Maasai face hard times with drought

Maasai pastoralists

Maasai pastoralists

The Maasai, perhaps the most famous of the Kenyan tribes, live in southwestern Kenya, mostly herding cattle and making what they can from the tourists. They largely still live in traditional villages — mud and dung huts and fences made of forest brush.

(A minority have integrated into more modern societies, but they almost always wear the traditional red patterned shawl.)

However, given East Africa’s prolonged drought, the Maasai are having an increasingly difficult time feeding their cows and goats — the lifeblood of their tradition. The grasses they own communally are mostly exhausted, driving more and more Maasai into the game reserves for grazing pastures, which are protected for the benefit of tourists.

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Window shopping for a machete

Sharp objects anyone?

Deadly objects anyone?

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Photos: Zebras are awesome

Just outside Nairobi — a modern city with skyscrapers and major traffic — sits protected African savanna, where zebras and giraffes and rhinos and lions pose for local tourists and Wazungu who don’t have the time or money to visit the big game parks and reserves.

It’s about as wild as you can get, with a major urban center half an hour away.

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