The view south in the rocky Dida Galgalla Desert of northern Kenya, with the volcanic highlands of Mt Marsabit on the horizon – each one of those far off peaks is a volcano – the picture can be clicked on and enlarged to show these a little more clearly.  Photographed in the late 1970s.

Having worked as a geologist in Arabia, and also being a naturalist, I have a great affinity for deserts – their often harsh and desolate emptiness, the huge skies, the intriguing wildlife.  Those familiar with pictures of the sand seas of the Sahara will find none of that here – this is a rocky desert – and its more of a semi-desert >>> sparse and bleached plant life can be seen, and after rains the whole area will briefly become green, but briefly is the operative word here, most of the time it looks like this.

One other thing to mention.  Look at the small rock outcrop close to the camera, and just above the centre of the picture – and then look just to the left of it.  That glimpse of a far off, twisting, sandy (and rocky too!) track is in fact the A2, the main road through this part of northern Kenya up to the Ethiopian border at Moyale.  How I remember bouncing and crashing around on that road, as we went north looking for desert birds on fascinating and exciting journeys.  But I never drove the whole way to Moyale.  Instead, intent on gathering data for a bird atlas, we flew in, twice, from Nairobi.  And I seem to remember our little aircraft landing in Ethiopia but coming to a halt in Kenya – but that may just be a fanciful thought from long ago.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended – except that this is a very old colour slide that has spent years in the tropics >>> and parts of the sky in particular say as much!!! 🙂

Technique: OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide film, rated at 64 ISO; Lightroom.


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.



    • Yes, a spectacular and intriguing landscape – LOL! so long as your vehicle wasn’t broken down in it!!! You talk about the browns and buffs. Before going to Kenya I birdwatched (I mean worked as a geologist …) in the deserts of Oman, which gave me a good grounding for Kenya’s wild areas – but I remember Omani landscapes that were really only shades of brown and maroon, and after awhile these landscapes became quite mentally oppressive. I shall never be traveling in deserts any more, but I very much value the life experiences they brought me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Things are getting almost that dry here, as it seems that we’re starting yet another summer drought. Most of the grass has gone brown and the soil hasn’t begun to crack and form crevasses yet, but it feels like it’s soon to come.


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