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Pure Destinations Tours and Safaris

Children are beneficiaries of the Charity
Children are beneficiaries of the Charity

The director of Pure Destinations Tours and Safaris is Nelson Reiyia. Mr. Reiyia is also the founder of I SEE MAASAI DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE (a charity foundation to promote the welfare of the Maasai people).

Born in 1974 in a remote village next to the Maasai Mara Game Resort, Mr. Reiyia's whose father had three wives and twenty four children (not a high number for Maasai standards), was the luckiest of the children. This good fortune came as a result of Nelson getting a rare chance of going to school though his father had other ideas for sending him to school. Being the son of the least favored wife (Entinki), there could have been no better way to punish her than to send her first born son to receive some strange 'foreign' knowledge, quite alien to the Masaai way of living! Going to school for Nelson was a daunting task since the only school in the whole areas was 10 Km away from the village! The young lad had to therefore walk a distance of about 20 Km to school daily and return home every evening.

Maasai Girls at a Celebration
Maasai Girls at a Celebration

Many are the times when Nelson could not make it to school or back home because of wild animals blocking the way or because the river crossings were flooded. Despite these odds Nelson never gave up and actually took it at all as an adventure. Nelson Reiya joined a boarding high school after primary school and later enrolled in a college of tourism and Hospitality management. Having a great passion for Tourism and Hospitality his choice of a career was influenced by growing up in the Masaai Mara, the epicentre of Tourism in Kenya. Nelson later worked in several colleges in Nairobi as a lecturer of Hospitality management and tourism.

Nelson and a felow moran in an earlier photo
Nelson and a felow moran in an earlier photo

After six years Nelson stopped teaching to join the Hotel industry in the capacity of hotel general manager. He was instrumental in reviving the once collapsed Grand Holiday Hotel in the Central Business District of Nairobi turning this establishment into a modern, comfortable and high standard Hotel. Nelson's passion to excel in the tourism and Hospitality industry motivated him to establish Pure Destinations Tours and Safaris. This company is unique in that it has a high sense of social responsibility. We believe in giving back to society what we owe it. This company is supporting a charity organization in Maasai Mara, the I SEE MAASAI DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE whose goal is to help improve the standards of living among the Maasai people of Sekenani in Masaai Mara.

The Maasai people who reside around the Maasai Mara have many unique problems compared to other Maasai from different areas of Maasai-land. First it should be noted that they benefit in a very little way from the tourism revenues from the Mara. They were pushed out of their prime lands to create the majestic Mara into less attractive areas in terms of economic viability . To aggravate their already desolate situation many unplanned and haphazard tourist lodges and Camps have been built along the streams and rivers which the residents depend on for water both for themselves and their livestock and this has led to an escalation in water borne diseases among the people and an increase in the wildlife/human conflict.

Children are playing at the school
Children are playing at the school

The other major problem affecting the Mara Maasai is the high illiteracy levels. The number of primary schools are few and there is not even one secondary school in the whole area! As such, it’s hard for the local Maasai young people to find employment in the tourist lodges and camps around the Mara due to lack of education and skills to work in such establishments. Because of the low levels of education, people in this area still practice retrogressive cultural activities such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage of young girls.

Young girls are often not send to school and the few that attend school rarely complete it as their parents pluck them out to be given out for marriage. There are also major Health problems as there are no medical facilities in the area and people are not well informed about HIV –AIDS. I SEE MAASAI DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE is supported by well wishers and it’s currently sourcing for funds to start a community project at Sekenani area of Maasai Mara.

Maasai Elders
Maasai Elders

The community has donated 20 hectares of land for this project. We are planning to set up a children’s home for orphaned Maasai children and those from very poor families so to give the young children a good chance in life. We also intend to start a charity clinic to provide medical services to the the local people who often have to travel for many kilometers to Narok town to seek medical services. The situation normally gets worse in the event of a medical emergency. To boost our people knowledge and enhance their capacity, we plan to establish a Tourism and Hospitality training centre where young Maasai people of Maasai Mara can be trained on the aspects of tourism and hospitality. This will equip them with skills to enable them to gain meaningful employment in the game lodges that dot the Mara. We also plan to start a small resort styled in the concept of a Maasai village and themed to reflect the aspects of the Maasai culture.


The tourist facility will be the main revenue generating centre for our charity project the I SEE MAASAI DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE. This establishment also plans to help in the following areas; -

  • Raising awareness on HIV AIDS among the Maasai of Maasai Mara.
  • Educating the community to discard retrogressive cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early marriages for young girls.
  • Enviromental conservation and protection and eco-tourism related initiatives.
  • Drilling of bore holes


Below are some articles on the internet written on the work being done through I SEE MAASAI DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE and Pure Destination Tours and Safaris:


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Contents update last at 27.12.2007