1. Mara Serena: Staff Volleyball. Every day at four o’clock, as the convoy of tourist vehicles head out for their afternoon game drive, the electric generator is switched off. The sound of whirling computer fans in the office winds down to silence and is eventually replaced by the distant rumble of tractors pulling empty trailers. The Road Team make their slow return to Headquarters. They park, turn off their engines, and walk up the hill towards the staff compound to drink milky tea and play volleyball with the Serena waiters, mechanics and groundsmen for the last silent hour, until six, when the hum of the electric generator becomes background noise again.

    Somewhere out in the reserve the diesel engine is started on a Landcruiser carrying five Japanese tourists. They wave goodbye to a pride of lions or a lone cheetah sat on a termite mound and their driver starts the journey back to the hotel. A cloud of dust rises up behind the speeding vehicle and changes colour from orange to brown in the setting sun.

     

  2. Cheruiyot at Ranger Graduation

     

  3. Closing the envelope of a hot air balloon. Rivalry between hot air balloon companies is fierce in the Mara, but not to the benefit of the tourist. The price to fly remains high and it is the amount paid to the tour driver for each client brought to the balloon operator which is competitive - the commission received for just two couples can easily be above the national average monthly salary. 

     

  4. Kiptoech looks out onto Mara. Every once in a while - normally during low season - the balloon pilot needs extra weight in his basket. Sometimes these places are filled by the ground team, like Kiptoech, or the extra space is offered out to hotel and conservancy staff. For some it is the first time that they have been higher than a two storey building. 

     

  5. Rangers Compound. During Easter and Christmas, the Rangers Compound is full with the wives and children of the rangers and members of the Road Team who didn’t get to spend the holiday season at home. Someone somewhere is always making tea and small children are sent to the staff shop armed with empty soda bottles and small change for a bag of brown sugar. 

    The warthogs are a regular feature throughout the year.

     

  6. Bushmeat Poachers with their haul of Thomson Gazelles.

     

  7. Arrested Poachers. Rangers take down the details of three men arrested for hunting bushmeat inside the reserve. 

    Read more about poaching here. 

     

  8. Ranger Mohammed Moguche and Family at Graduation Ceremony.

    Maasai Mara, 10.11.09

     

  9. Road Team.

     

  10. Cheetahs in the Maasai Mara

     

  11. Road Team set up camp. To save on fuel costs by not driving a Grader, tractors and Backhoe Loader back to the HQ each day, when the Road Team were fixing roads in the Northern Sector they would often camp out near Oloololo.

    If the Landrover was mobile I would bring along some soda and beer, the Road Team would pitch together to buy a goat, and we would make an afternoon/night of it.

     

  12. Every two weeks - as soon as the rising sun gives enough light to see - young Maasai herders bring their cows and goats into the reserve and trek for almost two hours to the Salt Lick, where the animals eat the clay to supplement their diet with much needed nutrients and minerals. The rangers also go with the herders to protect the boys and cattle from wild animals such as lion, elephant and buffalo. On this trip I went with the filmmaker Simon Trevor.

    More photos of herders at the Salt Lick.

     

  13. Saruni Leshan.

     


  14. That boy is so tall he can see tomorrow.
    — Senny
     

  15. Sogirian sharpens stick to dislodge stuck bolt.