Kenya

4 October – 9 October
Photography by: Emily Hannaamp; De-leon


Jambo!

Wow Kenya, what an amazing experience! Just as it is hard to capture the emotion and visual spectacle that is Kenya through a camera, it’s just as hard to explain it. But I will give it a red hot go.

After transiting for roughly 35 hours we arrived in the city of Nairobi at 6.00am. The city was full off action, cars everywhere and a constant stream of pedestrians making their way to work on foot. The constant bustling walkways (which resembled the tracks that sheep make in the paddocks here in Australia) at such an early hour was like nothing we had ever seen.

We then made our way to the venue where we would meet with Sonia & Marlon (our wedding clients) and all the wedding guests and commence our Journey to the Kenyan Mara. The road trip was awesome! We spent 7 hours on a bumpy road fit only for 4WD’s in an old Toyota Hiace jammed in with a bunch of nice English people. We drove through the amazing Rift Valley and through a town named Narok where we stopped for some local tucker and refreshments. Despite our completely jet lagged state, our eyes stayed wide open the whole time and we marveled at the stunning landscapes and scenery.


We finally arrived at Mara West Camp in the Masai Mara Game Reserve at around 6.00pm. On arrival we were serenaded by the Masai Mara women with their welcome song and dance – it was all very surreal and after 44 hours of non-stop transit and only a few hours of broken sleep, my eyes were practically popping out of my head. We had just driven up the escarpment, on the top of a troopie, as the old Hiace just couldn’t make the last leg up the rough washed out road. We had just seen giraffes, zebra, wilder-beast, warthogs and many more animals in the wild for the first time to finally arrive, heart pounding and practically speechless. It was time for bed!!!


The next day was Sonia & Marlon’s wedding day and despite the storm and heavy rain it was every bit as fabulous as I expected.

The following day we set off on Safari (as you do when you’re in the “real Africa” as every-body kept referring to it). We took to the Mara Game Reserve in our open sided troopies to have one of the most exciting and breathtaking days of our lives. We really never expected to see everything we saw. It’s not that easy to capure the animals when your longest lens is a 200mm and you’re shooting from a moving vehicle. Not that I’m making any excuses :-) I am really happy with what I got. It really was a magical, surreal day.




The following day, as the wedding guests departed, we set off to see the local village and had a wonderful cultural experience. We also enjoyed buying some of the many handmade crafts available for purchase and supporting the local people. On our final day at the camp, we requested our wonderful guide John takes us to the African Mission Services local health centre. Linda, who is a local volunteer nurse from the US and two new Aussie arrivals volunteers a doctor and a nurse took us for a tour around the health centre. A remarkable place run solely by the volunteers (blog post coming soon).



We left these wonderful people to do their very important work and went off for a very special out local tour of the escarpment and village life of the Masai Mara people. We saw amazing viewpoints known only by the locals and drove past many little villages (pretty sure we were lost at one point). We also learnt about traditional ways and the customs of the beautiful warm Masai Mara people.


That afternoon, we took off in our little 12 seat bug-smasher air craft back to Nairobi. No amount of herbal remedies was going to allow me to relax for this flight! My anxiety was made worse by the fact our little bug-smasher was so full one of the passengers had to sit in the cockpit with the pilot (De-leon missed out on that opportunity, he wasn’t quick enough to bags it). There was no luggage weigh-in (and we knew we would be over with all of the camera stuff) and our pilot was very busy doing paper work the most part of the Journey. To top it off, just before we landed the civilian co-pilot leaned on a button or something and set off a loud beeping sound, to which every-one cackled…… except for me! It was one of the longest 45minutes of my life and I couldn’t have been happier to view the landing strip at Nairobi.


Our experience in Kenya was so exciting and beautiful. We will never forget the wondrous people, the animals & the unforgettable landscapes.

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