Australian Geographic Adventure goes wild in Kenya with Chris Bray

By Amy Russell 8 November 2013
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Follow Australian Geographic Adventure staff writer Amy Russell in Kenya on a Chris Bray Photography Safari.

Follow Australian Geographic Adventure staff writer Amy Russell in Kenya on a Chris Bray Photography Safari.

SOME MOMENTS IN LIFE are better than others. Hands down. Where I sit, right now, is one of those.

As the sun sets behind me, casting vibrant shades of orange-red light across the dusty savannah plains that stretch out to the horizon, a gust of wind invades our vehicle through the open roof, tickling my skin and ruffling my sun-streaked, matted hair.

I’m caked in granules of fine, red earth from head to toe: the dust is in my mouth, behind my ears, and under my fingernails. It follows me out here like swarms of bees follow their keeper; and, I know that even when I leave, and the hard, dusty ground is replaced with smooth pavements and freshly-clipped grass, I’ll still find remnants of it everywhere. 

But I don’t care that I’m dirty. I don’t care because I’m in Kenya, and here, the dirt is all part of the fun.

This is our third visit to Amboseli National Park in two days, and the excitement level of the group is just as high as it was yesterday, when we passed through the park’s entry gates for the first time. Actually, I’d say it’s probably even greater – almost at fever pitch – because now we know what to expect.

We’re all here for the same reason – to shoot an astronomical amount of photos. And, if Day 1 (yesterday) was anything to go by, we’ll easily be surpassing that goal. I’m joined by seven other photography enthusiasts on this trip – each of us loaded up with so much gear you’d be forgiven for confusing us with pack horses employed by Canon – and at our helm, are our trusty shepherds on this African odyssey: adventurer/photographer Chris Bray, and his partner Jess Taunton.

We’re set to spend 14 days exploring some of the best game reserves Kenya has to offer, and Chris tells me that each holds its own remarkable wilderness.

Although Amboseli NP, in all its glory, is home to many treasures, it’s hard not to be dazzled by the elephants. We’ve met them here walking freely in large herds – I’ve counted up to 30 in the one group so far – and at times, they’ve come so close to our sturdy green Land Rover, I could’ve reached out and stroked their wrinkly hides as they trundled past.

Besides these gentle giants, we’ve snapped shots of sleepy wilderbeast, intricately-patterned zebras, flighty Thompson gazelles, and dozens of bird species, to name but a few. And, already I’m hooked on the euphoria of seeing these animals in the wild. Unlike at your local zoo, where they’re housed in small numbers for the benefit of the hordes of inquisitive tourists and animal lovers, here, this is their turf, and we’re the minority.

To join a Chris Bray Safari in 2012/2013 check out his website. And, to find out more about Kenya visit

Keep an eye out for the full story in the May/June issue of Australian Geographic Adventure, and read more Kenya Photography Safari blogs here.