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Maasai




Masai tribesman, Masai Mara, Kenya safariThe Maasai are an East African tribe indigenous to Kenya and northern Tanzania. Despite their notoriety as fierce warriors, the Maasai are semi-nomadic pastoralists who rely on their cattle and goat herds for survival.

My own observations of the Maasai tribe led me to conclude they are exceptionally intuitive people - almost as if they operate on a sixth sense. On game drives, the Maasai driver/guide would suddenly stop the jeep and peer intently at something far away in the bush. I would always follow his gaze, squinting and straining for some signal of life out there. But I'd see nothing except grassland. After some moments, our Maasai guide would turn the jeep off the main track, drive a fair distance in the direction he'd been looking in and, lo and behold, we'd find a panting cheetah lying in the long grass with a fresh kill. It was amazing. How did he know it was there?

21st-Century Masai Fred! Masai Mara, Kenya safariLikewise, how did the Maasai monkey patrolman in the safari lodge restaurant, always seem to know where the monkey was hiding?

Maasai are so in tune with the land and their environment. I don't know if they have a heightened sense of awareness, compared with the rest of us, or if it's simply that they're good at their jobs. Clearly, the thousands of years they've spent roaming the land has provided them with an invaluable knowledge which they've passed down the generations.

Whatever the reason for their innate skill, it's a strong incentive for hiring a Maasai guide in Kenya. Sometimes wildlife is so well hidden, you could drive over it. So, for the sake of conservation - hire a Maasai!


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