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The Picturesque Wildlife of Maasai Mara

Kenya’s wildlife is unrivaled by any other in the world, both in terms of numbers and variety of species. Thousands of tourists visit Kenya every year to view the wildlife particularly the wildebeest migration. Animals such as lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, crocodiles, hippopotamus, gazelles, cheetahs, hyena and wide range of bird species can all be found in Kenya and this has made Kenya the preferred tourist destination. Kenya is indeed a magical country – a fact that many tourists will attest to. Besides the wildlife, Kenya is also endowed with great geographic, cultural and natural diversity, offering tourists just as much, if not more, than they would dream of.

I am not going to talk about each one of these attractions here lest you accuse me of blowing my own trumpet but for the sake of this assignment of explaining the nexus between tourism and community development, am going to share about the Maasai community.

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A Snap With the Entrepreneurial Maasai Women

In a country of 42 tribes, only one tribe has stood out the world over as the most interesting community due its lifestyle, which until today has remained intact and unchanged for a number of centuries. How Maasais manage to “co-habit” with lions has puzzled many arousing their desire to visit their land. Largely associated with them is the Maasai Mara Reserve. Maasai Mara Reserve is the largest protected park in the country and is important not only to the Maasai people but the whole country due to its rich biodiversity.

Tourists from other countries flock to the park to see the animals in their natural habitat. They go on a ‘Safari’ in the park which has brought lots of money to the country. This money has been used to build hospitals, roads, bring electricity and water and other social amenities to the community.

Thanks to tourism, jobs have been created in the community. When the tourists visit, Maasai traditional songs, music and dances are performed for them in the lodges, tented camps and in the cultural bomas. Dances performed by both mixed and single groups based on age and sex, each having its own style. Good songs, music and dance are they which are well composed and have meaning in the context in which they are performed. These, have become so popular among tourists thereby asserting themselves as a distinct tourist product. People have been therefore employed to be performing to the visitors when they come. Clad in their traditional attire, the Maasai women are found selling beads and locally-made jewels and bracelets to the tourists camping and visiting in their location within the Maasai land. Beads, necklaces, and sceptres made in different colors, along with bracelets, are the most attractive locally-made jewellery by the Maasai women folks and which most tourists visiting the area want to buy. Many make a living from this.

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A Collection of Some of the Merchandise Sold by the Maasai Women

Indeed, the Kenya’s Maasai community is a true representation of a community reaping the benefits of tourism.

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