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Africa Geographic
Wildlife . People . Travel
Africa Geographic Travel

Written by: Simon OChen

“Yowzer!” I yelped as I leapt back from the electric fence. My attempt to get an awesome photo ended with a charge of finger-crippling voltage from the small cable separating Punda Milias Camp from the Soysambu Conservancy.

“Are you OK?” Rohini, the photographer that had joined my hitch-hiking ways, asked.

“Yeah. Fence works,” I grinned.

This region of Kenya is packed with wildlife. While hitching up on the A-104 highway, Rohini and I saw zebra, baboons, gazelles and elands grazing by the busy road. And all this just 2.5 hours north of Nairobi.

© Rohini Das

Danny and Queen, who operate the camp, took us through the conservancy in The Beast, Danny’s 1976 Range Rover.

As we drove through herds of zebra, elands and giraffes, Danny said, “We also have lions, hyenas and leopards.” We were on our way to Lake Elementaita – an alkaline lake home to pelicans, storks and flamingos. “It’s so shallow you can walk across,” Danny said.

© Rohini Das

It’s also so salty you can see patches of salt on the shoreline.

© Rohini Das

We explored the grounds, discovering a pepper tree with a caterpillar finishing its last meal before sealing itself shut into the intricate cocoon it had built, complete with tiny wood bits that seemed to have been cut at a carpenter’s workshop.

© Rohini Das
© Rohini Das

“Let’s head out to witness the sunset,” Danny suggested. We arrived at a large hilltop that lay south of the lake, its form reflected off the shimmering surface.

© Rohini Das

“If you turn your head to the side,” explained Queen, “you’ll see the old man sleeping.”

I tilted and my eyes widened with awe. “There’s an old man asleep there!” I exclaimed. I couldn’t believe it. It was as though nature had somehow sculpted a sleeping old man from a hilltop. Looking around, every peak began to resemble an old man or woman sleeping.

© Rohini Das

In my two years and a bit of travelling I never once thought to look at a distant hilltop or mountain peak with a tilted head.


Well now I might need to see a chiropractor.

Shenton Safaris

The whole 'life is too short' cliche is real and I'm out to take advantage of it. I don't like money and I have no aspiration to be financially wealthy so I'm bartering and hitch-hiking my way around the world, offering any help needed, writing articles and guitar-gigging for food and lodgings as well as volunteering with wildlife\marine conservation organisations where I can to raise vital awareness. Life is one shot. No more. No less. Go live it. Follow my journey on Facebook or on my website.