The highlight of most Kenya trips is sitting in silence as you watch a lioness stalk her prey or spotting each of the Big Five on the sweeping plains, but while Tony Huddy loved all those amazing experiences, what left him speechless was making friends with the Masai…
“Just inside the Sekenani Gate – the main entrance to the Masai Mara National Park, there is a Masai village. And in that village there is a community hall. And in that hall, there is a pool table. And on that pool table I played the best game of pool that I have ever, and probably will ever, play.
We were waiting for some other members of our group to arrive, so our guide suggested we wait in the hall and he did a basic introduction to the man who worked there. The kind-faced gent picked up a pool cue and pointed to the table. I smiled and nodded, and it was game on. We played one game, and then another, and then another. Sign language was used throughout.
Occasionally someone new would come to the hall and throw down the challenge. Apparently word spread throughout the village. Before long the place was full, and I was having the most fun I have ever had around a pool table. I couldn’t speak a word of Swahili or Masai, and no one there could speak English. But we spoke the universal language of pool – the groan when you narrowly miss a shot, the cheer when you get one in, the embarrassed laugh when you fluke one – these noises are the same regardless of language or culture.
I’m so glad we got to spend time in this village hall, because this was one of my best travel experiences and it definitely made my day!”
Tour Kenya with Intrepid on trips like these great small group adventures:
Kenya Adventure – 8 days
The Masai Heartlands – 15 days
East Africa Wildlife Adventure – 15 days
Kenya Wildlife Adventure – 8 days
Kenya Wildlife Safari – 8 days
Kenya Lodge Safari – 8 days
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* Masai Mara photo by Helen Thorogood – Intrepid Photography Competition