Justus is a Maasai, born in a Maasai village in Kenya. The Maasai people are notably known for their beautiful red robes that drape majestically over their warrior lean, tall frames. They are a nomadic tribe that have been apart of the African landscape as far back as the 15th century. Maasais are amazing people - their philosophy is that people should live in balance with the life around them, by respecting it and protecting it. They do not believe in killing any of the animals around them for food. They survive on their cattle herds, which produces milk for their people. As Kenya turned more towards land conservation, many young Maasais like Justus have transitioned their skills to supporting the tourism industry. For many years, Justus was a safari guide - something he did incredibly well and with much passion and knowledge.
After a terrible drout in 2017, many safaris shut down, including the one that Justus used to work for. He is an amazing guide, as he knows the Maasai Mara reserve in Kenya like the back of his hand; it's the northern tip of the Serengeti ecosystem and his ancestors have roamed this land for many generations. The Maasai Mara reserve in Kenya is about the size of Manhattan. And during my safari trip, he found us 1 of only 4 white rhinos left in the Maasai Mara - it was truly unbelievable and unforgettable. As you may have heard, the last male northern white rhino has died a few weeks ago at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya .
We saw so many amazing animals, including majestic lions, graceful giraffes, herds of elephants and plumed ostriches... the experience was spectacular. Justus is like a roaming encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to wildlife, plants and ecosystem of the Savannah.
I would like to help Justus start his own safari business.
The most costly expense is the safari land cruiser vehicle. When we were on safari with Justus, our safari van broke down during my last day on the safari. The engine blew up with a ear deafening sound and thick black plumes of smoke filled the air like a raging fire. The Maasai Mara security teams came cruising over in their 4x4s and attack rifles ready to battle poachers they thought were in the reserve. This is why a reliable safari land cruiser can make or break a safari business.
With it, we can start booking safaris immediately. We have the entire safari plan built out and it is the most amazing way to experience Africa for the first time.
But a safari would not be complete without also visiting a Maasai village. The Maasai women build the mud huts for their families, while others craft the most beautiful beaded jewelry to sell to tourists. The Maasai medicine man will also show you how easily it is to start a fire from a twig and some dry grass.
Your funding will help Justus become an entrepreneur and continue providing his amazing safari adventures. He will be able to see his family more often and provide his children with opportunities to make an impact in their country.
Justus generally works in Nairobi in customer service, but it's the safaris that allow him to visit his 4 children (ages 2weeks to 6yrs) - Tinina, Kolian, Leshan, Topoika - who live about 30km away from the main entrance of the Maasai Mara Reserve. I had the wonderful chance to have lunch with Justus and see the joy on his son's face when his dad was passing through for a brief visit. It's the joy of any child's face who hasn't seen a parent in over a month.
I would like to see more Kenyan natives run their own businesses; as most safaris are run by foreigners that employ locals for all the arduous work. Justus is one of the best safari guides I have ever had the pleasure to meet, he knows every animal in the Maasai Mara and he takes you on beautiful views of the northern Serengeti.
I hope that you will help fund this initiative and we will welcome you to Justus's safari when it is up and running. Any contribution, regardless of amount, can make a difference! Our goal is to raise enough for a used Land Cruiser by the end of April. We are currently working on our website www.zafarie.com - we hope to have it fully up and running by May of 2018!
Bless you for you contribution.
- Ariane Erickson
- Gina Giró
- Anke Fachmann
- Theresa Manteiga
- Ariane Erickson
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