Rough Guides photographer Tim Draper took an intrepid trip through Kenya to visit remote tribes and see stunning landscapes. Here, he shares his favourite pictures of the country with us. 

Like Kenya itself, the capital is a place of absolute contrast. It’s hard to believe that just a short drive from Nairobi’s smart central business district, with its glitzy malls and fine dining, lies Kibera slum, sprawling endlessly around the outskirts of the city.

But I wasn’t in Kenya to experience Nairobi’s diversity. After a few days I caught a bus north in search of Kenya’s quieter corners and the forgotten tribes that inhabit them. In Samburu territory I stumbled across the annual Maralal camel derby, but it wasn’t until I pushed further north, towards Lake Turkana, hitching rides on whatever transport headed that way, that I truly felt I’d entered another world, harsh, remote and unforgiving.

Finally leaving the lake and its residents behind me I set off on my toughest journey, in search of the infamous Pokot tribe. They were tricky to reach, but once there I was treated to days of kind hospitality, before heading back through Nairobi and onwards to the coastal town of Lamu for some well-deserved rest – and the day of Eid dhow race.

Central Nairobi at dusk

central Nairobi at dusk, Kenya

Nairobi city market

Aerial view of Nairobi city market, Kenya

Kibera slum on the outskirts of Nairobi

Kibera slum on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya

Turkana tribespeople at Maralal camel fair

Turkana tribespeople at Maralal camel fair, northern Kenya

Turkana women at Maralal camel fair

Turkana women at Maralal camel fair, Kenya

Samburu tribal dance, Maralal

Samburu tribe dance, Maralal Kenya

Jumping Samburu boy, Maralal

Jumping Samburu boy, Maralal, Kenya

Samburu girls in Maralal

Samburu girls in Maralal

The camel race begins

the Maralal camel race begins, Kenya

The winner of the camel race rides in

winner of Maralal camel race rides in

Young Samburu girl in elaborate headgear

kenya-Tribes.Fin0022

Samburu clothing detail

Samburu clothing detail

A young Samburu warrior

A young Samburu warrior, Kenya

A Turkana woman in traditional clothing

Turkana girl in traditiional clothing, northern Kenya.

A traditional Turkana house (manyatta)

kenya-Tribes.Fin0200

A young Turkana tribe girl

A young Turkana tribe girl

Turkana tribe, mother and child

Turkana tribe, mother and child

Pokot clothing detail, western Kenya

Pokot clothing detail, western Kenya

A young Pokot tribe girl

young Pokot tribe girl

A young Pokot tribe girl

Pokot girl in traditiional clothing, central Kenya.

A young Pokot tribe girl

young Pokot tribe girl

Boys play football in the backstreets of Lamu

africa_0078

Dhow race at the end of Ramadan, Lamu

Dhow race, Lamu, Kenya

rough guide kenya coverExplore more of Kenya with The Rough Guide to KenyaCompare flights, find toursbook hostels and hotels for your trip, and don’t forget to buy travel insurance before you go.