Cheap Flights
Text size +

Archive for March, 2008

The red elephants of Tsavo East

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Made famous by the Man-Eating Lions of Tsavo, Tsavo East National Park is an impressive swath of land, where lions, cheetah, giraffe and the red elephant roam. See the red elephant and numerous other animals on this sunset safari in today’s photo gallery.

Walking the streets of Mombasa

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Situated along Kenya’s Indian Ocean seaboard, Mombasa’s prime location and calm waters made this island a much coveted city. In Kiswahili the town earned the name Kisiwa Cha Mvita – the “Island of War” – because of the numerous forceful land grabs made over its long history.   The influence of numerous cultures washing up on its shores, including the Portugese, Arabs, and Indians, all combined with the local East African flair, provides for a spectacularly enchanting place. Walk the streets of Mombasa in today’s photo gallery.

Mombasa’s beaches

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

After a few days exploring Kenya’s capital and central business hub, Nairobi, we decided to head via an overnight train to Mombasa, Kenya’s largest port city on the Indian Ocean. There the waters are warm, the waves calm and interesting scenes abound. See more photo’s from today’s exploration of Mombasa’s beaches in today’s photo gallery. 

Mombasa-bound

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Braving a fierce down pour, we made our way to the Nairobi Railway Station to catch an overnight train to Mombasa, Kenya’s bustling port city on the Indian Ocean. Hop on the train and head to Mombassa in today’s photo gallery.

Urban safari: Nairobi National Park

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Stunning in both its concentration of wildlife and proximity to the bustling streets of the city, Nairobi National Park is a spectacular introduction to Kenya. Hitting the road just before six in the morning, we rushed to the park in Benard’s uncle’s matatu minivan, a mere 20 minutes from the center, to catch the animals at the prime viewing period in the morning. Catch giraffes, impalas, rhino, monkeys and zebras in today’s photo gallery.

Kenya burning

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

A world of change can happen in three months. For those keeping score, we wavered quite a bit about if we should indeed head to Kenya. Once a mark of stability in a continent known for anything but, the East African nation disintegrated into deadly tribal strife after contested presidential elections late last year. By the time we were packing our bags, we were pretty sure that Kenya was off the itinerary. A month and a half later, things had settled and we cautiously looked into visiting the nation once again.

Ultimately, it was the blessing of Jon Rosen that gave us the confidence to buy our tickets. Rosen, a childhood friend of ours and a former teacher in Kenya, continues to maintain strong contacts with the Kenyan running scene and has a good hand on the local pulse. Currently a master’s student at Johns Hopkins School of International Studies in Bologna, Italy (a future destination on the Jaunt), Rosen recently wrote the following piece that masterfully breaks down the recent, and unstable situation in Kenya. -T.A.

-

For someone with a deep personal connection to Kenya and its people, the presidential and parliamentary elections of last December 27th had long been marked on my calendar. On that day, opinion polls showed, Raila Odinga, a youthful populist who preached a message of ethnic harmonization, stood a fair chance of upending the aging incumbent Mwai Kibaki.

Elected five years prior on a pledge to curb the country’s longstanding history of corruption, Kibaki was nonetheless accused of reverting to the ways of his forefathers: endorsing tribal favoritism, widening the gap between the country’s elite upper-class and its impoverished masses, and turning his back on various episodes of high-level plundering of state coffers.

As returns trickled in the day after the election, Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement had made large gains in Parliament, and, local sources reported, had a sizeable lead in the race for the Presidency. On the 29th, however, the announcement of further results was suspended under dubious circumstances. That day, I opened my inbox to find the following message from police officer friend who’s also an athlete – and an astute political observer – in the Rift Valley town of Eldoret.

“There are some alarming news about Kibaki rigging the poll ‘n a speedy swearing in ceremony tomorrow against the peoples’ wish. You can imagine what will definitely follow. The Eldoret you knew is not the Eldoret of today, total chaos, total mess.”

Thus began the overnight plunge of a country I’d grown to love for the hospitality and kindness of its people, into one replete with the vilest of human atrocities.

How on Earth did this come to be? At the core, I see three different explanations. (more…)

Touching down in Nairobi

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Entering the country with a bit of trepidation, we finally arrive in Nairobi (after changing our plans three times since the start of the trip) The political situation after contested elections late last year led to violence that left more than a 800 dead and displacing hundreds of thousands Kenyans . Though the violence has ebbed, the political agreement between the two rival parties is shaky at best, meaning that there is a potential for things to flare up again during our stay. But for now, all is relatively calm (note this gallery was shot on 3/26/08). With our new friend Benard Langat, a Kenyan long-distance runner, we take a tour around Nairobi, seen here in today’s photo gallery.

On to Kenya

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

On the train to London’s Heathrow airport, Alicia, who joins us for our trip to Kenya and Tanzania, reads up on our next destination: Kenya. With just a little over a week to cover the entire country, planning to make the most of our time is essential. Our first stop is East Africa’s transportation and business hub as well as Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Jump on the plane and head to Kenya in today’s photo gallery.

The icons of London

Monday, March 24th, 2008

We make a quick, but packed, tour of London, seeing the Tower Bridge, Regent Street, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the London Eye. Take your tour of London in today’s photo gallery.

Fish and chips and football

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Sunday in England means football…of the British variety. We headed to a local pub to catch London’s bitter rivals Chelsea and Arsenal square off in a heated match. While we were at it we got to taste the UK’s most famous culinary export: fish and chips. The entire experience was…delightful. Check out the photos here…

About LongJaunt Equal parts lighthearted jaunt and in-depth journey, this intimately documented trip around the world has one goal: to bring you along for the ride.
contributors

Thushan Amarasiriwardena

, former Senior Multimedia Producer at The Boston Globe, has always loved telling a great story. Combining his eye for visual story telling and his technical background in computer science at North Carolina State University, Thushan has reported on business, sports and travel for The Globe. You can find his site here.

Michael Kurtz

, graduated with a degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His thesis research focused on the intersection of race and music in Northeastern Brazil. He worked previously as A&R and Production Coordinator for Putumayo World Music, an international music record label based in New York City. You can find his site here.

Brian Rogers

graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies, and has traveled extensively in Latin America.

Alicia Conway

is LongJaunt's home base chief and a Technical Producer for The Boston Globe. She joined and contributed with the team out in England, Kenya, Tanzania, The Netherlands and Thailand.