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Day 5 - Discovering the Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem: Wildlife viewing and Maasai culture

  • Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem (map)

After a lovely early-morning breakfast, our day starts out with a light hike. Being out on the plains on foot at this time of day is magical.

We will spend some time at the Enjipai Women’s Group, formed by a small group of Maasai women with a great entrepreneurial spirit. They paired their skills as artisans and homemakers with their desire to help their own families, as well as the community in general. Now numbering over 100 members, the collaborative already has several successful projects underway. A recently donated maize grinding machine provides a much-needed service to women who previously had to walk great distances to have their grains milled. The women of the collaborative sell their intricately beaded crafts to visitors. While each member makes an individual profit, a portion of all sales also goes into a community fund which was established for education and healthcare initiatives.

Our group will wander back to our campsite for a hearty home-cooked lunch set against an amazing backdrop of wildlife, acacia trees and endless plains. After a much-needed catnap, we will strap our hiking boots back on for a walk in the wooded savannah of the Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem accompanied by a ranger.

We will gather around the campfire for some incredible folktales after dinner this evening. Maasai elder Nekaaki Kioki is a feisty grandmother and fantastic storyteller who will regale us with her impressive rhetoric. She knows hundreds of Maasai folktales and tells them in a truly dramatic fashion. The fun doesn’t stop here: a group of local Maasai warriors visit the camp tonight and perform a traditional rhythmical dance. The group chose to name themselves for the word "unity" in the Maa language, bridging the modern world with the traditional lifestyles of the Maasai. The intrepid in our group may even join in! The evening continues with a nightcap as friends old and new gab around the fireplace before turning in for some deep and sound sleep.