The Masai tribe in Kenya are very famous; everyone has seen those iconic photos of the tall elegant Masai warrior standing majestically looking out across the plains of the Masai Mara. They are indeed a most beguiling tribe as they're intelligent, charming and beautiful but it is the Samburu tribe who are often overlooked. In the 3rd of our Africa Safari posts, we take a closer look at the Samburu people.
It was during a stay at the ultra luxurious Saruni Samburu that I really fell in love with them. The Masai can be quite arrogant and vain, not the Samburu – they have a fantastic sense of fun and are always laughing and smiling. This really shows in the atmosphere of any lodge where the Samburu work, since they will always inject a huge amount of fun and joy into any situation.
Like the Masai, they also have an in depth knowledge of the bush and are passionate about the wildlife you are viewing – they have hawk eyes and will spot things that you cannot even see. Their wonderful multi coloured shukas and bright beads are incredibly eye catching, and unlike the Masai they also include brightly coloured feathers in many of their head pieces. They too are tall and elegant and make the most beautiful photographic subjects.
They are efficient as staff and will know your name before you’ve even arrived at Saruni Samburu, making you feel very at home. You will want to give them big tips, such is their charm and charisma. They will also delight in showing you their home if you choose to visit a village. The Samburu are nomadic and are spread far and wide in Northern Kenya – their riches are based on the number of cattle each man owns and even when paid well by a lodge they prefer the currency of cattle.
Often when booking a Kenya trip, people are obsessed with the safari and what wildlife they will see. Of course this is a major factor, but guests do not realize just how much the local people will enhance and make your trip. They add colour and humour to every day in the bush and you will come home with fond memories of shared laughs and all you have learnt from their expert knowledge of the bush.
This post is brought to you by The Luxury Safari Company.