Notes from Kent in the Serengeti

May 22, 2009  By: Africa Adventure Consultants

As we head toward the last two days of our safari, I’m feeling like I’d like more time here in the Serengeti! We’ll have to make the most of it. For the past two days, we’ve been at Klein’s Camp just outside Serengeti National Park near the Kenya border. This area has gently rolling hills and small mountains interspersed with broad plains. At this time of year, everything is green and beautiful.

This concession is leased from the local communities so just outside the Klein’s Camp boundaries there are many Maasai villages, meaning there are a lot of cows, goats and sheep being herded by young men and boys dressed in bright red shukas. As we drove on the bumpy road toward one village, the air was filled with the unmistakable sweet scent of cow dung and smoke. Yesterday, we visited one Maasai boma where an extended family including the father, two grown sons and their numerous wife’s and children lived. The huts here tend to be square rather than round like they are in other Maasai areas. Inside, the dark hut, the air is smoky from the small, ever-present fire in the middle. A young calf, just 2 days old, wanders near the cow-skin bed as we listen to a description of the jobs of the wives. We looked at some overpriced Maasai jewelry and decided to pass, then visited a local clinic where medical services are getting started. The highlight of our visit was the local school where about 700 kids learn in a handful of crowded classrooms. The children’s excitement at seeing our sons Grady and Tate was off the charts. At one point there were at least 75 kids swarming around Grady to try and touch his skin and hair. He was a really good sport, exclaiming that he had a lot of new friends and they all wanted to touch him. Tate was more shy and hung back with our guide Malley, but later he bonded with our tracker Sombe while throwing rocks and shooting bows and arrows. He also really liked shooing the birds away from our morning coffee and cookies and catching various bugs in his bug catcher.

Despite our concerns, the boys have continued to be really well behaved and they have each had only sporadic breakdowns or crying spells. Spending time at the swimming pool each afternoon has helped burn off some energy, and they have also enjoyed a higher than average number of treats and snacks. Next, we head to Nduaro Camp, down the road, then on to Zanzibar.