• Kahindo Karuga

Musings of a Kenyan explorer

Kenya, a land so studied but still so mysterious. Diversity seems to be the right shade to colour this East African land that we love so much. Diversity of natural phenomena, diversity of her people. So much diversity that its inevitable some laws of physics must be defied. Snow, white and bright blanketed over the peak of the Mt. Kenya, a mountain that exists right at the heart of the equator!

Diversity. A land where over 50 tongues are spoken. A land where over 50 different cultures are practiced and celebrated each and every day. This gets lost in the nasty politics that has gripped our nation, making it easy to forget that a proud people still hold this country in dearest regard. As dear as the culture and history they seek to uphold. But then again, even the politics of the land speaks volumes of these cultures. So much so that a study in Kenyan politics feels more like a study of anthropology rather than a political science. I digress.. or perhaps I do not.

As a traveler of this great land, it's impossible to ignore her politics. In any case, it's impossible for a traveler of any repute to allow themselves ignorance. Well, perhaps not impossible, but inadvisable. Travel that is steeped in an immovable resolve to gain knowledge will almost always be enlightening. So it has been so far, for this band of young Wanderlusters. Each adventure has borne newly gained understanding and appreciation of a country that offers so much to the natural world.

Seated here, penning this down as I peer over the Amboseli plains, I'm constantly distracted by fleeting movements of wildebeasts and impala. Game safaris are so common to Kenyans that they no longer seem exciting. I mean, we've seen all the animals there are to see isn't it? Game drives should be left to the foreigners who have never even seen a camel before right?

Unfortunately, I have heard this statement made by one too many Kenyans, much to my discomfort. We ought to stop from time to time and remind ourselves how grand our land actually is. Forget the fancy advertisements meant to lure tourists, focus on your personal experience and the impact the natural world has on us. No two game drives are alike. Approach each encounter with an open mind and a heart ready to feel the beauty that is all too familiar.

Perhaps that is the danger of living in a land that is all too beautiful. We get accustomed to it, so much so that we believe that it isn't for us anymore. The way the sun bathes her in golden rays each morning and waves goodbye in lilac hues each evening. From the pearl white shores by the mighty ocean to the pearl white snow in her highest altitude. From the great lakes of the Rift Valley to the desert sand dunes of her Great Northern Frontier.

Her beauty is for us. Always keep that in mind.

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