Course Duration: 16th-28th February 2024
Group size: 7 Maximum
Age Range: 18+
This incredible womens only trip, led by women, facilitated by women, for women, will give you an incredible insight into the life and history of the Maasai women. Brand new for 2024, Join the Woodland Ways Team as we venture out to the cradle of human kind and the historic homeland of the Maasai as we visit the Rift Valley in Kenya and stay within a Maasai village, a village we have been visiting as a mixed group for over a decade. This expedition will open your ears to the stories of the Maasai women, from the ancient traditions to the modern Maasai, you will be fully immersed into Africa and all its beauty.
This is a female only expedition. Woodland Ways will be providing female staff and it is being facilitated by the women of the village. This is to ensure we are sensitive to the Maasai culture, and to provide an income for the women of the village.
Some of the proceeds for this trip go directly into funding further projects within the community.
- In 2012 we financed the build of a single classroom school.
- Through 2013-16 we have financed the build of 3 more classrooms, have financed teachers salaries, purchased educational equipment and introduced a funded feeding program for the children.
- 2017 saw the introduction of solar panels, the build of toilets for the children and further training for the teachers.
- 2018-23 onwards we have made further improvements to the school and assisted with water projects culminating in a bore hole
The trip begins in Nairobi, where you will be transported to a tented camp to begin your orientation, which includes a visit to the Rift Valley, home of the Maasai culture, during this time you will also be introduced to a number of traditionally used medicinal plants. We stay for the first few nights in the area of the Ngong Hills to familiarise yourself with how africa works. We then drive by 4x4 out to a remote Maasai village within the Rift Valley, via a traditional African market. This village is our home for the remainder of our stay. Upon arrival you will build a tented camp within the community, you will meet the villagers and they will help you build the traditional boma, an acacia fence to keep out the wildlife. From this point onwards, we see where the flow of the expedition takes us, a true adventure. This trip is a full on immersion, it is not planned, there is little structure, it is real life and we will take what real life throws our way. But knowing Africa, and this village, you are going to be in for an incredible treat
Duration of the trip
From day three through to day eleven we now remain with the women of the village, as each day you surround yourself in their traditions and culture.
From here we focus on the women of the Maasai tribe. We will be working very closely with them, to hear their stories, and to gain an understanding of their lives within the tribe. This trip is all about giving them a voice and to share experiences. Imagine yourself fully immersed in one of the last few oral traditions left on the planet, under the canopy of stars of the African bush.
You will be welcomed into life in the village, which is surrounded by Giraffe, Bustard, Antelope, Hyena, Leopard and more. We honestly have no idea what journey you will be on, and isn't that the most exciting thing? Cooking round a three stone fire, sharing a women only space, in a land where pride in being a woman goes deeper than we could possibly imagine in the West... but it still connects us. This is an insight into not only the people but also the wildlife of the area that is unimaginable for most people.
How can you summarise such a trip?
Quite simply, you cannot. Our time with the Maasai is organic and probably the most precious moments are those that are unplanned, for example taking tea inside the traditional Maasai home, or being asked to help with a homesteads task.
This expedition is completely unique and will be a once in a lifetime chance to immerse yourself into the Maasai culture. Your friends will say "oh yes we visited the Maasai", but they honestly will not have experienced anything as intense and incredible as this. We have worked for over a decade to pull this together to ensure a genuine, warts and all, non commercial trip. You will face tough questions, tough ethical value systems... and you will be overwhelmed. But what an adventure you will have. We operate in a very small group as a team and you will be expected to assist in all aspects of the trip, pushing vehicles when needed and herding goats as requested! Your money goes directly into the village, supporting people who really need it, and helping to protect a way of life. When we told them we would help them build a school their eyes lit up... this is what adventure travel is all about for us... we will see you in Kenya!
Please note there will be males present within the village and village life will continue around you as normal and as you would expect, we will be facilitating cis women only spaces throughout the trip to ensure your experience is completely unique and different to the experience on our usual Maasai expedition. Your camp will be a women only space. Our company director Jason, who's brainchild this trip is, will be in the surrounding areas simply as he has the deepest understanding of the village and the personalities within, he is in the background to deal with all ethical and cultural issues that may arise. We believe this is important to be upfront about from the outset. Your course is led by CIS women, designed by women, facilitated by women, and this is at the forefront of what we are trying to achieve.