The rest of the trip will be in a vast tract of land in Southern Kenya that is occupied almost exclusively by the Maasai people and includes one of the world’s premier game-viewing safari destinations, the Maasai Mara, where vast numbers of wild animals still roam freely including the “Big Five” lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino and the people still live lives that have remained largely unchanged for generations.

Before staying in the Maasai Mara Reserve itself the group will be spending their time as guests of two different communities, the Maji Moto and Siana Plains Maasai. John Blissett's association with these communities goes back many years and he has been given the local name of Nderekeyia and is an elder of the Lebentera community. This association and the fact that all of the support staff are local means that while the group is in this area they effectively become part of the family and will be afforded the same rights and protection as would be given to any member of the tribe. There is very little crime or trouble in Maasailand as the area is strictly controlled by the tribal elders and a long tradition of respect for their rulings.

From Naivasha the group will drive up and over the edge of the Mau mountain range before dropping back down into the the Rift Valley to the bustling township of Narok, the capital of Maasailand, and then on to the village of Maji Moto in an area of hot, dry, dusty and windy open plains of scattered thornbush at the base of the Loita Hills. Close by are the hot springs that give the village its name – in Kiswahili Maji Moto literally translates as “hot water”. The springs are a constant source of clean water for the local people and their animals.

We will be splitting the group up at this stage and staying in three different locations. This means we will be able to keep the group sizes down so everyone can enjoy a real bush experience. Each group will rotate through the different camps and take part in the same activities but on different days.

The first campsite of Iltalala is a few miles from the hot springs, at the foot of the Loita Hills. This area is home to one of Willetts Safaris main guides, Nickson Merku, who will introduce the group to his community. The group will arrive in time to meet with the people of the village and visit one of the local schools and find out what life is like for students in Maasailand.

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. Needless to say, in a male dominated society, the men’s area is upstream of the women’s! You will be welcome to join the locals and use these natural baths to soak away the day’s dust. Be aware that this communal bathing is done in the nude which is partly why we tend to use the baths in the early evenings. However, if you feel it necessary, wearing swimming costumes is acceptable. Sitting in the hot water under the African night and washing away the day’s dust is a unique and surreal experience.

After dinner we sometimes have the option of taking people on a night game drive. Night drives are rarely available and we are lucky to have the community’s permission to do this. As well as seeing many of the animals that are around during the day, a night drive provides the opportunity to see a wide range of wildlife that only emerges after dark. Bushbabies, spring hare, aardvark, aardwolf, white-tailed mongoose, civet, genet and wild cats are all possibilities.