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What We Love

  • Rate includes seven nights accommodations at the Il Ngwesi Community Conservancy, all meals and snacks, some alcoholic beverages, activities outlined on the itinerary, the red Maasai shuka required during all activities and conservancy fees
  • This trip was created exclusively for Jetsetter
  • Getting to know the Maasai in their world
  • Rugged Maasai experience, but with a Mediterranean menu and a glass of wine come dinner time
  • Unforgettable unscripted moments, like learning to play marbles Maasai-style with herder boys
  • Interactions with the Maasai warriors — they’re a ton of fun, and they’re just as curious about your world as you are about theirs
  • Maximum group size is 8, so you’ll get plenty of one-on-one warrior time

What To Know

  • Rate does not include airfare, ground transportation to the camp or gratuities for guides
  • Participants must be 18 years old and up
  • You should be in reasonably good shape
  • Accommodations are in a 13-by-10-foot tent (with a bathroom and hot shower, but no electricity) in Il Ngwesi
  • Vegetarian or special diets can be accommodated with advance notice
  • Trip insurance is required — Bush Adventures recommends purchasing it through AMREF
  • Talk to your doctor prior to your trip about vaccinations and a prescription antimalaria drug
  • All tours are conducted in English
  • Americans need to have a passport that has at least one blank page and is valid for six months after the completion of the trip; a tourist visa is required, and you can obtain it at any U.S. consulate office or at the border
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Overview

The Review

Tracking an African elephant on foot across the red earth of the Laikipia is an exhilarating experience. Doing it alongside a party of Maasai warriors, carrying your own spear, is unforgettable.

On this seven-night/eight-day Bush Adventures experience, you’ll learn warrior skills from Africa’s most famed tribe of nomads, from tracking game to drawing water out of the driest riverbed to making fire.

This adventure takes you into the Maasai world and closer to the true splendor of Africa — deep into the epic Kenyan landscape — than a safari ever could. In the evenings you’ll dine by a campfire, wrapped in a flame-red blanket under stars shining impossibly bright.

Your training begins with the trusty rungu, or throwing club, fashioned from the polished root of the desert olive tree, the constant companion of the Maasai moran (warrior). Your trainers will teach you to throw it with unerring accuracy. Once you’ve got the basics down, the riverbanks and acacia groves become a playground of wrestling and spear throwing.

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The exertion of the day is balanced by the comforts of evening in camp, where Italian wine or a chilled Kenyan beer is accompanied by food that’s as much Mediterranean as Maasai. Warriors like to talk just as much as they like to fight, and storytime over a meal can be as compelling as exploring the bush yourself. You’ll spend most nights in a private tent outfitted with a four-poster bed, a bathroom and a hot shower, in the Il Ngwesi Community Conservancy. Each morning you’ll don your traditional red Maasai shuka (provided when you arrive) and stand side by side with warriors who do this every day.

There’s a real wisdom in this simple way of life. By the end of my time with the Maasai, their daily rhythm felt like something I had known once but had somehow forgotten.

{“type”:”headline”,”text”:”Itinerary”}Maasai Warrior Survival Training
Duration: 8 days, 7 nights

Day 1: Arrival at Bush Adventures Camp, Isiolo-Ilngwesi Road, Kenya
Take a fascinating drive from the frontier town of Isiolo into the wilderness of Kenya’s fertile Laikipia Plateau and arrive at the camp, your home for most of this trip. Enjoy a light lunch overlooking the riverbank, and meet your new warrior friends. Get your first taste of the wild with a short trek into the hills as the sun sets.
Overnight at the Bush Adventures camp in the Il Ngwesi Community Conservancy

Day 2: Traditional weapons and fighting training
Get to grips with the rungu throwing club, the long bow and the spear (an age-old Maasai favorite). Then get ready to throw down Maasai-style in a traditional wrestling match.
Overnight at the Bush Adventures camp in the Il Ngwesi Community Conservancy

{“type”:”img-inline”,”src”:”/static/images/product/properties/editorialreviews/10122/pgal-55949-1298661120-full.jpg”,”width”:”275″,”caption”:”Most nights you’ll return to the Bush Adventures camp the Il Ngwesi Community Conservancy.”}Day 3: Animal tracking
In the morning, unlock the art of tracking as you learn the telltale signs of animal movement. Pit your new skills against the wild as you try to trail an aardvark or track an errant goat. In the afternoon, test your new awareness with the awe-inspiring fun of tracking elephants on foot.
Overnight at the Bush Adventures camp in the Il Ngwesi Community Conservancy

Day 4: Survival skills: make fire; find water
Learn mankind’s oldest magic and make fire. Then, from one element to another, learn how to dig your own well in a dry riverbed.
Overnight at the Bush Adventures camp in the Il Ngwesi Community Conservancy

Day 5: Walk the nearby hills and spend the night in the bush
Get out and explore the dramatic scenery of the plateau. Walk in the hills, swim in the river, and then have a real nomad’s night camping in the bush.
Overnight at a Maasai camp in the bush

Day 6: Making medicines from plants
Switching from fauna to flora, this is the day to learn how to distinguish a tree full of army ants from the natural pharmacy growing next to it, the toothbrush tree.
Overnight at the Bush Adventures camp in the Il Ngwesi Community Conservancy

Day 7: Jewelry Making and more
You’ve learned about surviving in the bush, so today is all about life in the community. Learn about Maasai jewelry, traditional dancing — which includes the famous high jump — and the meaning behind the culture’s body decorations.
Overnight at the Bush Adventures camp in the Il Ngwesi Community Conservancy

Day 8: Favorite activity and departure
Whether it was wrestling Maasai-style or creeping close to a mother elephant and her calf, say farewell to the Maasai by spending your last day having another go at your favorite activity before you depart.

{“type”:”headline”,”text”:”Packing list”}

  • Bush Adventures provides traditional red Maasai shuka shawls
  • Sturdy walking shoes or boots
  • A wide-brimmed hat
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Light-colored clothes
  • A fleece or sweater (it can get cold in the evenings)
  • A belt to tie your shawl
  • Toiletries and prescriptions

  • How to Get There

    The Maasai Warrior Challenge
    Ilngwesi, Isiolo road
    Isiolo, 00000 Kenya