A Hotbed of Cultural Diversity ~ Samburu!

Samburu County

Modernization is fast spreading throughout Kenya and Samburu has certainly made notable steps towards this. However, the people of Samburu have found a way to marry the comforts of modernization to their traditional ways of life, resulting in a culture full of colour and distinct contrasts to the silent ‘code’ of westernization that is often confused to be the stamp or validation of a community living in modern times.

Modern, but not lost in westernization

Modern, but not lost in westernization

 

Samburu county is one of the few places in Africa where the locals have held on to their traditional ways of life and culture. The name Samburu refers to the people forming the majority of the county’s population. The county however is home to other communitites notably the Turkana, Pokot, Rendille and Borana.

Young Turkana men stylishly adorned for the event

Young Turkana men stylishly adorned for the event

I visited Samburu County during the 26th Edition of the Maralal International Camel Derby and as always, I was glad to be back to this hot bed of cultural diversity; a true gem of Kenya.

Samburu, a true gem of Kenya

Samburu, a true gem of Kenya

As promised, I got some shots in an effort to give you a glimpse and virtually connect you to what the people of Samburu are like.. 🙂

A moran ponders his next move while clutching to his cell phone

A moran ponders his next move while clutching to his cell phone

Keenly following the camel races at the derby

Keenly following the camel races at the derby

A happy Samburu dance

A happy Samburu dance

A war like dance by Turkana warriors

A war like dance by Turkana warriors

A combination of age, composure and beaty!

A combination of age, composure and beaty!

Morans ready to present a jump dance

Morans ready to present a jump dance

Colour is never shot in Samburu

Colour is never short in Samburu

I love my roots!

I love my roots!

Samburu weather supports the Moran dress code

Samburu weather supports the Moran dress code

Friends of a feather, chat together

Friends of a feather, chat together

A wade through the mud to the derby celebrations

A wade through the mud to the derby celebrations

Comfortable in her well arranged necklong ornaments

Curious

Curious

All set for the pomp and dance!

All set for the pomp and dance!

The soloist with an angelic voice

The soloist with an angelic voice

To show our joy, we dance

To show our joy, we dance

A man shares his tobacco with a female friend

A man shares his tobacco with a female friend

I don't wonna miss out on anything

I don’t wonna miss out on anything

Age didn't stop her from being part of the derby

Age didn’t stop her from being part of the derby

For her, life went on unperturbed

For her, life went on unperturbed

Wide rimmed neck pieces

Wide rimmed neck pieces

Young girls show up for the clebrations

Young girls show up for the celebrations

A male soloist leads a female choir

A male soloist leads a female choir

I made new friends. They live in Nairobi and always make an effort to attend and support the Camel Derby

I made new friends. They live in Nairobi and always make an effort to attend and support the Camel Derby

Undeniable patriotism

Undeniable patriotism

On the journey of life

On the journey of life

Alone in a crowd

Alone in a crowd

Beautiful friends

Beautiful friends

Ladies in stylish hide clothes

Ladies in stylish hide clothes

"What say you?"

“What say you?”

She hid, I sought :-)

She hid, I sought 🙂

"All this fun in one ground?" She seemed to ask

“All this fun in one ground?” She seemed to ask

Camels got gear too! :-)

Camels got gear too! 🙂

"Hold on, let's smile for the camera.."

“Hold on, let’s smile for the camera..”

Colour that makes life beautiful

Colour that makes life beautiful

The stick is not only ornamental, but for utility as well

The stick is not only ornamental, but for utility as well

They rested outside the pub. My guess, it must have been full inside :-)

They rested outside the pub. My guess, it must have been full inside 🙂

She let me take her photograph and asked to see it

She let me take her photograph and asked to see it

Her shyness couldn't hide her beauty

Her shyness couldn’t hide her beauty

"Is this bead out of line..?"

“Is this bead out of line..?”

He cleaned his teeth in readiness for the pomp

He cleaned his teeth in readiness for the pomp

It's on! Boogie down!

It’s on! Boogie down!

"Did you see that..?"

“Did you see that..?”

His jacket played a good backdrop for this shot :-)

His jacket played a good backdrop for this shot 🙂

Not even the grey could take away their colour and beauty

Not even the grey could take away their colour and beauty

I had to blur him out to get the beauties

I had to blur him out to capture the beauties

The Morans' hangout spot

The Morans’ hangout spot

Load on her back, but she couldn't resist being part of the spectators

Load on her back, but she couldn’t resist being part of the spectators

Friendship is, enjoying the derby together

Friendship is, enjoying the derby together

The ladies man!

The ladies man! They danced around him.

Selfie on a camel back

Selfie on a camel back

"We are with it!"

“We are with it!”

The crowd at the Camel Derby evening fun fair

The crowd at the Camel Derby evening fun fair

The sturdy moran seemed to stand guard of his community.

This sturdy moran seemed to stand guard of his community.

The shots are meant to make you want to know more about the beautiful people of Samburu County. What better way to do so than to organize a vist of the county? Go experience the warmth, colour and energy of the Samburu!

Event: The International Maralal Camel Derby (26th Edition)

Location: Maralal, Samburu County, Nothern Kenya

Photography and documentation by: Macharia Njuguna, @macharianjuguna

Adventure and safari organized by: www.bunduz.com

Of Tusks, Rivers & Machines (Tsavo East)

Hello there, good people!

I recently had the opportunity to visit the scenic Tsavo East National Park (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsavo_East_National_Park) which is one of the oldest national parks in Kenya, having opened its gates in 1948!

Mash snapping away!

Mash snapping away!

I entered the park through the Voi, Manyani gate which is just one of it’s three gates widely spread over it’s imposing perimeter of 13,747 square kilometers. I was there on a work related mission, but by now I know you know how I do; I mixed work with a little pleasure and brought you several photos in which I share my experience with you 🙂

Construction of a steel bridge over Galana River

Construction of a steel bridge over Galana River

A steel bridge is being built over the wide and snaking Galana River, under the employ of the Kenya Wildlife Services, funded by the European Union. This bridge is somewhat controversial in the sense that different park stakeholders are looking at it in totally different perspectives! The Kenya Wildlife Service sees the project as a major step towards easing their fight against poaching. The bridge will make more parts of the park accessible to the game rangers and therefore make possible the protection of wildlife from poachers. On the other hand, conservationists view this project as a major tamper with the Eco-system of the park! They feel that this will set a precedent for so-called ‘development accelerators’ (roads, railway lines, electricity cables) to now shamelessly be passed through the park! What do you think? (share your views in the comments section)

The wide, tranquil and snaking Galana River

The wide, tranquil and snaking Galana River

 

Men building piers on which the steel bridge will rest.

Men building piers on which the steel bridge will rest.

 

'Robots' at work at the Galana River

‘Robots’ at work at the Galana River

The beauty of the Tsavo East National Park cannot be ignored. The park is generally flat, consists of semi-arid areas and savannah grasslands which are the habitat to a large number of animal species which includes the ‘Big Five’ (Lions, Elephants Buffaloes, Rhinos and Leopards) as well as a host of bird species. I wasn’t lucky enough to sight all these animals, but I sure had my fair share of animal sightings (elephants) and scenic natural features! Check them out 🙂

It's lunch time, do you care to join me? The jumbo seems to ask

It’s lunch time, do you care to join me? The jumbo seems to ask

 

A jumbo peeping at me through a thorny bush.

A jumbo peeping at me through a thorny bush.

 

A grown elephant plays with it's young one

A grown elephant plays with it’s young one

 

A family of elephants peacefully grazing away

A family of elephants peacefully grazing away

 

A young elephant walks to catch up with the rest of the herd.

A young elephant walks to catch up with the rest of the herd.

Tsavo National Park also boasts some beautiful scenery which I was glad to have had the opportunity to take several shots of. At this time it was sweltering hot and most animals tend to hide in the undergrowth in search of the much needed soothing shade.

A male & female Ostrich advance towards each other. An ostrich dance in the making (the attraction is real) :-)

A male & female Ostrich advance towards each other. An ostrich dance in the making (the attraction is real) 🙂

 

Entry to the Lugard Falls, name after Frederick Lugard the British soldier and explorer

Entry to the Lugards Falls, name after Frederick Lugard the British soldier and explorer

 

(Lugard Falls) The enchanting series of white water rapids on River Galana.

Lugards Falls. The enchanting series of white water rapids on River Galana. (Notice the beautiful shapes curved out in the rocks by the torrent water)

 

River Galana is home to a large population of crocodile. They all tend to converge at the Crocodile Point where there are less rocks and the water is quite tranquil. It serves well as a hunting and a breeding ground.

River Galana is home to a large population of crocodile. They all tend to converge at the Crocodile Point where there are less rocks and the water is quite tranquil. It serves well as a hunting and a breeding ground.

 

It was too hot on this day, not one crocodile was in site!

It was too hot on this day, not one crocodile was in sight at Crocodile Point

 

The tranquil Galana River

The tranquil Galana River

The construction of the steel bridge over the Galana River is almost complete. I can’t help but keep wondering whether this will develop into another human-wildlife conflict or it will actually contribute to the efforts of conserving and protecting the wildlife and the park’s Eco-system. Only time will tell..

The digging continues. The bridge will soon be up over the Galana River.

The digging continues. The bridge will soon be up over the Galana River.

 

Our trusted friend (Ford Ranger) got us to the park and back home. Even she couldn't stand the sweltering heat; she had to hide in the shadow of the concrete mixer :-)

Our trusted friend (Ford Ranger) got us to the park and back home. Even she couldn’t stand the sweltering heat; she had to hide in the shadow of the concrete mixer 🙂

It was my pleasure having visited the Tsavo East National Park, I would highly recommend that you take some time too and make a trip down there. Get to see what our beautiful country (Kenya) has to offer!

Important Information;

Distance from Nairobi: 331 KM (Approximately 4hrs 30min drive)

Terrain: 

Good smooth tarmac from Nairobi to Voi

Rough dirt roads within the park (4×4 vehicles highly recommended)

Park Entry Fees:

Refer to this (http://www.kws.org/export/sites/kws/about/downloads/Entry_Fee_Leaflet.pdf)

What to carry:  

Hiking boots, Drinking water, Camping equipment (if you intend to stay overnight) Also useful are: Binoculars, Camera, Hat,

Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Guidebooks, Mosquito repellant and Waterproof jacket.

Where To Stay:                

Voi Safari Lodge, Ndololo Tented Camp, Kingfisher Tented Camp, Satao Camp

Activities:  

Game viewing, Trekking, Bird watching

NOTE: Always Follows the Park Rules!

 ~MASH~