The greats are leaving us. Just a few days after Tuku, another famous African musician left us, the Kenyan Ayub Ogada. I don’t know how often I have played his most popular song “Kothbiro”with people everywhere, kids and grown-ups alike.Continue reading
The Daasanach live on both sides of the Ethiopian-Kenyan border. If they want to cross into Kenya, the removed lower front teeth are their passport. I crossed the Omo at Omorate with my guide Gabriel and his friend to reach the nearest village just before sunset, and it was a very enjoyable visit. No other tourists, the kids enjoyed my mbira again, and since I handed my camera to Gabriel’s friend I could freely move about and people cared less about me. Less posing as well. Things must have been similar to the Mursi situation until a while ago, but now the arrangement is such that visitors pay a flatrate of 200 Birr (ca $7.50) to take pics. The German lawyer who gave me a lift the next day had been to the very same village in the morning, in a crowd of tourists. He said that as much as he loves photography, he found the village arranged in such a way that half-naked women were sat outside their huts staring into the distance apathetically, and he refrained from taking any pictures at all. My experience was totally different. I was able to interact with the people to a degree, and I am very grateful to Gabriel’s friend for the pics he took – he’s a natural photographer, I must say. And I find the Dassenach are amongst the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen.
Nairobi is the only metropolis with a national park right off its doorsteps, and with 117 sq. km its quite big. You get some of the big five (lion, buffalo, rhino, hippo) and cheetahs and leopards, though come early in the morning. I was lucky at last on my afternoon game drive when eventually we, my driver Sam and I, found two rhinos, a large group of giraffes and finally some six lions with “a view to a kill“. As a large crowd of visitors turned up, it seemed to become a big spectacle. Unfortunately, the lions seemed too unexperienced, or the antelopes and zebras too bush-wise, for the prospective prey played it really cool and kept a healthy distance to the approaching pride.
Addmitedly, my experience with Nairobi is purely visual. I haven’t had much occasion to use one during my two-day visit, yet their dominance in traffic is the same as elsewhere on the continent. What makes them special is their flashy design. A lot of them come with the craziest themes and motifs. Unfortunately my photoshoots were somewhat limited as my neighbourhood (around River Road) is considered rather unsafe, and occasionally I had to be wise and put my camera away when some guys were showing just a little too much interest in me (or my camera). Here are some impressions though:
My heart is heavy already as I will be leaving the southern hemisphere tomorrow. The last leg of my journey, Nairobi to Addis Ababa, from where I shall explore northern Ethiopia for a few days. And yes I’m proud – just over 6 weeks from Jo’burg to Mombasa by bus, matatu and train, then a flight to Nairobi.
My last stop in Tanzania was to be Tanga, some 7 hours by bus from Dar es-Salaam. Getting closer to the equator, I still want to enjoy some tropical beach settings, I therefore decided to skip Mombasa for some of its nearby beaches. Unfortunately, my camera stopped working when I got to Diani Beach, hence there are only some mediocre pics from my smartphone (which doesn’t have a good camera).