Travel writer, Lance Richardson travelled to Kenya with Bench Africa, immersing himself in the colourful culture and getting up close and personal with the African wilderness on a walking safari.
Here's his story...
WHEN I land at Nanyuki Airfield in Laikipia, somewhere near the centre of Kenya, I’ve already been on safari for more than a week and I’m tiring of it. Not tiring of the wildlife, which is endlessly fascinating. But tiring of all the insulation – transferring from permanent camp to fortified vehicle then back again, like moving between protective air bubbles. I can see the wilderness outside.
But I can’t touch it.
Which is why I’ve come here – for the promise of something more hands-on. “They say that when you cross the equator your blood starts going the other way around,” the pilot jokes through the headset as he pulls our eight-seater to a stop on the tarmac. We are directly on the equator, nearly 2000 metres above sea level. Acacia trees ripple in the shimmer of the brutal heat.
As a concept, a “walking safari” seems to break all the rules of commonsense animal viewing. Safari rule No. 1 is, after all, don’t get out of the car. So to not only get out of the car but to then wander onto leopard-infested plains is a scenario that seems inadvisable...
Lance Richardson is a writer, journalist and editor born and raised in Sydney, Australia and currently living in New York.