa (Africa’s big five) which include; the Rhinos, African Lions, Elephants, Leopards and Cape buffaloes which can all be easily seen in the parks since they are resided in huge amounts.
More special and attractive in Amboseli is that it resides very many elephants (1200-plus elephants) more than any other East African national park and also inside the park you will clear sights to the highest Mountain in Africa called Mountain Kilimanjaro which is found in the southern of Kenya (Tanzania).
However, the most attractive thing in MAASAI MARA and which makes it Kenya’s most ideal Park for safaris is its annual wildlife migration which includes; millions of Wildebeests and thousands of Zebras, Elands, Thomson’s gazelles and Topis. This annual wildlife migration is the most attractive thing in Kenya and it is the reason as to why this park receives more visitors than any other Kenya park since travelers will view a very large number of animals by that time more than any other place in Africa. The most suitable months to take Kenya tours for viewing and experiencing this annual wildlife migration are July, August, September and October.
From any of the above parks, you will then interact with the nearby Masai people who are traditionally known for rearing a large number of cattle and have a slogan saying that God gave them all rights on the all cattle in the world and they also believe that the all cattle in the world belongs to them. The Maasai people reside in both Kenya and Tanzania living along the border of the two countries.
They are a smaller tribe accounting for only about 0.7 percent of Kenya’s population with a similar number living in Tanzania. Maasai people speak Maa which is a Nilotic ethnic language from their origin in the Nile region of North Africa.
The warrior is of great importance as a source of pride in the Maasai culture. To be a Maasai is to be born into one of the world’s last great warrior cultures. From boyhood to adulthood, young Maasai boys begin to learn the responsibilities of being a man and a warrior. The role of a warrior is to protect their animals from human and animal predators and to build kraals (Maasai homes) plus providing security to their families.
Through rituals and ceremonies including circumcision, Maasai boys are guided and mentored by their fathers and other elders on how to become a warrior. Although they still live their carefree lives as boys, raiding cattle, chasing young girls, and game hunting – a Maasai boy must also learn all of the cultural practices, customary laws and responsibilities he will require as an elder.
An elaborate ceremony (Eunoto) is usually performed to graduate the young man from their moran and carefree lifestyle to that of a warrior. Beginning life as a warrior means a young man can now settle down and start a family, acquire cattle and become a responsible elder. In his late years, the middle-aged warrior will be elevated to a senior and more responsible elder during the Olng’eshere ceremony.
Maasai children enter into a system of age-sets with peers where various life stages such as circumcision are marked with ritual and ceremonies. At the age of 14, girls are initiated into adulthood through an official circumcision ceremony known as Emorata.
Currently the female circumcision ritual is outlawed in Kenya and its use is diminishing from the Maasai women’s culture. Young Maasai girls are still taught other functional roles like how to build houses, make bead work, cook and clean their homes of which they are taught by their mothers and elder women. Since the Maasai lead a semi-nomadic life, their houses are loosely constructed and semi-permanent. They are usually small, circular houses built by the women using mud, grass, wood and cow-dung.
Though they traditionally dressed in animal skins, Maasai woman with beaded jewelry – everyday Maasai dress today is; typical Maasai dress consists of red sheets, (shuka) wrapped around the body and loads of beaded jewelry placed around the neck and arms. These are worn by both men and women and may vary in color depending on the occasion.
Ear piercing and the stretching of earlobes are also part of Maasai beauty, and both men and women wear metal hoops on their stretched earlobes. Women shave their heads and remove two middle teeth on the lower jaw for oral delivery of traditional medicine. The Maasai often walk barefooted or wear simple sandals made of cow hide. In their monotheistic traditional beliefs, the Maasai god (Enkai or Engai) was manifested in two forms: the black god who was benevolent and the red god who was vengeful. Currently most of the Maasai people are Christians and few of them are Muslims.
All of the Maasai people’s needs for food are met by their cattle of which they eat the meat, drink the milk and on occasion they drink the blood of cattle. Bulls, oxen and lambs are slaughtered for meat on special occasions and for ceremonies. The by-products of the animals such as skins and hides are used as bedding while cow dung is used for building of which it is smeared on the walls of the building thus the Masai entire life rotates around their cattle since it is from their cattle where they get food, shelter, clothing and many more.