Extraordinary Journeys has announced the release of its latest cultural travel experience, an opportunity to attend the biennial Maasai Olympics in Kenya.
The Maasai Olympic games began as a conservation-focused alternative to the traditional rite of passage into manhood, which required the hunting of lion. In 2012, Maasai elders from the Amboseli/Chyulu/Tsavo region pioneered the Maasai Olympics to redirect the lion-hunting tradition toward wildlife and habitat conservation. The event became a resounding success, and now men and women gather on the plains in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro to compete in events that showcase athletic endurance, skill and strategy. It has become an important event on the Kenyan social calendar, with colorful decorations, dancing and general festivity, making this a showcase for Maasai culture in transition.
Maasai warriors participate in sporting events, including track, spear-throwing, rungu-throwing (a symbolic wooden club) and traditional Maasai high jump (the most recognizable ritual, "the jumping dance," of this culture). Once the teams are ready to compete, six regional competitions are held, from July through October, culminating in the Olympics Day final in December. Each of these teams represents a different manyatta (village), and they compete in front of friends and family, international media, celebrities, government officials and a select group of travelers.
Taking place Dec. 15, the Maasai Olympics takes center stage in Extraordinary Journeys' newest fixed-departure itinerary, which will feature a three- or four-night stay at the intimate Great Plains Ol Donyo Lodge (Relais & Chateaux). The new limited-space itinerary is done in partnership with Great Plains Conservation and will take place between Dec. 13 and 17.
Pricing for the Maasai Olympics itinerary starts at $2,930 per person, and space is extremely limited. For additional details and to book, call (212) 226-7331 or email [email protected].