The jumping off point for all of our walks through Maasailand is the bustling township of Narok. Another half hour’s drive south from Narok will take you to the start of many of our walks, where you will meet your guides who will lead you across the dry, flat, open and windy plains, for the first stage of your walk, to the village of Maji Moto. 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. It is a constant source of clean water for both people and animals.

The walk across the open plains is often peoples’ first experience of walking in the wild. The plains are grazed by the Maasai’s cattle, sheep and goats but you will also probably walk past Zebra, Wildebeest, Thomson’s and Grant’s Gazelle. During the walk your guides will point out a number of plants that are used for a variety of practical and medicinal purposes ranging from Leleshwa (toilet paper) to Olerobat (treat skin diseases and wounds).

The first camp-site is close to the hot springs, at the foot of the Loita Hills and you should normally arrive in time for a late lunch after walking for about two and a half hours. During the afternoon you will be able to relax at the camp-site or go for a short walk up into the hills behind the camp.

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 you will have seen when walking, 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.
 
If you want to stay in Maji Moto for more than one night we do offer the option of going into the hills near the camp and tracking elephant for the day. This is normally a six to seven hour walk and also involves carrying a packed lunch with you. Alternatively you can make an early start and walk for the same length of time south, past the town of Ngoswani, to the village of Lebentera to camp at our private camp-site of Ilparakuo. While you are walking the camp staff will break camp and move it on so it is ready for your arrival at the other end. The walk is relatively flat but the ground is very hard and it is comparable with spending the day walking on concrete and many people suffer from sore feet and blisters if they aren’t wearing footwear they are used to.