Within half a century, Africa’s population will have doubled. That fact is often written as a problem, and it is undeniable that it will bring deep challenges for the environment. But there are still huge swathes of the continent where people live today in much the same way as their grandparents did, and their grandparents before them, and theirs before that. Modern life’s benefits of communications, education and healthcare are welcomed, but traditional ways of life are being proudly preserved, and we believe passionately in both their importance and their value to the modern world.
Our closest connections are with the Samburu of northern Kenya, cousins of the Maasai, who are indigenous to the area surrounding Elephant Watch Camp and Save the Elephants. Young warriors still leave their family homestead for months or even years on end, roaming with their livestock, before being made elders eligible for marriage. Fashion still involves elaborate beadwork worn around the face and neck, bright fabric shawls, and feathers, with their arms, faces and legs painted with a mixture of ochre and cow fat. Wealth is still kept mostly in goats, camels and cattle.
But there are changes that you will be fascinated to see. Children are increasingly in schools, sometimes in mobile classrooms that migrate with nomadic families. Cell phones keep relatives in contact, give access to the Internet, and summon help in emergencies. Some wealth is being converted from cows or camels to cash, and stored in banks, easing the pressure of huge herds grazing a fragile ecosystem.
Many of Africa’s iconic peoples are undergoing similar transition. On a Bespoke Safari, hear directly from them about how they cope, what makes them laugh, and the decisions they make to adapt and even thrive as the world changes around them. The things you have in common will surprise you.