Couples can organize to have a blessing ceremony to celebrate their union or married couples may choose to renew their vows. These types of event can take place in a choice of beautiful locations and with very little paperwork, though no official certificates are supplied. Meals are included in the accommodation cost however special requests are tailor made and charged separately.
Samburu, in scenic and romantic Northern Kenya, is the perfect place if you want to be part of an unusual but very genuine African and Kenyan wedding ceremony. The experience can be enjoyed either by newlyweds who want to re-affirm their vows in the middle of a very spiritual land or by those who plan to actually get married in Kenya. We have bush breakfast at the lodge, overlooking Kalama Conservancy and one of the wildest and remotest areas in Kenya – then we game drive towards Kiltiman, a Samburu settlement at the heart of the conservancy where people still live in very traditional way.
At about 11 AM we stop at a Boma. It’s a traditional construction with a painted-decorated Samburu hut in the middle, surrounded by dry tree branches – to form a circle for the cattle. At the entrance 10 Samburu warriors in full regalia welcome the bride and groom who enter the Boma walking through a gallery of spears, while the warriors sing their deep moving songs.
The guests watch the warriors, while a group of about 20 beautiful women sing and dance as well. Warriors and women follow different musical styles, but the two songs mix very well. It’s the moment when the bride and groom realize that this is a wedding ceremony for them. The elders meet them, shake hands and the Saruni guides – Samburu ex warriors themselves – stay at the side of the guests to accompany them through the ceremony. After a few songs, the elders of the Saruni area – who wear the traditional skins – get to the centre of the stage and bless the bride and groom on their forehead with a mix of blood and milk. The leader of the men gives the groom a beaded stick that symbolizes authority, the leader of the women gives the bride a dress and a beaded collar.