Immersive tours or travels are tours that give you a chance to experience the village life in its entirety by embedding you in the destinations’ culture rather than viewing such destinations online. You get to know people who live there, learn their language, share meals, learn their culture and maybe participate in local activities.
An immersive village tour can range from an afternoon visit and catch up with the locals or a homestay. You can visit a local village in Samburu and stay there for a week while learning from their rich culture and help in other things like herding of cows. International tourists need a guide to visit such places and so do locals who do not know the village they are visiting.
Here are some of the things you need to know when going for an immersive village tour in Kenya
1. Buy Local
If you have ever wanted to buy local artefacts, this is usually the best time to do so. Buy such things from the local people even though it might have a small markup. At least here, you will be eliminating the middlemen and directly enriching the community. Buy them as they will act as souvenirs to remind you of this trip.
2. Tip Away
If for example you visit a Maasai village and a person asks to dance with you, and even dress you up in their regalia, then it will be prudent to tip them if you have some loose change. Make sure you don’t tip them openly so as not to wreak havoc among the locals in an otherwise peaceful and enriching activity, just do it discretely.
3. Play It Safe
Though most of the people you will be visiting will be forgiving and accommodating of touristic attire such as short shorts and tiny shoulder bearing tops, try wearing something modest so that the locals may not feel that you are insulting their hospitality and culture. Better still, have a Maasai leso or Kanga to cover up in case you are asked to join in one of their dances.
4. Don’t Take Photos Anyhow
Don’t take photos of anyone unless they give you consent to do so. Locals don’t like strangers taking their photos anyhow. You can even seek permission from the local elder or chief to take photos of the area in general. That way it won’t make locals uneasy with you.
5. Help In Local Activities
If you choose to a homestay, then you will need to help your host in doing house chores and other activities like say herding cows, digging in the shamba, fetching water, cleaning dishes if you wish to and even cleaning the house. Such way your host feels you are of use even though you will pay them or tip them.