Walking the Maasai Way was the first of our charity expeditions and starts by the main road from Ewaso Ngiro to Sekanani, where the groups first meet their Maasai guides and then walk across the flat, dry plains to Maji Moto and on to the base of the Loita Hills for the first night. The name “Maji Moto” crops up across much of East Africa’s Rift Valley. In Kiswahili it translates literally as “hot water” (maji – water, moto – hot) and here it refers to the natural, hot springs that provide water for the local community.

The first campsite is a few miles from the hot springs, at the foot of the Loita Hills. In the early evening it is normally possible to visit the hot springs which, as well as providing water for drinking, are used for communal bathing. Two areas, close to the source, are set aside for washing: one for men, the other for women. You will be welcome to join the locals and use these natural baths to soak away the day’s dust. Sitting in the hot water under the African night and washing away the day’s dust is a unique and surreal experience.

From Maji Moto the route skirts the edge of the hills, crossing dry thornbush country to overnight on the plains by Tepeshwa Camp before moving on, through rolling hill country via Ndorobo Hill, to the hillside village of Labentera and the camp at Ilparakuo.

The first three days are spent walking across rolling savannah, grasslands, light bush and rocky slopes. The weather is normally dry and hot with daytime temperatures rising to the mid thirties Celsius and people will need to drink 2-3 litres of water each day, while they are walking. At night the temperature drops significantly and most people find they need to wear a jumper or fleece in the early mornings and evenings. In this area the ground is very hard and it is comparable with spending the days walking on concrete and many people suffer from sore feet and blisters.

From Labentera groups are transported by vehicle, for about 3 hours, to Olorte, a very remote area close to the Tanzanian border, and the camp at Olkoroi by the Olkeju Arus River at around 6,000 feet. In this remote area there are herds of elephant and buffalo in the well-watered mountain forests as well as a very rare pack of African Wild Dogs.

Olkoroi Camp, close to thick forest and clear mountain streams, is an eco-camp that has been set up by the local community and is set on the edge of the Naimena-Engiyio (Forest of the Lost Child).  This is a mystical place in local folklore and walking through this forest follows ancient elephant paths, past clear mountain streams, with trees full of colourful and noisy birdlife.

The terrain, thick forest and the presence of large number of dangerous animals mean groups here need to be much smaller and move much more slowly as we spend the following two days walking through thick forests up to more open, high ground at around 7,500 feet. From this high plateau there are outstanding views across to Lakes Magadi and Natron and the mountains of Kilimanjaro and Ol Donyo Lengai.

We have the option of staying at Olkoroi Camp or spending the last two days unsupported with people carrying all they need for the two days, camping overnight under the stars and taking it in turns to keep watch through the night. If numbers are such that we need to split groups the groups follow different walking routes, meeting up for the night, before heading off in separate directions the following day. 

   Distance Time   Overnight
 Day 1     Nairobi
 Day 2 10-12 km 3-4 hours  Iltalala
 Day 3 15-18 km 6-7 hours  Tepeshwa Camp 
 Day 4 15-18 km 6-7 hours  Ilparakuo Camp 
 Day 5 Road Transfer  3 hours  Olkoroi Camp 
 Day 6 20 km 5-6 hours Enchorro Naibor
 Day 7 20 km 5-6 hours  Olkoroi Camp 
 Day 8