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Maasai Mara|Amboseli|Tsavo East and West|Laikipia|Samburu, Shaba & Buffalo Springs|Meru

Specialist Safari

Herbalism

For those with an interest in traditional medicine, some of the ranches at Laikipia can arrange for guests to learn more about the herbal medicines and rites of local tribes, mainly the Pokot, Samburu and Borana.

Throughout most of Kenya's traditional cultures, herbalism has played a major role. Traditional healers used blends and preparations of native herbs, leaves, and particularly barks to treat and prevent a wide range of ailments and disease. This practice continues today, with herbal practitioners known as Daktari wa Miti Shamba offering traditional remedies.

As the practice fades, studies have shown that in many cases these traditional blends were indeed beneficial and potentially curative. One of the largest problems, however, is that these remedies and recipes were handed down orally from generation to generation, with no written or permanent record. So as the practice fades and these traditions are abandoned so is a treasure trove of medicinal practices that may hold great scientific value.

Efforts are now being made to research and record these practices before it is too late. Visitors can arrange to learn more and visit with traditional healers and herbalists.

Another fascinating and fading part of traditional culture in this area is the practice of divination and prophecy.

The Samburu have many astrological beliefs, and read the night sky and position of the stars to make prophecy and predictions.

The Borana practice a 'casting of lots' to foretell the future. Traditionally this was done using stones or sandals. The position in which they would land when thrown onto the earth would be carefully read by a diviner. Signs and symbols would be noted and recorded, and prophecies made. While this practice has almost completely faded, it does still exist, including modern variants such as the tossing of coins.

Spending time among the traditional people of this region is the best way to gain an insight into local beliefs and customs.

Chimpanzees

Ol Pejeta Ranch has created a sanctuary for Chimpanzees, working in close conjunction with the Jane Goodall Institute. While Chimpanzees are not native to Kenya, small endangered populations are found in the rainforests of neighbouring Tanzania and Uganda, and throughout Central and West Africa.

The refuge at Ol Pejeta has been designed as a safe haven for Chimps from Central Africa, rescued from the bush meat and pet trade. The deforestation of the Congo rainforests have led to Chimpanzees being hunted for meat. When female chimps are killed, live babies are often taken and sold as pets in markets. These chimps often end up living miserable lives, chained and caged once they become fully grown and unmanageable.

All of the Chimps at Ol Pejeta were rescued from these kinds of conditions. They now roam free on a large island at the centre of the ranch. They have formed a large social group, and interact and breed freely.

Visitors to the ranch can take a boat ride along the river to see the chimps or view them from a specially constructed platform.
See general information on this region....



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