My big project for 2015 is Walking with the Maasai; a one month walk across the Maasai lands of Kenya that will result in a books, photographic projects and a speaking tour.
Over the course of May and June 2015 a Maasai companion, Josphat Mako, and I shall walk around 200km across a part of Kenya’s Maasai lands. The walk begins from the highest point of the remote, forested and little visited Loita Hills before heading westwards to the edge of the famous Masai Mara National Reserve. Skirting around the edge of the reserve we will walk through several of the private and community conservancies (essentially private game reserves) before finishing at the foot of the Oloololo Escarpment at the western edge of the Mara North conservancy.
The point of this project is not so much the walk itself but rather to get to know the Maasai and the landscapes and animals they live with. There’s no set in stone route and there will be numerous deviations and diversions in order to take in as many interesting encounters as possible.
Along the way I will visit and sleep in Maasai villages and spend as much time as possible with the Maasai learning what I can about their culture and contemporary lifestyles. But it’s not all going to be about the Maasai. By walking at a leisurely pace I am hoping to also understand something of the landscapes and wildlife of the region. Nights when I’m not a guest of the Maasai will see us camping in the bush with the animals or, around the Masai Mara itself, even visiting and staying in safari camps. The end result will be for me to gain a more in-depth understanding of contemporary Maasai lifestyle and the impact of 21st century life, conservation, political pressures and tourism on them.
For more on this project please see and follow the dedicated website and blog: www.walkingwiththemaasai.com
And like the dedicated Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Walking-with-the-Maasai/421479961339808?ref=hl
Please also follow the progress of the walk on Twitter: @ and Instagram: stuartbutler1974