When it comes to shoes, we aim for practicality over swagger at Siwandu. Safety shoes for the chefs, sandals for the housekeepers (easy to take off before entering a room) and safari boots for our guides. We also encourage our guests to wear on their feet whatever is comfortable. The Siwandu Maasai, however, take practicality one step further (excuse the pun) and when we ordered uniforms for our staff at the start of the season, Saitoti, Rapoi, Yona and Petro ordered motorcycle tyres…

Practical, durable and you can get plenty of pairs from one tyre!

Tyre-shoes, also known as Kata mbuga which roughly translates as “hit the bush without worries”, are popular among the Maasai not only because of their strength and durability but also for the protection it provides against the spiky Acacia thorns that can easily penetrate softer soles. Decorated with beads and worn without socks, they are the perfect and most practical fashion accessory for life in the bush. It’s no wonder they can jump so high!

The traditional Maasai ritual of jumping while maintaining a narrow posture