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Travel Notes – January, 2015


Karibu (welcome) to thoughts and images from cultural expeditions with Susan Deslaurier and Nariku Travel Experiences.

Breakfast with a giraffe, watching recycled flip flops turned into art, tucking a baby elephant into bed…just another delightful day in Nairobi before heading out on safari! A journey to Africa is a big deal—satisfying a life dream, venturing into unfamiliar surroundings, flying all that way! So we take our job of making it very special very seriously (as serious as you can be with a baby elephant in a bedtime blanket). That’s why with us you’re not just clicking through a website to book a trip, or traipsing along in a big group through the usual places. We plan together for what your heart and mind hold as the ideal experience. Then, with our best plan in place, we let Africa happen within the comfort and safety of knowing you’re being taken care of at every step along the way.


New Look for our New Name

We introduced a new name and logo this year, becoming Nariku Travel Experiences. Nariku is the name given to Susan by a Maasai medicine woman in Kenya in 2007. It means a person who goes forth in advance of others to see what is there, and comes back to lead people to good things. This reflects our commitment to bridging cultures around the world to support understanding of ourselves and the world around us. And now, we have a new website to go with the new name, ready for you to check out at (click refresh to update).


Maji Moto Featured in Lonely Planet

New York Times writer and photographer, Michael Benanav, visited Salaton Ole Ntutu at his Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp and had this to say about one feature of the camp: “Maasai warriors live in the wilderness for long periods of time. Salaton invites guests to see what this is like, sleeping in the bush away from the camp and, for dinner, slaughtering a goat or sheep and roasting it over a fire. As night falls, there is singing and dancing accompanied by the consumption of plenty of local home brew (made from fermented honey and aloe plants).” This bush experience is called “Olpul” and is a highlight for our guests, sleeping under the stars on a bed of sage leaves.

Read more about Michael’s experience and see his wonderful photos in the Kenya Section of Lonely Planet.


Travelers Doing Good

In addition to the 5% of every tour that goes toward community project support, some travelers donate their time and money to particular projects.

Community Health

Our 2014 medical volunteers traveled from Nairobi slums to Lake Victoria villages to Maasai bush lands to support health care delivery in Kenya where there are more than 10,000 people per physician. These annual medical trips are an amazing opportunity to blend volunteerism with cultural immersion, clinical observation and of course a bit of wildlife safari.

Education & Conservation

A high school student from Santa Fe, Madeleine, raised $9000 for Maji Moto Projects after being inspired by Salaton’s presentation at her school. Through yard sales, bake sales, and tea events, Madeleine first raised $4000 to furnish a 6th grade classroom, and then raised $5000 for a beekeeping program in the Widow’s Village so that the women can sell honey locally to support themselves and their children. The beekeeping project also promotes woodlands pollination as part of Maji Moto conservation efforts. Madeleine traveled to Kenya with us in 2014, to see the great results of her work in leading people in her community to make a difference in the world.


There’s still time to plan a 2015 Safari!

Ready to join us for an amazing adventure? The Great Migration, white water rafting in Samburu, elephant conservation in Tsavo, Maasai warrior training, climb Kilimanjaro or Mt. Kenya… there’s an endless list of ideas. Contact Susan to plot the course for your dream journey.


Salaton Visit in February

Salaton Ole Ntutu returns to the San Francisco Bay Area in February, sharing stories and inspirations from his life as a Maasai chief, shaman and community change leader. Salaton and I work closely together to bring cultural experiences to travelers and support health, education, conservation and cultural preservation projects. Salaton’s Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp and the projects he and others lead in his community were featured in the New York Times travel section and in the Lonely Planet Kenya web page.

We hope to see you at one of Salaton’s public events where he will engage in conversations about his traditional Maasai life from childhood, through warriorship, into his present role as a visionary leader bridging world cultures. To schedule an event or personal healing and blessing session, contact Susan Deslaurier, at or 925-518-3686.


Safari njema (safe travels),