Today we started the walk down from the high Loita Hills towards the Mara itself. And a long walk it was too, but through varied and beautiful scenery that saw us start in the shade of old rainforest trees, quickly enter open acacia woodland, pass by a riverbank salt lick with hundreds of cattle and Maasai by day and buffalo and elephant by night. We then crossed some open grasslands and clamber up a steep hill in the blazing sun to find ourselves on a high, cold plateau of tightly cropped grasses, remote Maasai manyattas, herds of cattle and wildlife. Lots of wildlife. Wildebeest, zebra, impala and more.
My guides had thought we might be hungry by the end of this nine hour walking day so when we’d past through a small village with its weekly market had purchased a sheep for a barbeque Maasai style (but as with all good barbeques it started raining just as we lit the fire…).
So here then is a rough guide to a Maasai barbeque.
Firstly, purchase a live sheep from market. Don’t pay more than Ksh3000 (€28). Tie sheeps legs together. Throw on back seat of supply jeep. Let it be sick in my shoe (you can substitute my shoe for anyone elses shoe if need be).
Make a bed of leaves. Suffocate sheep by holding its mouth shut and your hand over its nose. Do not spill any blood of the sheep.
Once sheep is definitely dead you can slit its throat (do make sure sheep is properly dead though otherwise it will try and run away at this stage as we discovered). Catch all blood in a jug and save to use later when you will mix it with fat and innards of the sheep and eat it for a picnic the following day. However, a word of advice. If you’re travelling with Stuart he would rather just have a cheese sandwich please.
Skin sheep, eat the fat, kidneys and various other bits raw. Yes raw. Give some to Stuart. Watch him grimace, decide that raw fat tastes like eating a slug and almost vomit it all up again.
Chop sheep up, put some on sticks and place in fire for about 30 seconds until not quite cooked. Eat sheep. Every single last portion of it in one sitting. Think again about that raw fat. Be sick.