I was travelling overland between Bhutan and Nepal several years ago, and stopped at Darjeeling for a couple of days. Whilst there, I came across this scene of clouds rolling over an old spooky building, mountains in the background. A wonderful town in the Lesser Himalayas, with a large Buddhist presence, famous for its tea plantations and the narrow-gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
Heading into southern Iraq towards Basra in 2011, we travelled through the Iraqi Marshlands and came across a number of locals who had made their home here. It was a big contrast to the dry and dusty conditions that we had already travelled through to get here. Whilst we waited for a boat to take us across the waterways, I wandered over to a couple of huts along the water. A dog came out barking towards me, but a small girl followed the dog out and soon reigned it in. Another girl, who I presume was her sister due to their likeness, appeared out from these same huts with a welcoming smile, and I photographed her against the backdrop of the marshes.
In the Omo Valley, Ethiopia. Towards sunset, the goat herders of the Kara tribe were bringing their goats back to the village. With the red of the sunlight filtering through the dust, I jumped straight in with my camera, sometimes through thorns on my hands and knees, but was fortunate to have captured some beautiful scenes.
The annual Lake Turkana festivities see around a dozen tribes, mainly from northern Kenya, take part in cultural exchanges and traditional dances. It’s quite a fascinating couple of days and provides opportunities to see local tribes who are not normally on a safarist’s bucket list. For example, I found one local El Molo village to be just a few rudimentary huts loosely strewn together, surviving largely through fishing. A dwindling tribe, the El Molo may soon disappear through assimilation and intermarriage with other local tribes.
With the day’s festivities finished and with the onset of twilight, a few miles from the nearest village, the tribes of the Turkana and Samburu dance well into dusk on the windswept shores of Lake Turkana. Seeing the tribes enjoying each other’s company, it can sometimes be difficult to remember that cattle-stealing is causing much strife between the different tribes. But initiatives such as the Lake Turkana festival will help promote trust and understanding.