East Africa is a land of diverse cultures and religions. Somewhat, the par of the Africa continent is a complex place which is sometimes hard to understand. It is because of this diversity and assortment of the cultures that many travellers and visitors the world over travel to Africa to explore it themselves.
The African cultures include a wide variety of religious values and ideals. Today, Africa is seen as a conglomeration of many distinct cultures and religion that is truly amazing in itself. Each dynasty or rule has introduced something new and it is because of the ability of African culture to assimilate all these changes in such a way that it will look as if they are already a part of the existing cultures and traditions.
Traditional Masai Life – Cultural Safari
Those wishing to incorporate an insightful cultural element into their safari may wish to include a day spent with the Maasai people close to Lake Manyara, as well as a day with the Hadzabe.
Born Park Adventures has a zero-impact camp site on a hill overlooking Lake Manyara and within easy reach of several Maasai communities that still observe traditional subsistence lifestyles. A full day spent with the Masai will usually involve a walking safari, beginning from our campsite, into the Losimingur Hills, to the north of Manyara. The walk will usually be led by a local Maasai guide with translation being assisted by your safari guide.
Where possible, we aim to ensure that the local Masai guide is not merely a professional group leader who has migrated away from village life into town to learn English and commerce, but is actually an active member of one of the nearby local communities, someone who still supports his community by means of the techniques that he will be revealing to you.
Walking through the hills with the Masai is fascinating, particularly if visitors aim to take full advantage of their local guide’s knowledge and to frequently pause and question him. A good dialogue will provide some amazing insights as to how the Maasai derive medicines from the many varied plants; how Masai social life is ordered by age and what are the respective duties of each group; how the Masai hold to the belief that all cattle are properly theirs by divine right and how the Morani should be tasked with marauding neighbouring tribes and ‘stealing back’ these cows; how such missions often sadly cause the death of several participants; and a great deal more that – if one is prepared to delve deeply – will reveal a worldview and offer perspectives that contrast very greatly with those of home.