First bus trip, first breakdown. The roads through Masai Mara in Kenya provide good business for 2nd hand tyre firms.
Flies are one thing I’ve never been able to stand, but the flies on this bus were by far and away the worst I’ve seen anywhere. An infant next to me was been happily breastfed with about 20 of them crawling over her mouth and eyeballs.
I was amazed every day from here on in by the patience African children display at such an early age.


1. Tortoises outside the tent in Nairobi kick off the first of many animal mating encounters.
2. Weary hippo eyes emerge from the wallows of the Mara River.


On arrival in the last township along the endless dirt road. At one point the bus jolted so hard I swear my brain near exited my head. Dry hot and dusty, this day was one of the few to live up to the stereotypical African climate. It was a big shock in our first few weeks to realise Africa gets really cold at night. Having come stupidly unprepared  with no sleeping bag, sleeping mat or pillow, I just had to make do. Luckily the people of  the Masai tribe make and sell warm, colourful blankets.


First sighting of a giraffe through the tree-tops.


A Black-backed Jackel and the graceful understated Impala in the Masai Mara area.


A group of grazing Topi.


Gathering firewood, Masai Mara.


Hyena’s freak me out for many reasons. They will hunt absolutely anything, and their bark sounds like a squadron of zombie witches laughing in a cave.


The start of a big thunderstorm rolling in across the Masai plains.


‘The weekender’ moves indoors. Torrential thunderstorms were frequent, and in the Mara area we took up shelter in an unused shed rather than brave it.


Cutest of the bunch, with saggy-baggy skin. I wanted to take it home in my bag quite badly, but at only one month old she was already the size of a pony.                                                                                                                                                      Back to Home


Cleansing mud baths are used for cooling down.


5pm: Start of the hunting hour for lions.


A couple of Yellow-billed Oxpecker’s feed off a dozy buffalo.


Lioness and cub relaxing in the morning sun. Not long afterwards the cub decided to wander over and explore round the vehicle. Its mum did not look happy as she charged over to haul it away.


The Crowned Crane.


Daniel befriends us and we go for a rather long stroll through the Masai farmlands. It was about here I first grew envious of Africans’ naturally advanced-formula skin protection against the suns harmful rays. Got to love that sunburn.


Chief lunch-stealer.


Hells Gate park in the Naivasha region of Kenya. There’s something so nice about randomly spotting wildlife from the seat of a bicycle. They are less likely to see you coming too.


A nose-to-tail collision in rush hour park traffic.                                                                                                             Back to Home


These zebra appeared in a cloud of dust out of the bushes while we were stopped to watch giraffes at play.


Wandering around one day, we found a small path running down through the bush. It was such a surprise to stumble upon this beautiful blue lake. Giraffes, flamingo, zebra, hippos, lions and Tree-climbing leopards (according to footprints we found) live on or in Lake Oloiden. It would have been nice to stay there longer, but where there’s footprints there’s normally something making them.


Lesser flamingos spend a good part of each day admiring their own reflection.


In a lot of the world, wealth is measured by the number of cattle you have. These herdsmen are pretty well off.


Hippo skulls at Lake Naivasha. Hippo’s are the most dangerous animal in Africa, killing more people each year than anything else. They may be big and awkward looking, but over land they can reach up to 50km/hour.


Buffalo skull with termites.


Marabou storks have to be seen to be believed. They are huge and extremely ugly. Under their beaks lies a convertable skin-flap, which they flop out at random. Marabou’s are quite useful for keeping monkeys at bay.


1. The red colour of Lake Naivasha is due to pollutants that run off from all the nearby flower farms. 99% of the flowers are exported to Europe for sale, and there is zero responsibility from the various companies involved regarding the resulting Environmental impact, nor the health problems it is causing many of the workers through lack of safety regulations when handling chemicals.
2. A black and white Colobus monkey in the tree-tops at the campground, Lake Naivasha, Kenya.

Joy Butchery. Hairdressers and Butchers topped my list for consistently amusing / inventive names.
One particular favourite near the Tanzania-Zambia border was a hair salon called ‘The when God says yes hair voyage’.

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All content copyright © Charlotte Hayes 2011
Please respect the rights of the people and places photographed and do not download for any profiteering purposes.

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