Olorte lies at the southern end of the Loita Hills right on the Tanzanian border and miles from anywhere. Its remoteness means few people ever get there which also means the area is still an unspoilt wilderness where the local Maasai follow an ancient and traditional lifestyle largely unaffected by the modern world. Visiting this isolated corner of Kenya is well worth the effort. The different scenery, bird and animal life and close contact with the people and their culture all make it a unique destination and one that almost no tourists experience.

A trip to Olorte is very different from a conventional game-viewing safari into one of Kenya’s popular game parks and we don’t bring people here to see the “Big Five” although there is a good chance of seeing elephant and buffalo during a stay here and leopard are often heard nearby at night. There are plenty of lions in the area and a very rare pack of wild dogs also include Olorte in their vast range.

Olorte’s main attraction is the wilderness experience it offers. The Naimena-Engiyio (Forest of the Lost Child) is a mystical place in local folklore and walking through this forest is a magical experience as you follow ancient elephant paths, past clear mountain streams, with trees full of colourful and noisy birdlife until you arrive on the high plateau with outstanding views across to Lakes Magadi and Natron and the mountains of Kilimanjaro and Ol Donyo Lengai.

Olkoroi (Colobus Monkey) Camp, close to thick forest and clear mountain streams, is an eco-camp that has been set up by the local community as the result of the inspiration of an ardent conservationist, South African born Andre Brink, who has dedicated the last ten years to persuading this community of the importance of preserving their pristine environment. He is now being supported by a small UK charity and an old school friend, Hennie Marais, who is helping to manage the health, education and conservation projects it sponsors. Hennie’s wife is also helping the local women to generate income for the area through their beadwork.

Time at Olkoroi can be spent on a variety of very special activities that have been designed to provide intimate contact with this true wilderness and its people. A short forest walk of a few hours offers the chance of seeing some of the abundant wildlife including hippo and the colobus monkeys that give the camp its name and, if not the animals themselves, at least the fresh signs of elephant and buffalo.

Slightly more strenuous but well worth the effort is a full day’s walk with local guide, Leudi Ole Nyarket, up an old elephant path, through the forest to the more open plateau at around seven and half thousand feet with outstanding views across two countries. At the end of the day there is the option to stay out and spend the night sleeping under the stars with the minimum of kit and taking it in turns to keep watch through the night with the guides.

Gentler activities include wandering down to the river and swimming in its deeper pools or visiting the local women to watch them at their beadwork. It is sometimes possible to visit a Warrior’s Manyatta. In traditional Maasai culture young men, once they have reached adolescence, go through a rite of passage and become the standing army for the tribe until they are brought back in as men and allowed to marry. During their time as warriors they roam the country living separate lives in their own special villages and learning how to survive in the bush. They are also duty bound to provide the tribe with armed protection when called upon.

At the end of a trip to Olorte, we normally take people on to the Maasai Mara for a few days of more conventional game viewing by vehicle.