As part of our Discovery Centre team, Kinama Marite is able to share with guests his knowledge of nature, local wildlife and an insight into his Maasai culture. Here, we find out a little more about his journey so far.

What do you most enjoy about local wildlife and nature, and local traditions?
Being a Maasai and growing up in a traditional village (boma), I have always been living in harmony within the rich ecosystem and exploring a wide range of cultural expressions that exist in my community. In my culture, people have always shared the land with elephants, giraffes, rhinoceros, and other wildlife, and living and growing up in this unspoiled nature has inspired me to share that wonderful knowledge with others.

I love nature because I feel involved with it; I love being part of it. My culture teaches the beauty of nature; that the trees, mountains, rivers, lakes birds and wildlife rejuvenate the body, improve one’s mood and creativity.

What else have you done with cultural education, in addition to your work at Four Seasons?
I have been involved with promoting and guiding guests to several of the region’s cultural heritage sites located in and around the Serengeti; such as Gong Rock, Maasai rock paintings and Olduvai Gorge – one of  the most important paleoarchaeological sites in the world that holds some of the earliest evidence of the existence of our human ancestors and has contributed significantly to the understanding of early human evolution.

Prior to joining Four Seasons and occasionally during my leave, I have been involved with archeological digs at Olduvai Gorge; helping researchers from various universities explore the Gorge looking for freshly exposed fossils. We regularly enjoy visits from Dr Louise Leakey, who gives talks to guests in our Discovery Centre, her grandparents were the pioneering paleoanthropologists who made many of the first fossil discoveries at Olduvai. I also studied a BA in Cultural Heritage at the University of Dodoma (Tanzania’s capital city), which enabled me to learn more about other Tanzanian tribes, traditions and their heritage.

Recently, I assisted with the filming of and contributed to an episode about the Maasai for BBC’s History of Africa by Zeinab Badawi.

Why do you want to share your passion for wildlife, nature and the Masai culture with guests?
I grew up sharing the earth with wildlife. The culture I have inherited  has taught me to respect and value the nature as from a young age.  Living with wildlife harmoniously and treating each other fairly, this made me always proud of sharing my wildlife, nature and culture passion with others.

I have also attended different conservation and sustainability workshops with the plan to create effective, sustainable solutions that improve the protection of the natural world.

What is the key thing you want guests to learn or experience?

Serengeti offers a variety of natural and cultural experiences. This ecosystem is home to incredible and fascinating animals and different types of birds.  The guests can meet real Maasai and talk about their world in a traditional setting of the culture, where the Maasai can share knowledge of their bush skills and monitoring wildlife behaviour. The Maasai live in harmony with  big game like elephants, lions, buffalos, and other animals, and guests often ask many questions to understand how these two worlds can coexist, especially as Maasai tribes are very traditional and semi-nomadic.

I also accompany walking safaris, explaining to guests about traditional Maasai uses of wild plants and how different trees, insects, herbs, all have uses in our culture – some for medicine, while some for general consumption or wellness.

 

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