From the crazy and chaotic traffic in Kenya’s capital Nairobi where the biggest vehicle and loudest horn rules the day to the red ochre dust covered roadsides with their brightly coloured shops and businesses scattered for miles along the endless routes to the vast expanse of the game reserves…

…to the poverty and people lying on the road sides asleep,

…to the children walking miles to reach school,

…to the sleek sided skyscrapers,

…to the motorbikes carrying three or more passengers or a cargo of chickens stacked in boxes,

…to the huge speed bumps before and after built-up areas scattered along the roads,

…to random police check points

…to the dark brooding storm clouds,

…to the clear morning views of Mount Kenya,

…to the long endless dusty roads stretching for miles out in front of you,

…to the hard sells and bargaining opportunities in the curio shops along the main tourist routes,

…to the Masai villages opened up to the traveller,

…to the sound of their voices as they sing their songs,

…to the noise, smells and colour that overloads the senses as you drive through busy towns and leaves you feeling overwhelmed after you pass through them,

…to the dusty unused rail tracks that lead to nowhere,

…to the hundreds of faces that stare back at you as you pass. Some with a smile, some with no interest, some with suspicion, some with animosity, many with curiosity,

…to the road side fruit sellers,

…to the street hawkers and beggars to the top end and sleek black-windowed 4×4’s,

…to the security checks in the malls and their shiny tiled floors,

…to the dangerous driving and the road safety warnings,

…to crown paint adverts and Coca Cola painted walls,

…to the market stalls and bags of fruit,

…to the banana, pineapple and mango plantations and the vast fields of wheat,

…to the coffee trees bending over when ready to drop,

…to the cold bottles of Tusker beer,

…to the sound of the crickets,

…to the open spaces and the oppressive tight streets,

…to the smells before the rain comes,

…to the smell as it rains,

…to the smells after the rain has been,

…to the smell of the soil,

…to the diesel-fume spilling trucks lumbering up the Rift Valley escarpment,

…to the smells of cooking meat coming from the choma,

…to the breeze blowing through the branches of the Acacia,

…to the warm towels on arrival at the lodges to the chilly morning sunrises,

…to the painted wall murals and the smell of timber yards,

…to the long-drop toilets and the sound of hyenas at night,

…to drifting over the Mara River in a basket under a balloon,

…to the quiet forests and the traffic jam symphony of horns in Nairobi,

…to elephants trumpeting,

…and the sounds of a leopard hunting through tall grasses.


Kenya might not be for everyone and I’ve made several trips there with work over the years but now after this latest trip outside of my former work, I’ve realised even more what an amazingly chaotic, contradictory and beautiful place it is on many levels. Mesmerising, addictive and frustrating in equal measures it offers much for the visitor. But for the photographer…? Well for the photographer it offers a wealth of picture opportunities whatever your photographic interests. So if you get the chance to go then take it. If you need to take out a ridiculously large loan that will take ages to repay (as I did!!) then go for that too.

You won’t regret it.


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See more of my work on my website and blogs… HERE

Images copyright Ian Forsyth

All rights reserved.

No usage without arrangement.

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