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Slow, simple, wonderful: the Wall Street Journal walks Tanzania’s Maasai Steppe

By | Thursday, 1st December, 2016

I’m reasonably slow of the mark on this one, but delighted to see Sophy Roberts’s trip to the Maasai Steppe making front-page news in October’s Wall Street Journal’s Off Duty.

Sophy travelled with Dorobo Safaris, a family-run outfit headed up by the Peterson brothers. I mention it not because Journeys by Design was responsible for organising Sophy’s trip, but rather because I’m a huge fan of the type of walking safari Dorobo promotes: its real, it’s hugely adventurous, and it’s always conservationist-centred, its mission being to ensure that travellers get to properly meet the local communities upon which the survival of the ecosystems largely depend.

Without spoiling your read, this is exactly the kind of safari Sophy experienced. Hosted by Mika Peterson and by Maasai guides, she spent two days walking one of Tanzania’s wildest and least visited wildernesses. It’s a fantastic read, and includes a great deal about what it is to set and strike camp in the wild, about the wilderness, and about, in particular, the ‘sense of discovery’ that the walking safari allows for.

Indeed, what comes over in the piece is the value of Dorobo’s championing of the slowness of pace of the walking safari – that and the importance of keeping things simple. In a world in which technology grants us the ability to fill time with more things than we can possibly cope with, walking northern Tanzania, the ground beneath our boots, is an extraordinary tonic, and one, in the hands of the likes of Dorobo, that is as authentic as it is doable.

As said, I’m delighted we got Sophy out there – and that the Dorobo cat is now firmly out of the bag.