Our tour guide arrives at 7:30am to take us from Nakuru to Masai Mara. It’s not long before we leave the hustle and bustle of Nakuru behind as we start the seven-hour drive.
We travel back to Navasha along the road we took into Nakuru on Saturday. I’m more alert this time so can appreciate the views over Lake Elementoria. But that doesn’t mean the 40km (25 miles) passed any more quickly. I just can’t believe how slow the highways are here in Kenya. The road surfaces are fantastic but the traffic moves at a crawl. I don’t know whether the battered old vehicles aren’t capable of travelling faster or whether drivers are too scared of the speed. Either way, the best approach is to accept this reality and settle in for the long haul.
Our drive takes us across the Great Rift Valley. Most of the farms grow flowers and small towns dot the highway. Most have brightly painted buildings that don’t always sell the wares that the exterior paint advertises. See, here in Kenya, corporations will paint people’s houses or businesses for free in return for advertising.
I know immediately once we enter Masai country. We’ve exited the Great Rift Valley and I see tall thin men herding cattle, goats and sheep along the roadside. At first, they are all wearing western clothes but carry distinctive long walking sticks, short herding sticks and big knives. But as we travel further into their lands more and more Masai wear traditional shawls over their shoulders. I can’t seem to work out how they keep them so clean, given that they work outdoors.
As we leave the highway behind, the towns are replaced with small villages and isolated huts. The huts made of tin look pretty hardcore.
But then I notice the mud huts along the roadside.
And finally, as we travel even further from the highway, the isolated mud huts are replaced with Masai villages. These are characterised by the grass-roofed huts and fences made of tree branches. I didn’t want to take more obtrusive photos of the villages because the Masai (like most of us I suspect) don’t like people photographing their homes. But I figure this distant photo without any real distinguishing features can’t be too offensive.