A Gift That reminds you of Kenya
Maasai Mara Game Reserve offers unique wildlife safaris since it has thousands of species, a variety of spectacular scenery and serene spots where you can camp after a safari. There are enough luxury camps and resorts too. When you explore this attraction, whether during the Maasai Mara migration or when the grass is green after the rains, you need something to take back to friends and family at home. It is a sort of assurance that your safari was excellent and you bear sacks of memories from it, and a gift so your family and friends can re-live the experience with you.
So where will you get Maasai Mara gifts? Most lodges and camps, such as Keekorok Lodge, Mara Serena Safari Lodge and Fairmont Mara Safari Club have gift shops where you can buy crafts from Africa, guidebooks and other items.
However, if you wish to have a real shopping experience, visit villages near the reserve. During a cultural visit, to a village in the Maasai Mara region, buy crafts, beadwork and African fabrics for your family and friends. This trip attracts a fee of about sh1000, which you pay the locals. As you mingle with the Maasai, you can buy some items you like. A mammoth crowd might surround you pushing this and that before into your hands, but you don’t have to take it if you don’t like it. Secondly, there are no fixed prices in the Mara; haggle until you come to an understanding that pleases you and leaves the trader grinning from ear to ear.
Third, do not be fooled. There are no real claws, bones, teeth etc for sale. The Maasai stopped the tradition of killing lions long ago, and Kenya prohibits exportation of such items from the country. Therefore, you might probably buy a fake bone thinking it’s the real thing.
Items for sale in Maasai villages include beautiful beadwork, African shawls, sandals, bangles, clubs and bows. From the variety offered to you, there will be a suitable gift for your friends and family members.
Buying such items from the community will be your way of giving back to them, for their effort in conserving the Mara. The Maasai have lived alongside species in this reserve for generations. Even though the Maa community has welcomed changes taking place all over the world (you will see them making calls using mobile phones), the traditions of this tribe are engraved in their hearts and it is visible in their social interactions.