First Days in Kenya

African Tree-8On Friday, my wife and I embarked on a two-week trip to Kenya.  After a 14 hour flight to Dubai with a 5-hour layover and finally 5 more hours to Nairobi, we arrived exhausted to our hotel.  My first impression of Nairobi was a general feeling of lockdown.  All the buildings seemed to be behind fortresses of walls and razor wire.  We were greeted at the hotel by an armed guard searching the vehicle.  Upon entering the lobby, we had to run our luggage through x-ray.  Personally, I didn’t mind.

Day one started with a 5 hour grueling drive to Amboseli National Park.  Here lives the largest number of African Giant Elephants in the world.  Each day we headed out a sunrise, returned for a rest during the middle of the day and then went out for late afternoon light.  Our driver was excellent and very patient as I directed him to move 50 meters this way, 20 meters forward, etc.

One evening, we heard through the CB (yes, CB) that there was a lioness about 5 miles away.  We arrived to find her sound asleep with two cubs hiding in the grass behind.  We waited over 2 hours for her to wake up, hoping she would go out looking for food or that the cubs would emerge from the grass to frolic in the evening sun.  Well, she rolled over a couple of times, yawned and continued her slumber even as a herd of elephants approached in the distance.  Once they caught her scent, they veered away and she continued to sleep.  As the sun was setting, I asked the driver to race towards a tree that I had seen earlier in the day which I caught backlit by the beautiful sunset.

On the third and final morning, we set out at early light.  There was much more activity.  As the sun rose, I caught three lions drinking at the side of the road.  A beautiful lion wandered across the plains as elephants grazed.  I saw wildebeests grazing under a lone tree as an elephant approached.  It was a gorgeous morning.

Below are a few of the images from these early days.  I took over 1800 photos and haven’t looked at but a few, but these were shots that I knew as I took them, I would like.  Most of these were shot with my Nikon  D7100 and Nikon 200-400mm f/4.  I bought the D7100 just for this trip as the cropped sensor gives me a 1.5 additional reach which I needed.

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