Warrior for a Week: Experiencing Masai Culture First-Hand

 

Saruni Samburu
Masai warriors at Saruni Samburu

For centuries, the regal Masai people have lived in the land that is now Tanzania and Kenya. Today, their numbers reach almost 1.5 million, and their culture remains strong. The Masai are among the best-known African ethnic groups, where they are admired for their unique ability to farm in deserts and scrubland.

Traditionally, the Masai, also known as the Maasai, have lived a semi-nomadic pastoral life. Many still hold tight to that tradition, while others have moved away to positions of business in the modern world, returning when they can to don traditional shuka clothing and enjoy treasured traditions.

Many Masai welcome visitors to their villages, and encourage others to learn about their culture. At Saruni Mara, Saruni Samburu and Saruni Samburu, three eco-tourism safari lodges in Kenya, guests can learn about life as a junior Masai warrior during their innovative “Warrior for a Week” program.

During the program, each guest is trained and taught in the same way as a junior warrior of the Masai. Under the tutelage of their ‘Moran,’ or Warrior class, guests gain survival skills, become naturals with a bow and arrow, track animals, craft tools and build a nomadic home.

Under close instruction, the apprentice sees how the Masai view the world and live amongst its wild creatures. Guests can experience first-hand the bush skills, folklore and ancient wisdom of the Masai. These are an important part of the experience at Saruni Mara, Saruni Samburu and Saruni Wild. And in the Masai Mara, these bush skills are a necessity for survival.

Saruni Mara is set in a remote valley of forests and hills overlooking the open savannas within the most exciting wildlife sanctuary of Africa, the Masai Mara. Accommodation is for 14 guests in six uniquely styled cottages. Each cottage has elegant Italian bathroom fittings, polished wooden floors and large bathrooms with canvas fronts that can be opened to offer a “shower with a view.”

Saruni Mara’s sister camp, Saruni Wild, is an exclusive tented retreat in the same Northern area of the Masai Mara. With only three tents, it offers the ultimate private safari experience.

Saruni Samburu’s five villas are perched on a rocky outcrop in the Kalama Conservancy overlooking waterholes where the famous Samburu elephant, leopard, giraffe and zebra gather to drink. A fusion of large spacious houses with bold and dramatic African details, Saruni Samburu is the first and most exclusive design lodge of its kind in Kenya.

The “Warrior for a Week” is an included activity at the Saruni properties, but reservations should be booked in advance. Saruni Mara, Saruni Samburu and Saruni Wild are part of Cheli & Peacock’s ‘C&P Portfolio’, a collection of 14 eco-tourism lodges located in the best parks of Kenya. Each property has its own footprint and style with a common theme: a luxurious elegance with conservation initiatives.

For additional information, visit http://www.chelipeacock.com/ or call +254 (0)20 6003090/1.