Ilparakuo (meaning nomads in the local Maa language) is a Maasai owned Eco Camp, set on a hillside close to the Siana Plains, in the heart of Maasailand not far from Kenya's world famous safari destination: the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Set up by the elders of the Labentera community, under the leadership of Moses Parmari Ole Letoluo, the guidance of Willetts Safaris and the support of a UK Charity, developmentDirect, the camp provides intimate contact with the wildlife, people and culture for its visitors and much needed revenue for the local community.

For generations the local people have lived in harmony with their environment and the wildlife that makes the areas so famous worldwide. Tolerance of the wild animals that share their land is linked to a semi-nomadic, pastoralist lifestyle. This way of life and the reluctance to change has been key to preserving a culture that has made the Maasai people one of the most iconic and recognisable tribes in East Africa.

The camp is not far from the main road into the Maasai Mara, although most people travelling this route are in too much of a rush to properly appreciate the land they are passing through. Staying at the camp allows our guests to take part in a number of activities that are not readily available further south in the Mara itself. These activities provide authentic contact with the local people and their culture and the opportunity to experience life in the wild, well away from the pressures of mass tourism.

The first day's cycling has been planned so we arrive at Ilparakuo in time for lunch and have a few hours in the afternoon to enjoy our surroundings. The area around the camp is rich in wildlife and it is not unusual to see elephant, giraffe, zebra and herds of antelope whilst relaxing in camp. At night lion, leopard and hyena often make their presence heard and test the vigilance of the guards by coming very close to the camp.

The camp is located on the slopes of Labentera Hill, where it catches cool breezes and commands stunning, panoramic views over the surrounding countryside. The camp has a toilet, shower, kitchen and a lounge/dining area all made using locally sourced, natural materials and using traditional building techniques. The camp has been developed to provide all of the necessary comforts of life whilst having as little impact as possible on the surrounding environment.

Apart from just relaxing and enjoying the great views from the camp people have the option of going on guided bush walks in the surrounding area, climbing Labentera Hill to watch the sunset or visiting the local village.

On the following day we travel 45 kilometres to our new camp at Entargotua. This is the hardest of the cycling days for although the distance doesn't appear to be that great the route involves a number of long climbs and the road surface means there is little relief even when on the flat. It is however, a spectacular journey, as we head past Naikara and on through the Loita Hills, an area that sees very few overseas visitors and seeing anybody on a bike is a bit of a novelty.

The cycling is a tough six to seven hours which means, even with an early start, the last section involves cycling during the midday heat but at least the last section is across a high plateau with stunning views south towards the Tanzanian border.

Our support vehicles and staff pack up camp at Ilparakuo and meet the cyclists for lunch before then moving on to set up camp at Entargotua, so it is possible for people to cut short their day in the saddle if they are finding the going too tough.