Walking with the baboons

Shompole/Laikipia- walk with baboons

[NB: Shouldn't this be moved to Expeditions? - More than an activity?]

Get off- the beaten track and walk with troops of habituated baboon in the rangelands of Laikipia (Il Polei) and South rift (shompole area). Dr Shirley Strum, the lead researcher has been researching on the baboons for decades. There are now a number of troops that have been habituated and the the research work is still on going. Dr Strum at the same time (in partnership with African Conservation Centre- Founded by Dr David Western) has been supporting community development, natural resource and cultural resourced based entreprises and community lead conservation initiatives in Il Polei area of Laikipia District and Shompole in Kajiado District.

5 Facts about the Baboons

  • Baboons can live upto thirty years in the Wild.
  • Infants and juveniles play games like hide- and seek and catch – me if you can
  • Baboons have complex social structures based on friendships, alliance building and family ties
  • Female are stable core of the troop, while males migrate into and out of different groups
  • Family units are close and supportive (source brochures by the Uaso nyiro baboon project)

Walking with the baboon gives you a unique opportunity to exprience habituated baboons as they swim through a river, play and feed on wild fruits. You will be guided by exprienced and agile Maasai guides. This also gives you a chance to live and exprience the Maasai culture in Shompole and Laikipia.

Walking with the baboon and the Maasai cattle in Laikipia

Highlights: visit the baboon project, observer the baboon behaviour and accompany them as they go out. Experience the Maasai culture and their love for cattle, Walking safaris, camel trekking, Rock climbing, Yaaku caves experience, learn about plants and their different uses by the Maasai and water rafting, wildlife safaris among others.

Activities

With the guidance and assistance of the research assistant walk or drive to the raised Soit Oitashe rock out-crop that is home to a baboon troop and observe as they arrive from a day search for food. Trail the baboon as they venture out into the great savanna in search as food.

  • Visit near Maasai homestead and experience the Maasai(women, men and children) the milk and manage their livestock
  • Story telling by the fireplace
  • If you are courageous accompany at the Maasai Morans at night as they move from village to village they dance and perform traditional performances after a long day of tending the livestock.
  • Rock climbing
  • Maasa warrior training
  • Watch and join the Maasai warrior Wrestling on the dry river beds full of sands
  • Visit a school and interact with Maasai kids- share you talent and skills with them
  • Learn traditional Maasai herbal medicine
  • Visit and spend a night in a luxurious Maasai community lodge or tented camp

Sample Itinerary : Laikipia

Day 1: arrival and transfer to Twala women cultural village and campsite in Laikipia

Day 2: walking with the baboon as guided by the experience baboon research assistants.

Day 3: Walking with the Maasai cattle accompanied by the Maasai warriors

Day 4: Rock climbing/traditional sports such as wrestling on the sands in a dry river bed

Day 5: explore the rangelands/savannas and try rock climbing

Day 6: Il motiok women bandas/ Fishing on the banks of Ewuaso river

Day 7: Water rafting, bird watching and swimming

Day 8: game drive in Naibunga community conservation areas

Day 9- 10: Yaaku peoples experience

Day 11- 13: Il ngwesi conservation areas/wild life safaris/ night game drives

Day 14: depart to Nairobi.

Note that this programme can be tailored to suit your time and budget.

You can combine this unique experience with camel treks, wild life safaris, Bush wise camping, community volunteers work and cultural excursions.

Kindly Note that to ensure you safety and continuity of this eco tourism activity there are safety guidelines that strictly apply for this activity. This guidelines touches on Dress code, photography, interaction with the baboons and feeding. You are also required to sign a Release Form stating that you are fully responsible of your health and safety dirung the Trip/safari.

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