Maasai vs Wildlife (Nat Geo Article)

Old Apr 15th, 2006, 05:39 AM
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I had not noticed when you first posted that you did not want to get involved in a discussion--my Qs are not directed at you per se, just open Qs. We do appreciate your observations.

cybor. Interesting how different safaris produce different results.

We did not eat dinner with our first guide and I really did not give it a thought--frankly after spending all day with us, I am not sure he wanted to be with us through dinner. Otherwise he would have had no private time.

Our first night on safari was the Serena crater and he seemed to just want to make arrangements about what time to get together in the am. We asked if he wanted to get a drink and he said no--we took the answer at face value but maybe he knew that it was frowned on.

Next night he drove back to Arusha for a vehicle switch, the next 4 nights were in camps owned by his company where all the guides were also from his own company. So we never saw any "rejection" of him.

When we switched to Nomad, their whole system was different--2 game drives with "down" time in the afternoon. Guides gathered with you around the cocktail camp fire and stayed for dinner--it was the norm. SO I thought it was two different styles of safari-ing.
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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 07:12 AM
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I just wanted to add that I had a different experience with Serena and my guide.

On our final night, Alexsandra and I wanted to dine with our Nomad guide, and invited him to dinner at Mbuzi Mawe (a Serena property). There was no resistance from the staff/management and we were treated no better or worse than during prior meals.

I was expecting to be charged for his meal and beverages, but there was no charge.

Also, it is worth adding that while at Crater Lodge, there was a Micato group of six guests and their guide ate dinner with them in the very posh restaurant. No problems whatsoever.

Out of all the properties I visited, the only white manager or guide was at Tarangire Tree Tops, where there was a white Zim manager and his (white) wife was co-manager.
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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 08:39 AM
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I think the trouble with GR is that they behave like theyíve bought a plot to put up a wilderness theme park. For their guests they want some chintz covered colonial set up á la after the rinderpest and smallpox epidemics Ė not a sight of people or cattle. White guides are part of the package. And they actually want to move the village of Robanda to achieve this. Similar Ė and worse - things have been done before and I think people who care should try to keep their eyes open to what is happening, though itís not that easy to get information. As they seem to be very serious in their conservation efforts Ė plans to reintroduce rhinos etc Ė thereís a risk nobody would care if something really bad happened to people there. Itís a good sign though (I hope) that Ikoma Camp, that apparently has a completely different approach to local people (Nat Geo), is doing great (Pixelpower).

Personally Iíve never seen anything of ďrejectionĒ of drivers at lodges and restaurants. The only thing I can think of was an always drunken German woman residing on the Kenyan coast who didnít like it when white men were going out with black Kenyan women and always told them that the women were prostitutes. Though I didnít see this myself.

I fully understand that you donít want to discuss such an impossibly multi-layered issue. More first hand reports are always welcome though.

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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 09:30 AM
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I meant to add earlier that I found the menu comment quite interesting and a good example of the many ways discrimination can be expressed.
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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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Maybe I never finished that trip report because there were too many controversial points in it. I never even got into how we accidentally hired a (n apparent) drug addict to give us a walking tour of Stone Town and he shook us down for a lot of $$!

I've avoided mentioning the less-than-stellar moments, even though I think the information can be helpful, because it can come across as some sort of blanket statement about a particular lodge or city or country or region or...

Basically it was just a milder version of Eben's experience involving us trying to get (and of course be charged for) lunches for our guide for all-day game drives. They acted first as if our guide were trying to scam us and then as if we were trying to scam the lodge. Ridiculous. Of course, the lodge was less than a well-oiled machine and when we checked out we were grossly UNDERcharged for everything, including the highly controversial lunches. I had to tell them, "Oh, you didn't charge us for this and this and this," etc.

Most of the staff was very nice and accommodating, however.
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