Above the Scorpion unfurls its tail across the delta’s width before the river crashes into the ocean. I’m enjoying a lone sail with the boatman along the mangrove-lined river with its dunes silhouetted against the night sky. Everything is elemental, pure and magical. As the stars sparkle above, the water is lit with phosphoresce.
Published: Saturday Nation magazine 30 November 2019
On the ancient granite rock-filled ridge of Lukenya, it’s a 360-degree view of Africa. A mountain climber from the Mountain Club of Kenya is scaling a vertical wall of an immense rock face, his tiny figure carefully inching his way up as we drive from the plains to the top of the hill that is a feature on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway.
It’s on this rocky crop that our ancestors lived in the era of Stone Age, a perfect spot where the caves became homes and the plains below a rich hunting ground for food. For us modern sapiens it’s simply amazing to be stepping on the same rocks as our good old ancestors and be fortunate to marvel at the beauty of space around us.
It’s twilight, that magical moment when the sun has travelled the sky to end the day. In that golden moment we’re on the banks of the Tana before it branches out into the famed delta by the same name.
The river is calm. The dugout canoe is tied to a pole on the opposite bank for no one will cross during the night. Tall borassus palms straddle the banks like monoliths, their strong trunks silver in the evening light and the fan-shaped leaves slightly rustling with the breeze.
Above: From the arch of the mosque near Fumo Liyogo’s grave near Kipini on the tip of Tana Delta – Rupi Mangat
Published: Saturday Nation magazine 16 November 2019
It’s a quiet brook at Kalota on the tip of the delta that is Kenya’s largest, the Tana. It’s here we hop on to the boat belonging to the Ozi Community Conservation Area that is supported by Nature Kenya, the country oldest natural history society started in 1909 by like-minded naturalist.
It looks like Spider-Man is inching his way up a gigantic cliff. He’s spread eagle and through my zoom l see his muscles taut as he gets a foot-hold in a tiny cervix in the rock as his hand grips another to move up. It’s tense but the climber is secured to a harness for safety. Finally, he reaches the top while his mates cheer him from below. A few minutes later, he rappels down in seconds.