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 area 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.

We should 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. Recently we were fortunate enough to see cheetah when we were walking in the area.

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.

During our stay at Labentera we will take you on a variety of bush walks to experience some of the area's wildlife as well as learning more about the Maasai and the tribe's use of local plants. A visit to the village will also provide further insight into the Maasai culture and ancient way of life.

Once a week the nearby town of Ngoswani holds one of the biggest cattle markets in the region, when people bring their cattle to sell to traders from Nairobi. Sometimes people will walk their herds for days through the bush to reach the market. It is a colourful event and we have planned the itinerary so the group can visit the market during one of the walks.

On the following day we travel 45 kilometres to our next camp at Entargotua. This is a spectacular journey, as we head past Naikara and on through the Loita Hills, an area that sees very few overseas visitors and seeing another vehicle is a bit of a novelty.