Kenya Days, Moonlit Nights – Bhupendra Brahmabhatt
Kenya Days, Moonlit Nights
Africa and Kenya, the coming of the Asian
Africa. In the old days and even until recent times it was referred to as the lost, the dark continent. Even today, there are some who are total strangers to this vast, beautiful part of the planet. For this reason, Asians who have not lived there are somehow alienated from those who have lived and loved the way of life that still exists, albeit with some restrictions. What follows is a hint of what one would expect in terms of natural beauty and its surroundings. Again, whilst mainly referring to Kenya, some descriptions could well apply to other parts of the continent.
Best appreciated in the rural areas, the rising sun at dawn over the Acacia trees, or the palms at the coast, the pink along with the blue, the dusk with the golden and purple skies, the migrating birds in varying profusion to nest, the heady smell of the earth, the orange coloured terrain, and the people. Of course, the people. The various tribes, Kikuyu, Luo, Maasai, Wakamba and the Giriama at the coast. Some more business-like in their approach than others, but on a personal level extremely friendly and despite hardships, laughing away their blues come what may. Black is even more beautiful here, with their wide smiles displaying perfectly symmetrical teeth, filed to perfection according to tribal customs. The Maasai with their bodies painted with red earth, spears in hand, donning lions’ manes which cover their heads. Their dances, a must for the appreciating tourist and tribal customs as in the case of the Maasai killing a lion to prove manhood.
The flora and fauna are some of the most varied on the planet. The majestic African Elephant, king of the jungle lion, the fastest land animal cheetah, the uniquely patterned giraffe, hippo, black and white rhinoceros, crocodile, baboon and various deer abounding in the forests.
With conservation and tourism very much a priority these are protected in the various game parks, although poaching, which was intermittently rampant in the earlier days remains a problem today for the game departments.
The flora include the rose and primrose from England, various lilies, including the Kenya national emblem the gloriosa, bougainvilleas, hibiscus (origin America) and others detailed later.
Butterflies and birds in endless variety and hues.
Among those which would count as wonders of the world are the countless pink flamingos at lake Nakuru and seeing them rise in the equally pink sky of the dawn, the amazing Rift Valley, the velvet dark skies with a million stars over tropical nights, with the sound of crickets in grass and the often soundless forests with only the occasional rustle of leaves.