Matthew and I had a great time exploring the area south of Nairobi today. We signed up for a trip through a NGO that does work helping pastoralists: PACEF
We met at a mall at the edge of Nairobi and joined up with the group. The bus was just like the ones Matthew takes to school so he was excited. Even his computer teacher was on the trip - a nice coincidence.
Went through a couple busy towns and then made our way over the crest of the Ngong Hills - the view going down the southern side was gorgeous. Due to the rains everything was green savannah doted with acacia trees.
First stop was an archaeology site. Nothing too interesting there - a couple of ancient hand tools, some skulls and the such. We only stayed about 30 minutes but it was nice to stretch our legs.
We then made our way to a Maasai village (manyatta). Peter, our host for the trip, has good connections in the community so it did not appear at all this was a commercial visit. It was nice actually to just hang around the village for 40 minutes or so. They genuinely seemed as interested in us as we were of them. The chief spoke in the Maasai language with his son translating and the beautifully adorned women sang some songs.
Next we ventured through the countryside to Lake Magadi. In the stark landscape the length and breadth of the lake really stood out.
We had some lunch and then made our way out of town south along the lake - again watching many Maasai either walking, herding or just waving hello.
On our way back and forth from the lake - we were also graced with zebras running along the bus, wildebeests grazing and looking at us inquisitively, views of Kilimanjaro, hundreds of deep pink colored flamingos
It was a long drive back to Nairobi but at least we weren't driving! The night sky was alive with tons of stars and a bright Milky Way. Seems everyone in the group had a good time and it was nice to do the tour through the NGO and not have the profits go to some random tour company.