Maasai encampment below the towering slopes of Shompole volcano, on the Kenya-Tanzania border southwest of Lake Magadi; Aug 1980.

This is very hot, semiarid, thornbush country, in the floor of the rift valley in southern Kenya.  The great bluffs in the background are on the flanks of Shompole, one of the many volcanoes in the rift valley’s floor.

Scale is difficult to judge here, but there is a single, cloaked person, seen as a dark spot, standing near the left hand end of the encampment’s bare, brown earth.  Several low, pale-roofed huts can be seen, and the camp is enclosed by fences of cut thornbush, which serve to help keep the stock animals in – and their predators out – during the 12-hour equatorial nights.

With the eye of faith, some very thin, pale paths can be seen crossing the rocky ground (there is one near the prominent green tree in the foreground), and white spots below the camp’s right hand end may be cows or goats.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

Technique: OM-1 with 75-150 Zuiko lens at 150mm; Agfa CT18 colour slide film, rated at 64 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.


I’m re-posting photographs that I took in Kenya over 30 years ago.  You can find more context here .  Click onto the “Archive Kenya” tag (below) to see more of these film images from Kenya.




About Adrian Lewis
Photographer - using mono, colour and combinations of the two - many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous, trying new ideas, working in multiple genres. And I've a weakness for Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.


  1. one of many volcanoes!


  2. Meanderer says:

    That is very interesting indeed! As Helen says: fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I don’t think this is a particularly “good” picture, but the thing here is the scale of what we’re looking at – the bluffs of the volcano behind are enormous, and we are of course in a geologically very young landscape, and there is no reason whatsoever to assume that the volcano is extinct.
      And as I’ve just said to Gemma, these people are to a large extent self-sufficient, their society does not have all the complex needs that our’s do, so that their society, although far more “basic” is also far more robust and durable. 🙂


      • Meanderer says:

        Yes, the scale is mind-boggling! Your words ‘robust’ and ‘durable’ really hit home during this strange and fragile time. Had to laugh this morning when people were getting their underwear in a twist over whether they could go out to play golf and tennis – or not – during the England lockdown. It’s as if ‘global pandemic’ hasn’t really touched base with a lot of people; groan!


        • Adrian Lewis says:

          I think that many people are so bound up in their lives / lifestyles (+ soaps, sports on TV, quiz shows etc) that they either don’t want to know about the bigger picture or they cannot comprehend it. For example, there seems to be the idea that if they ask when all of this turmoil will end, there will be somebody who can tell them. And, as I’ve seen for a long time now, that whatever happens in this world, there is the belief that something can be done about it.
          I remember taking high-powered Americans (one a Presidential aide I think) on safari. For a start it took some days to “get them down” from their high powered work / lifestyles. And then there was the amazement and consternation when I told them that if a certain bridge was down, we might not reach our destination at all that day – “can’t something be done?” – well, one vehicle out in the wilds, no radio, no MOBs, I could see that this concept had a very profound effect on them. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I see two goats (animals?) one on the left and one on the right. It’s like “Where’s Waldo” 😂 These photos are always fascinating. What might it look like today? 🤷🏼‍♀️
    Good stuff, bud.

    Liked by 1 person

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