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A-Z Guidebook: Kenya, Maasai Mara

Welcome to the A-Z Guidebook Link Up. If you would like to join, read the A-Z Guidebook tab at the top of the blog and write a travel post relating to the letter of the month.

*Can you believe we are up to our 11th letter? Thanks for your continued participation. I’d really like to get some more people to join in. Is there anyone you can invite? Please do. This month:

K or Kind

Without a doubt, my holiday to East Africa is the best holiday I have ever been on. Big call with so many more places I’d like to visit but it is cemented firmly in my heart and mind. To celebrate my 40th birthday,we went with our close friends on a safari through Kenya and Tanzania, tacking on our own visit to Victoria Falls in Zambia and a week in Zanzibar at the end. It was a low rent affair, with the four of us sharing hostel rooms to save on costs and opting for the camping option on our safari. It was like no other holiday. Out Of Africa landscapes; people walking, walking, walking to get to where they needed no matter how remote the location; picture book animals (though sadly, no leopard for us) and; better mobile phone coverage than Australia – everyone, no matter how poor, appears to have some form of mobile phone. It was fascinating to see the local women in bright tribal prints, a basket of food balanced on their head, a baby on one hip and a mobile phone attached to their ear as they walked home from a busy day at the border crossing market.

This mix of modern and traditional is also evident in this photo. Our tour guide was of mixed race. Half Maasai and half Kikuyu – something that is frowned upon by both tribes. When the guide’s (Maasai) father passed away, his mother and brothers were forced to leave the Maasai reserve and live elsewhere. As an adult, he took the opportunity on the regular safaris he led back to the Maasai Mara to stay a night in a local Maasai house or boma, wear traditional costume and invite his friends to tag along for a few hours.

Two Maasai warriors clown around. They are dressed in traditional clothing including bright red shuka rugs.

These two sat atop our safari truck, keeping an eye out for wildlife as we ate our lunch in the whispering grasses. It was a serious business with plenty of skeletons scattered about to remind us exactly who the king of the savannah was but, there was still time to joke. Whilst we munched on our sandwiches, these two warriors were clowning around, trying to push each other from the top of the truck (as you do). Though you can’t see it in this photo they have spears but also guns. They are wearing the traditional Maasai shuka rug and garments but also have high performance watches. The smiles tell a story of friendship, strength and pride. A blend of traditional and modern and lovely photo to boot.

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20 comments… add one
  • Gretchen April 15, 2016, 6:52 am

    What a fun way to celebrate your 40th birthday! Our travel days have slowed down to a near halt since having kids, though looking forward to taking them to Europe this summer. Hubby and the boys would all love a camping safari, sounds like a fantastic time.

    • Fiona Ryan April 18, 2016, 1:59 pm

      It was a great holiday – a real eye opener to the ‘other’ world. We camped at an orphanage one night (they received a fee) and visited their school the next day. Things I would never do or see if I hadn’t been on that holiday.

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime April 15, 2016, 1:53 pm

    One day I will get to Kenya!

    • Fiona Ryan April 18, 2016, 2:00 pm

      Tandy – you have no excuse! It’s just up the road ; )

  • Elizabeth April 16, 2016, 8:33 pm

    Love to join, just the business of life getting in the way!!! Liz xx

    • Fiona Ryan April 18, 2016, 2:00 pm

      There’s always next month Liz. ‘L’ – start writing now!

  • sherry from sherrys pickings April 17, 2016, 2:17 pm

    that is such a gorgeous photo. the colours are beautiful, and they give off such joy and friendship. funny about the mobile coverage isn’t it? i can’t believe how lousy we have it here in Oz:) I just give up on the NBN.

    • Fiona Ryan May 3, 2016, 3:52 pm

      NBN. What’s that? The sky was so bright that day (and for most of the trip). It’s just a fun photo

  • Lee April 19, 2016, 10:21 am

    Great capture, I love this. Goofing around in Lion country heheh just part of the landscape 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan April 19, 2016, 11:24 am

      Yes Lee – another day, another lion (and 1000 zebras – the kangaroos of Africa).

  • Emily (Cooking for Kishore) April 21, 2016, 3:45 am

    Sounds like you had a great time for your birthday! With your story you can feel the fun in the shot. Will have to try to make it there one day.

    • Fiona Ryan May 3, 2016, 3:50 pm

      It was a great birthday. Quite a while ago now ; )

  • Annette April 21, 2016, 11:33 am

    Wonderful story and what a place to celebrate your 40th! I lived in Zimbabwe for 2 years and Vic Falls…aren’t they spectacular!!??

    • Fiona Ryan May 3, 2016, 3:51 pm

      Oh yes, the Falls were wonderful. We stayed in Livingstone in Zambia and caught transport down. For an Aussie, it was amazing to see so much water!

  • Joy @MyTravelingJoys April 21, 2016, 12:59 pm

    HI Fiona! Sorry to join in late this month! Looks like Kenya would have been very amazing and exotic to visit! Some day! 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan May 3, 2016, 3:49 pm

      Better late than never Joy – thanks for joining.

  • Liz Posmyk (Good Things) April 26, 2016, 1:08 pm


  • retrostuart May 7, 2016, 5:49 pm

    It sounds like a great adventure, birthday, and cultural experience.

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