One of the most liberating sensations when one is in Africa is the freedom to be one with nature that is afforded to those who wish to do a little bit more than ride along in some tourist bus on a national reserve. Trekking through wild, untamed Africa on foot is about the closest one can come to indulging in the stimulating ecstasy of enaging with the unblemished wilderness that, despite substancial urbanisation, continues to be a central feature of the continent.
My upbringing was characterised by many such-like excursions into the wilderness beyond the safe confines of the houses I grew up in and upon my return to Kenya, the urge to run off into the savannah plains and distant hills beyond my parents house was one that I did not waste any effort i trying to quell.
Here are some of the shots I took from my trips into the foothills of the Aberdare mountains, around the Mbaruk / Ngorika area, some on horseback, some on foot all magical and memorable.
The view of Lake Elementaita from atop Ngorika, with Masai country in the distance yonder.
Ted atop Ngorika
Trekking across the Mbaruk valley, along the Uganda Railway I
Fisher's lovebirds at Hillsview Estate
Ngorika, seen from the burnt plains at the foot of the hill.
Mounted on Venus ahead of a foray into the Mbaruk valley
The Mbaruk river
Old Cactus on the slopes of Ngorika
Ngorika, seen from the farmland at the foot of the hill.
The tip of Lake Nakuru, with honeymoon hill on the right-hand side of the picture, seen from atop Ngorika.
The Ngorika highlands I
Parched pasture at the foot of Ngorika
Heading off into the Mbaruk valley with David.
Up on Ngorika, Lake Elementaita on the horizon
At the foot of Ngorika
One of the many dams in the Mbaruk valley
IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps on the foothills of Ngorika. These camps were created to house internal refugees displaced by the ethnic violence of the 2007 general elections that brought Kenya onto the brink of civil war. The government has repeatedly promised to relocate and resttle anyone displaced by the election violence but has fallen short on its guarantees, channeling funds destined for the aforementioned relocation into the back pockets of the very members of parliament and government officials who were responsible for sparking the horrific scenes of 2007.
Heron on the Uganda railway
Ngorika, seen from the Mbaruk swamplands.
A venomous spider on the slopes of Ngorika
Trekking across the Mbaruk valley, along the Uganda Railway IV