Security in Kenya generally covers two distinct areas - security from people and security from animals. Depending upon where one is determines which is most important. Like much of the developing world, where the majority of the population is living around subsistence level, petty crime is high in the towns and cities.

In Nairobi hotels are contained within fences and access is controlled by security guards who are on day and night. At Baringo and Naivasha the campsite is protected on three sides by high hedges and the fourth by the lake. In Maasailand, when camping, the only real security concerns are to do with the wildlife and local warriors will be employed at night to keep watch over the group and make sure that nothing accidentally blunders through the camp.

Support Crew
At various stages of the trip there will be a number of support staff provided including guides, drivers, cooks, guards, etc. All of these people have been selected based on a number of criteria including their experience and expertise in their particular field, their local knowledge and their long association with Willetts in helping to support similar groups. All of the day staff are used to looking after visitors from the UK and all speak good English even though many of them have never been to school.

Tipping is expected on every safari and you should budget accordingly. Tips should be given at the completion of each stage of the trip and should be done in front of all the staff by one member from your party, who should collect together all the tips from the group to make a single presentation. Willetts can advise on how much this should be.

Accommodation and Food
For most of the trip days will be spent outdoors and the nights in tents. In a climate that is generally conducive to outdoor living, this is no great hardship and is largely how the local people live. In all cases acceptable toilet, washing and shower facilities will be provided although some of these may seem a little strange at first.

Meals normally take the following form. Substantial breakfasts start most days. Lunches are normally relatively light, often sandwiches or a light pasta dish with the main meal of the day being taken in the evenings. Camp cooking in Kenya is very sophisticated and people are normally pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food provided. During time in school there may be lunch provided which will provide the opportunity to experience some of the local dishes (if this is the case it is polite to eat what you take). Throughout the trip there will rarely be choices on offer - what is provided will be what there is so we need to know about any food allergies or dietary preferences in advance.

Medical facilities are generally pretty good and even the most far flung places are serviced by some very good rural clinics where they are very good at dealing with the most common problems they are presented with. However, because of East Africa’s size and remoteness it has developed a flying doctor service, AMREF that is the envy of much of the world. All of the group will be enrolled as members of AMREF which will give them immediate access to first class medical support beyond that of the local clinics if it is needed including emergency repatriation home as deemed necessary. Having said all that the norm is that the most people suffer are the usual problems experienced when travelling away from home, whether that be mild stomach upsets or ignoring advice and suffering from too much exposure to the sun.

Snakes, Spiders and Creepy Crawlies
Many people assume that because they are in Africa they will be constantly bumping into snakes and spiders and pestered by swarms of biting insects. The reality is quite different. The majority of snakes are non-venomous and rarely seen, preferring to get out of the way long before you arrive. None of the spiders are deadly and the bigger, hairy ones tend to hide away in holes in the ground. Scorpions are only found in the drier areas and even here are shy, secretive and hard to find. If you see any of these things you should count yourself lucky.

Community Support
The trip has been designed to not only provide the group with a very special experience and intimate contact with the communities being visited but to also provide a direct economic benefit to those communities. Wherever possible local people will be employed and local produce sourced for the camp kitchen. In Maasailand on top of the normal camp fees and staff wages we will be paying the community a separate fee. This fund is managed by elected representatives of the community and spent in the three areas of providing clean water, healthcare and education, all things that are taken for granted in the developed world. Appreciating this and directly experiencing an environment where people are constantly striving to provide their families with the basics of life often proves to be a salutary lesson to visitors. Experiencing this at first hand also often proves to be a life-changing experience.