Saturday, 12 April 2014

K is for Kenya

Kenyan Landscape
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to visit Kenya for a 7 night safari tour. We visited multiple game parks over the 7 days, often travelling across unmade roads and jiggling around in the van like jumping beans on a loudspeaker! It was definitely an experience although perhaps one that isn't for everyone!

For me though, watching the landscape, towns and tiny villages as we passed, gave me a better sense of the people and country than if I had flown from park to park. We had regular rest stops, often at dingy, dirty tourist trap Souvenir Shops but the locals are not silly! The bathroom facilities in these places are sparkling clean and smelled of bleach & pot pourri - all for the rich tourists passing through.

Lion Cub
The downside of these wonderful bathroom facilities was their placement - often at the rear of the souvenir shop and as a salesperson greeted you the moment you stepped inside, I always felt like I had to buy something.

The hardest part was haggling over price when all you really want to do is get to the bathroom! I hate haggling at the best of times so by about the 3rd day, we'd devised a cunning plan - one of us would keep them talking whilst the other would dash to the bathroom then we'd swap!

I'm one of those people who likes to talk to anyone though - I had no idea of the palpitations I was causing our driver as I stood, chatting to maybe 4 or 5 sales guys - all of them over 6 foot tall usually.

A family friend summed it up later when we told the story - 'She's not happy for the day until she's spoken to a stranger!' When I think about that, I realise that yes, I do stop & chat with almost anyone I come into contact with! I guess I'm one of those annoying people at the grocery store checkout who always has a few words to say to the cashier, slowing her down and driving you crazy in the line behind me!

Old Bull Elephant
Anyway, back to my Kenya safari - the best bit was the animals of course! As much as I love people, animals are also very high up in my list of loves and having just bought a new super duper camera especially for the trip, I went to town on taking photos at every opportunity. I filled all my memory cards and had to buy extras while I was there - that was an expensive lesson to learn! Always buy them at home where the prices are reasonable & take way more than you expect to use!

I came home with over 2000 photos but as many were taken whilst moving, that included many useless shots. I did end up with over 1500 decent pictures though, some of which I submitted to my microstock portfolios and a few in my Zazzle shop. The lion cub above is probably my favorite of the whole bunch though - he was only about 15 feet away from us and with a zoom lens, I managed to get this portrait of him.

If you'd like to read more or see more of my Kenyan images, I wrote an article over at Squidoo about my wonderful Kenyan Safari. I've also written a few other articles over there if you're curious!


Check out some of my Squidoo lenses!

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