Touring and Being Educated in Kenya

Marie Javins, writer for GoNOMAD, learned what it was like to live in Kenya through the eyes of the Maasai tribe. Tippa, the game spotter in Javins’ safari truck, enlightened her to the Maasai way of life while he touched on subjects like education and tourism. You can read about it in her article Ecotourism in Kenya’s Savannah.

“Change is happening all around East Africa, but the Maasai have so far picked and chosen what they wish to incorporate into their society. They speak wistfully of the value of education—Tippa himself took driving lessons—and they certainly don’t mind earning money. There are many Maasai villages—collection of mud huts encircled by fences made of sticks—that welcome tourists. They explain their cattle-herding lifestyle and let tourists wander the villages, for a small fee. A fair exchange.

Alarm clocks are two Maasai, chirping ‘Hello Hello,’ before unzipping the tent flaps and carrying in a fresh pot of Kenyan coffee. Showers are hot, with water warmed over a fire and then poured into a bucket above the tourist’s tent while the tourist waits the signal.

‘Aren’t you worried?’ I asked Tippa. ‘With all these tourists coming in, and money being made, and kids getting educated, don’t you think that the Maasai might adopt the culture of the tourists?’

He admitted that education was as likely to change the Maasai as was tourism. Probably more so.”