I flew there yesterday with Russian mechanics and engineers who were assigned to salvage parts of an abandoned Antonov 26. Here is “Loki” on final 09. It used to be the busiest humanitarian place before South Soudan got its independence. The last outpost before Sudan. Some words I’ve heard about the past: bonkers!!; It was the weirdest thing; very fond memories; seriously happening place; the good old days; grizzled pilots; Air America film crew… now the feeling is more like Bagdad café…
Top Secret restaurant! “No photography”?? Some bad habits die hard in Africa.
Further down the runway, there are a few wrecks including this beautiful mythical DC3. The 1st model came of McDonnell factory in 1935, and many are still flying. What a shame to let that queen rot away.
There is this An26, the one we came for. Years of exposure to the elements have removed the shine. Amongst many parts the engines are to be salvaged too…
More beauties from the past, from the 40’s, a pair of DC6’s.
A Let 410. maybe that lying engine will be reused one day. I just hope I won’t fly with it.
The Equator line, tourists being conned by local youth. The usual change of water swirl in a bowl…
Rainy seasons don’t do much to improve the usual main dirt tracks.
Tombstone factory, I can’t say I have seen many of them.
the good old Peugeot 503. rare sighting nowadays. Peugeot has lost most of its business in Africa so event he newer models are rare. Toyota took over.
2nd hand clothes in bales. That is a big business here, these guys buy a bale without knowing what’s inside, hoping for the best. Many of these clothes are given by western people to charities which in turn give or sell them in bulk to middle men in Africa who get richer by selling them in these smaller bags but at a higher price. Another source is unsold items from factories or shops either because there is a glitch or become the new fashion mode made them redundant. Good deals are to be made in African flea markets. I just paid 10 $ for a brand new pair of Dockers cargo pants. I’m still looking for the glitch…
Amboseli is a lovely little park at the foot of Kilimanjaro (which is in Tanzania by the way, not in Kenya as claimed by some crooks). The wildlife out there is made of the usual suspects but on a good day the view of nearby Kili is breathtaking. These minibuses are numerous and some of these drivers are totally clueless: they leave the engine running while watching wildlife a few meters away!! You’d never see that in Tanzania.
6 am, time to leave camp and enjoy the early light in the mist.
That’s what I mean with a nearby Kilimanjaro. The atmospheric veil helped to catch the orange light on the peak and the clouds.
This is a close up view of the secondary peak
These guys, grey-headed kingfishers, were quite easy to spot and come close, like 5 meters away.
the area is made of swamps and it is quite easy to include animals in line with Kili. Providing the conditions are good of course.
After a venerable Peugeot 504, we spotted this hardly younger Datsun. Notice the thin spare wheel. Those cops are definitely not equipped for car chases…
Always keep your eyes open when crossing a village. There always details to spot, like bright fresh colors on shanty buildings.
Pupils on their way or away to school. It’s hard to say which sometimes as pupils can be spotted wandering any time of the day. Same situation in Tanzania.
Masai on the phone in front of a cellphone network advertisement.
Cows, donkeys, goats are numerous on the roads. Sometimes they’re just grazing and one can’t help wondering why they seem to choose the very edge of a highway to do so whereas the infinite grassy savannah is just there…
An alluring restaurant.
Another die-hard Peugeot 504. I’m always amazed that the French carmaker managed to lose its African market to Toyota when they had such great cars.
A discreet butchery, no sign but the meat is obviously hanging on a hook, in the sun attracting flies. A common scenery…
I can’t help wondering what can be so extreme while having a haircut in this hair salon.
A ‘mishkaki’, nickname for these overloaded motorbike taxis. Or bodaboda in local language.
As said before the African roads are rarely boring.
The road used to be awful but has just been resurfaced last year. So the trip is now smooth, for now as cracks on the surface already appear. Thanks to Chinese quality… The scenery is pleasant but the real show happens nearby villages and towns. I always check the names on shops, bars, hotels etc. Originality and the no fear no shame concept are common. I’m sure diplomats would love this place.
Karine loves to drive herself, so I just keep my camera handy and snaps away.
The Kenyan cops could be nicknamed Starsky and Hutch...for the age of their cars. This is a picture from last week but that venerable Peugeot 504, station-wagon, has been on the roads for much longer. Kenya used to manufacture various Peugeot models under license after Peugeot stopped the by-then current model. So this one must be from 1980?
How many 20 liter containers on this cart? This man doesn’t need a gym membership.
A mentally challenged woman, she was behaving strange on that main road.
Elections in Kenya are planned for the 4th March. Let’s hope we will not witness the same violence as in 2007.
Masai man in white sneakers watching life goes by.
At the border post, Namanga, that’s where the show is. Seriously I could spend hours there just watching. Various business places, various people like Somalis, a lot of activity, bright colors hardly cover the poverty. I’ll make a special post on Namanga soon.
More names: why beehive for this highly 'hygienic' butchery? Another common scenery: those carcasses hanging on a hook. We also were so sad to miss a chance to sip a cup of tea in that lovely tea room.
We spotted 2 of these cyclist within a week, on the same road. I was a bit drooling, remembering my own bicycle trip from Arusha to Cape Town some 10 years ago. My bike looked like this one but I was not sporting the same funny outfit. The face was entirely covered too, maybe a Japanese biker, but we think it was a she. And alone on the road.
The second biker was cycling on a dirt track towards Amboseli park, very isolated so we stopped for a chat, gave him water, a newer map of East Africa, some fruit. We were heading to a nice lodge, he was planning to camp under the starry night. We could give away our reserve.
Karine and I went for a few days in Nairobi and Amboseli National Park. A tiny park on the edge of Mt Kilimanjaro which allows a close view of the Tanzanian peak. Some Kenyans funnily claim the peak is in Kenya. Just grab a map and though the colonial Brits screwed up many borderlines when they carved up their colonies, the peak lies in Tanzania.
A tiny park, not the wildest of all parks, some bad guides/drivers but we enjoyed many wildlife actions on top of the landscapes. Kilimanjaro is a shy mountain but we managed some good sighting over the 3 days.
A sunrise, a spectacular viewing even with the slight atmospheric veil.
This is the secondary peak, sometimes showing snow after a storm, like the daily storms these days.
A bit later, the orange hue disappeared.
The park is quite flat, made of swamps mostly. So Karine and I were keen to include animals in that glorious landscape.
A superb last minute ray of light at sunset.
Another sunrise. One of those (many) days when I’m glad I have got that great Nikon lens, a super wide 12-24mm, here at 12mm.
I try to never miss a chance to record something. Sometimes it’s not interesting after all or it will get a documentary value only in 50 years, if… here is a selection of pictures alongside the Kenyan roads, there are some differences with Tanzania but not much.
For instance I’ve never seen such a bicycle in Tanzania. The saddle refurbishment is interesting.
Mishkaki, whatever the spelling, is the nickname for those motorbikes with up to 3 adult passengers.
As in Tanzania, roadsides take a lot of time to be fixed…
Ingenious contraption. I’ve never seen that except in this case.
Sugar cane is eaten plain as a delicacy.
Charcoal is huge business in many African countries, bad business for the environment. Cheap fuel for cooking would be the answer but these days….
That poor woman, not young anymore and obviously still working hard. That piece of leather strap must give headaches… I’ve seen this on Masai women (not men) too and some had a slight curved mark on the skull!
Not the most artistic pictures but if Karine and I had stopped every time we wanted a nice picture, we would hav never made it to our friends’ wedding… So let’s see these pictures from Kenya as a documentary.
African roads are notoriously dangerous, have been for a long time, but the recent boom in advertising doesn’t help. Every company, school, church (especially bloody churches) want their ads on roadsides. It gets cluttered like on this picture and drivers get distracted, especially by trying to read small and dirty signs.
Coke sponsoring a church, am I tripping?
A beautiful example of '”mishkaki”, the local nickname for such an overloaded motorbike. Mind you, the engine is only a 125cc at best on these cheap crap Indian or Chinese imports.
Bikers deserve some respect! They load incredible amounts of goodies on their bicycles and deliver far away. I’ve seen a guy with about 100 kg of charcoal once loaded in a less than stable fashion… the bikes look like the typical black old Dutch model but are Chinese, heavy and worn out. No gear of course. Respect!
I had dropped the airplane for inspection so I came back to Arusha by bus. The exact same trip I had done in 1999 for my first visit in Tanzania.
As usual I had bribed the driver to have the front seat with more leg room and a large window. Perfect position for street photography.
Since the usual landlines were notoriously crap, non-existent, unreliable in Africa, cellphones have been seen a blessing and the continent is picking faster than any other place in the world. This man has even 2 phones.
Leaving Nairobi by bus back to Arusha, I snapped “Nairobbery” (the unofficial but most common nickname for Nairobi) life out of the window.
Soetimes I think there are more cellphones in Africa than in Europe
Ads are getting big and spread all over in Africa. Maybe the guy is having a hangover from that beer? As anybody can see, while the image is decent, the logo is shit as usual. Low carbs for a beer, who cares really? These marketing people really, no shame to consider consumers as morons….
Traffic cops…sometimes they just seemed at best to be considered as information doll, not to be taken seriously. Just the same for robot lights by the way.
At least they used a black santa! Good for them. Christianity still has a long way to go to adapt. Swedish look alike, blue eyed pale sick jesuses and maries are still the norm in Africa, basically coming from our medieval pieces of religious art. That probably helped the missionaries to keep the lid on African pride….
yep graffiti can be spotted here too. But not yet the same kind as we know in the West. Baby steps.
I suppose the road is in much better condition than the sidewalks, if any…
probably my best or clear view of lake Natron. Last week that day was just exceptionally clear, such a perfect visibility is quite rare. On one picture, looking to the east and south: Mt Gelai on the left, volcano Lengai on the right, and behind lies volcano Kerimasi and the tip of Ngorongoro northern Highlands. I’m shooting from the NW part of the lake, that is overhead Oldonyo Sambu and the western cliff.
I swapped lens to get Lengai closer. A slight amount of haze and dust still hampers the view…
a village at the foot of volcano Shombole on the northern shoreline.
then an airstrip lies next to it, Olorbelin, where Flying Medical Service operates one of its numerous clinics with a Cessna 206.
Olorbelin is Masai country.
near Shombole a river delta offers a paradise for animals in the normally hot and harsh environment that the lake usually offers.
receding and evaporating waters leaving ‘parallel’ marks.
McMinus heard of those glass floors on high towers where one can get a thrill by walking on ‘nothing’ and he wanted to share the experience by leaning against the dipping windshield. He’ll be even braver later. To be continued.
again only references in East Africa, stickers, paintings, clothes… I never saw any bad references about Obama. I don’t remember any reference to Bush. Only one about Clinton some years back in Arusha. And it was a daladala (public transport in Tanzania) labelled with a simple “ Monica Lewinski”. I heard that bus was forbidden of driving whenever one Clinton was visiting. Urban legend maybe…
Monik, lake Natron, Tanzania.
On a dreaded “matatu” (public transport in Kenya), Nairobi, Kenya. Not sure what the artist had in mind: mixing Obama with the Balkan mess…
Kwa Iddi, Tanzania. “Mgahawa” means cheap restaurant or coffe. It makes me think of “caoua”, slang French for coffee, Arabic origin. The Swahili language picked up a few Arabic words too.
Near Nyeri, Kenya. Not exactly an Obama reference but a US flag is pretty rare out there and I thought it was related to this post.
I’ve said again and again but this lake is just a marvel. All, yes all, pictures below taken on 2 legs of 5 min flights only, same day. Last week, the visibility was just exceptional thanks to some rains.
lake Natron is one those numerous lakes located in the Rift valley. Here is the lake western cliff with its highest peak, Oldonyo Sambu at more than 6000 ft. The lake bed lies at 2000 ft.
vertical and classic view of the salt and artistic pattern.
have you seen the great movie '” Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain”? Simply called “Amelie” for the US market I heard. The troll is being brought all over the world by Amélie’s friends and proof pictures are sent to her puzzled father (and troll’s owner). Brilliant idea which became fashionable since: a lot tourists seem to do the same while travelling with various fluffed toys and stage pictures. Meet Karine’s McMinus flying with me. She misses so much our real hedgehog Muffin that her Mom (Karine’s not Muffin’s) had sent her that replica as a sweet allusion.
wildebeests ( en fr. des gnous) on a river delta near Shombole.
to the south/south west lie Mt Gelai and volcano Lengai (on the right, the triangle a bit hidden by the haze and dust)