Here in camp we have a very interesting friend who occasionally comes to visit us; a strange old man who lives in a cave in the Chyulu Hills. His name is Mambo, and although we don’t know his exact age we are sure he is over 78 years old. When he was a young murran he decided to go and live in the bush, and has been there ever since.
Mambo never got married and so he has no family of his own. He is a specialist in herbal medicines, and he brings plenty of them to us and to others in the local area when he comes to visit. He barters with people for food and water and occasionally for money when he wants to buy some local brew, and in return he gives them his herbal medicines, which he makes from plants, roots, leaves and bark. He has different medicines for all sorts of different conditions: stomach pain, coughs, colds, diarrhoea, back aches…
Mambo never used to eat farm produce; instead he used to hunt or feed on the leftovers of lions when they had made a kill. He has even told us that he once cut a steak from an eland when a lion was feeding from it!
Mambo is almost like an honorary Lion Guardian because whenever he visits us he delivers the latest information about lions he has seen or heard, or tracks he has found. In return we give him some food; he is getting old so he cannot hunt anymore. People have been offering him food and shelter, but he doesn’t want to come and live like other people. He prefers his own lifestyle. Have you ever met such an interesting character!?