We have developed a number of expeditions for charities to use as part of their fund raising efforts and for people travelling to East Africa who are looking for a bit more of an adventure than is normally the case with more conventional safaris. The expeditions all take place in the heart of Kenya’s Maasailand in an area where Willetts Safaris have been managing safaris for some years. The company’s experience and local contacts have been used to design a number of routes in and around the Loita Hills and include parts of the region that are extremely remote and very rarely visited by people from outside the area.

The idea of developing walking and biking routes through Maasailand to create a charity challenge came about during a conversation about charity challenges in general. The discussion centred on the fact that many challenges have become so popular they have lost much of their appeal and there was a need for something completely different. Coming up with our Maasailand Expeditions we believe we have something that is not only unique but has the added and different challenge of coping with travelling and camping in the wilds, where large animals still roam freely and the people still lead lives largely unaffected by the modern world.

John Blissett and three Maasai guides, Nickson Merku, Moses Ole Letoluo and Cyrus Kereto, with whom John has worked for a number of years, have spent many days and many miles travelling through the country, fording rivers, examining potential campsites and meeting village elders before establishing a number of walking and biking routes through Maasailand.

They have put together a series of walks (1 to 7 days) to suit all abilities that provide interest and variety over open plains, through light thorn-bush, rocky hill slopes and flat salt pans. The walks have also been designed to provide close encounters with a wide range of Kenya’s big game and a more intimate interaction with the birds, insects, reptiles and plant-life than is normally the case on a more conventional, motorised safari.

Although the expeditions have been roughly mapped out they are not fixed and could vary on the day depending on what animals are around, where rivers can be crossed safely, if rain has fallen recently, etc. This means, for at least some of the time, it is likely that people will be walking or cycling over ground that has only been covered by Maasai before.

With increasing pressure from tourist developments, in and around the Mara Reserve, and the growth in agriculture and demarcation of group ranchland, the opportunity to move freely through this wilderness area is one that is likely to disappear altogether within the next few years.