author photo
Tim Draper
11/6/2020

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

Nairobi city market

Kibera slum on the outskirts of Nairobi

Turkana tribespeople at Maralal camel fair

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Turkana women at Maralal camel fair

Samburu tribal dance, Maralal

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Jumping Samburu boy, Maralal

Samburu girls in Maralal

The camel race begins

The winner of the camel race rides in

Young Samburu girl in elaborate headgear

Samburu clothing detail

A young Samburu warrior

A Turkana woman in traditional clothing

A traditional Turkana house (manyatta)

A young Turkana tribe girl

Turkana tribe, mother and child

Pokot clothing detail, western Kenya

A young Pokot tribe girl

A young Pokot tribe girl

A young Pokot tribe girl

Boys play football in the backstreets of Lamu

Dhow race at the end of Ramadan, Lamu

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