A key part of booking our first family safari to Kenya was making sure there was a strong educational element for our children of 12 and 10 years, (and us it turned out!). The brief was:
“To be a holiday to remember for the wildlife experiences and sightings but also to learn about African culture, education and day to day life. ”
Today’s children are often caught up in a ‘Westernised bubble’. To quote one of our daughters a few years ago when her grandmother told her that when she was a little girl they didn’t have a TV “But Granny........did you not EVEN have an iPad? So what did you used to do?”
So we wanted them to lose the technology and materialistic things.....for a while anyway!
Our Warriors Academy experience at Saruni Mara in the Masai Mara was tailored purely to us and our time there. One afternoon we went bush walking not far from our camp. I never expected to learn so much! We would never have imagined Dixon our warrior guide would be able to tell us the rough age of an elephant from its poop! Apparently older elephants lose their back teeth and so can no longer chew branches. This ele was about 40 – there was still lots of evidence of twigs/branches in the dung!
I would never have noticed it but Dixon pointed out a Dung Beetle hard at work to get his roll of dung to his destination! It was fascinating to watch this little beetle move something twice its size to feast on later.
The walk wasn’t all about poo though! Dixon suddenly stopped and told us be very quiet. He said we were very close to Giraffe. Wow! They are beautiful and being that close and on foot, boy are they tall!
The next morning when heading out on our game drive we stopped off at one of the Masai villages we often passed. We were greeted with the smiliest happiest children ever seen. Our girls handed out their gifts of hair slides, crayons, felt-tips, chalks, pencils and colouring pads. The gratitude and their sharing attitude to make sure that all the gifts were evenly shared among them struck us all. There was no snatching and no grabbing, even when our girls delved into their rucksacks to see what else they had they could give up and the sweets came out! I’m not sure the same would be said back home! This stop certainly got our girls thinking. The shoes with the toes cut out and the array of clothing styles didn’t go unnoticed but the biggest talking point back in our jeep was the smiles and how contented and happy they all were.
We then had an afternoon with some of the local Masai Tribe. We were taught how to make fire (this can be done in a rain shower as they demonstrated), throw their homemade spears and shoot with their bow and arrows, again all home made. The afternoon was rounded off with tribal songs around the camp fire.
All in all a great experience, so much fun, we learnt loads, and we all came away a little bit more humbled by the Masai. And so far back home we have all been a lot less materialistic and appreciated each other and family time far more. Job done on the brief!