We arrived late Saturday afternoon in Amboseli National Park, worn out from our long drive from Nairobi. Amboseli sits in the southeast corner of Kenya and is around 3,100 square miles in area. But one of its most spectacular features is Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest single free-standing mountain in Africa at over 19,340 feet. It dominates the scenery from almost everywhere in the park. Someday, I hope to return to this place and attempt to climb it.
Today, instead of heading out immediately for a game drive, we visited a Maasai village that was not far from our camp. Words and pictures cannot do justice in trying to describe just how the Maasai tribes continue to live today, as they did centuries before. But I will try.
The village itself is a series of circles with a thick “fence” on the outside, followed by a circle of their homes, and finally, the inner circle is where they keep their livestock. The outside fence and the fence used for the livestock is made out of brush about six feet tall. But it is their homes that stood out the most. The man has his own house that is about 8 ft x 12 ft, consisting of a space for his bed, an area for a fire and sitting, and a place for his youngest calf. His wives, who also are the ones who build the houses, each have their own house that is a bit larger for her and her children. The walls are made from sticks, mud, and the dung from their cattle, which have to be maintained every few months. Yet they have accepted some of the modern conveniences of today, as we saw cell phones and solar panels among the homes.
After leaving the village, we visited a Maasai school that is sponsored by the travel company we are with. The children come from the surrounding villages to go to primary and secondary school. While many of the children walk to school each day, around 60 reside there during the school semester. This is a very poor school that gets little help from the national government, so the need for almost everything is great. The group brought several school supplies with us to help out and we also decided to pay for repairs to the kitchen and dorms.
That afternoon, we went on our one and only game drive through Amboseli. The park is well known for its large herds of elephants and it was also our first opportunity to see flamingos. It was another great day of viewing and the park did not disappoint.
Check out the Africa 2022 Gallery for more pictures.