After a hectic week in school in Nairobi the group will move on into Africa's Great Rift Valley where we will spend the rest of the trip in Maasailand starting with a more conventional wildlife viewing safari, in the heart of the Maasai Mara, at Riverside Camp. The group will spend two days doing morning and evening game drives in 4x4 vehicles, spotting the reserve’s abundant wildlife that is the focus of so many nature documentaries including the BBC’s world famous Big Cat series of programmes. During this time the group will see vast numbers of animals on the open plains and riverine bush, hopefully including lion and elephant. The visit should coincide with the legendary migration of over one and a half million wildebeest and the group may also by lucky enough to see the rarer big cat species, leopard and cheetah.

The 1500 square kilometres of the Maasai Mara lie in the southwest corner of Kenya, bordering its Tanzanian neighbour, the Serengeti. Both these areas combine to provide an ecosystem that supports a staggeringly large and diverse array of wildlife.

The world famous annual migration of the wildebeest ignores man-made boundaries with over one and a half million animals making their way across the grass plains in a continuous search for fresh grazing. As home to the “Big Five”, elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard, it is not surprising that the BBC chose to base their Big Cat series of programmes here.  Many of the leopards featured in these programmes have their territories on the banks of the Talek, just down river from Riverside Camp where the group will be staying.

The Mara is an awesome place, where the Maasai people and their herds share the stunning landscape with vast herds of antelope and accompanying predators, and wildlife still exists in unimaginably vast numbers. This all makes the Mara an extremely popular tourist destination particularly around migration time and it can be difficult to escape the tourist crowds.  Despite this, the wildlife spectacle is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Set in the heart of the Maasai Mara, on the banks of the Talek River, Riverside Camp offers its visitors a variety of accommodation options. The camp is owned, staffed and managed by members of the local Maasai community, directly benefiting the local people, and provides an authentic bush experience in the centre of Kenya’s premier wildlife destination.

The group will be camping in Riverside’s extensive campsite, with a communal toilet block, hot showers and a standpipe, or staying in self-contained cottages with ensuite facilities. There are also secure storage areas to protect food from wild animals, particularly baboons and monkeys that regularly come through the camp. The camp is not fenced so at night guards will be on duty to make sure the group is not disturbed by animals passing through.

The prime time to see the animals at their best is first thing in the morning or late afternoon to dusk so the days at Riverside will start just before dawn with a hot drink just before 6 followed by a game drive, returning to camp for breakfast at around 10. After breakfast the group will be able to relax before going out for another game drive in the middle of the afternoon until sunset.

This is a fantastic opportunity for the group to experience one of the world's most famous wildlife areas. 

After staying in the Maasai Mara Reserve the group will spend their time as guests of the Siana Plain Maasai. John Blissett's association with this community goes back many years and he has been given the local name of Nderekeyia and is an elder of the Labentera village. 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.