Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Travel -

be­cause, as be­fits their tra­di­tions, he has killed a lion. My sons were suit­ably im­pressed.

How­ever, we were told the Government ini­tia­tives mean they of­fer money now to de­ter the tra­di­tion, though the Ma­sai do have a right to pro­tect them­selves.

As we en­tered the nearby vil­lage of Ol­tukai, I felt as if I was in an­other world. A cir­cle of 10 huts – many­at­tas – built by the tribe’s women from branches and cow dung en­cir­cled a cat­tle pen where their pre­cious herds of cows and goats are kept at night, se­cured by a thicket fence.

Ten fam­i­lies to­talling 40 peo­ple live here. Le­nard, 17, showed us round ex­plain­ing how he wakes at 5am, tends to his fam­ily’s herd, has break­fast and walks 7km to school – for which his fam­ily has to pay about £30 a term.

My son Fin­lay asked him what he wanted to do when he left school. “Work in com­put­ers,” he said. “Do you have them at school?” Fin asked.

The 800-pupil school is roughly the same size as the one my sons at­tend, which has dozens of com­put­ers they ac­cess daily. Le­nard told them his school had one com­puter – do­nated by an

Imag­ine Africa is a spe­cial­ist in lux­ury sa­fari ho­tels. As well as Kenya, it of­fers trips to more than a dozen des­ti­na­tions in­clud­ing Botswana, Mada­gas­car, South Africa, Uganda and Zam­bia.

For more in­for­ma­tion on lat­est deals call 0207 622 5114 or on­line at www. imag­ English cou­ple – and had no in­ter­net. My sons were speech­less.

Like most chil­dren in the UK, they seem to have ev­ery gad­get go­ing and hear­ing about Le­nard’s daily life was a true ed­u­ca­tion for them.

Af­ter five days of sa­fari, we were ready for some R&R and booked five days at the Pinewood Beach Ho­tel, Diani Beach, near Mom­basa.

The three-hour bus jour­ney from Tsavo to the ho­tel was again an ed­u­ca­tion. We must have passed 500 high-tech lor­ries, all parked up and be­ing washed while feet away are shanty vil­lages and women car­ry­ing water on their head.

The ho­tel was per­fect for us to rest our bones. Spot­lessly clean and small enough for the boys to freely wan­der about with the pals they soon made.

Hav­ing a suite meant we could have a per­sonal chef to cook us a three-course din­ner. We chose what we wanted – from a wide range of dishes – and what time we wanted to eat. He duly ar­rived and the four of us ate out­side on the ve­randa.

One morn­ing, the boys and I got a taxi to a nearby shop­ping cen­tre – 12 newly­built shops. On the way there we passed a woman sat on the stony ground us­ing a lump ham­mer to knock large pieces of rock into peb­ble-size stones for build­ing walls.

“She does a large lorry load in a month and gets £58 – and she runs a shop,” our taxi driver told us. I pledged to my­self never to moan about how hard life is in the UK again.

As we were taken to Mom­basa Air­port to be­gin the jour­ney home, our Imag­ine Africa travel rep re­peated what many Kenyans had said to us: “Come back soon, we need your sup­port and hope you have en­joyed our coun­try.” We flew home won­der­ing how we could top such a hol­i­day. I be­lieve my chil­dren had learnt more from our stay in Kenya than a year in the class­room.

UN­FOR­GET­TABLE EX­PE­RI­ENCE: Joshua, a Ma­sai war­rior, with young vil­lage chil­dren and their cat­tle and goats. Top, a gi­raffe crosses the road in the Tsavo Na­tional Park. Above, Fin­lay with a Ma­sai girl out­side a many­atta hut in the vil­lage of Ol­tukai.

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