Landscapes of East Africa

Landscapes of East Africa

Photos from travelling and trekking in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania

Text and photos: Erik Pontoppidan, Copenhagen, Denmark

Copyright: Erik Pontoppidan

Click HERE to listen to the world-famous song "Malaika" sung in swahili from the seventies! Here performed by Equator Sound Band, earlier known as Jambo Boys.

From a village near the eastern bank of Lake Victoria, Kenya.

In summer 1972, I stayed in East Africa for about 2 months. The main purpose of the trip was to join a work camp project in 2 villages near the eastern shore of Lake Victoria in Kenya, arranged by a Danish help organization. However, during my stay, I also got the opportunity to visit the neighbouring countries Uganda and Tanzania by local transport as a backpacker. Both parts became a great experience. When talking about natural scenery, two of the highlights of my trekking career became the climb Africa's highest mountain Kilimanjaro (5.895 meters) and a trek to the heights of the legendary Ruwenzori mountains along the border between western Uganda and Zaire in central Africa. I hope that the photos below will reflect some of my enthusiasm.

Click or push on the photos below for bigger size

1: From central Nairobi, Kenya.

2: From the small island of Lamu at the north-eastern coast of Kenya. This small island in The Indian Ocean has a strong Arabic cultural influence due to the frequent boat traffic between Africa and the Arab world for centuries. The wood vessels to the left are the legendary "dhows", which have been used as trade ships by the Arabs for hundreds of years.

3: Fish market near Homa Bay near the eastern shore of Lake Victoria, Kenya.

4: Visiting the game parks of East Africa used to to be an experience for the upper class, but today, it's getting part of the mass tourism.

1-4: From the banks of the huge lake Victoria - one of the main sources of the Nile. All the photos are from the Kenyan, eastern side.

1-4: From my climb of Kilimanjaro in summer, 1972. Click HERE to read my article in Danish.

1: From the start of the Kilimanjaro trek near Marangu in Tanzaina. The trail leads us through the idyllic banana -and coffee plantations of the Chagga tribe before entering the dense jungle forest at higher altitudes.

2-3: Standing at the crater ridge of Kilimanjaro, at Gillman's Point (5.600 m above sea level) watching the sunrise was one of the highlights of my life.

4: Before the final ascent of Kilimanjaro, you have to cross a moon-like desert at an altitude of about 5.000 meters above sea level. The lighting dot in the far distance is Kibo Hut, whose aluminium roof is glittering in the sun.

1-4: From my trek to the Ruwenzori mountains in Uganda in summer, 1972. Click HERE to read my article in English.

The Ruwenzori Mountains - or the Mountains of the Moon - rise to very high altitudes along the border area between the western Uganda and Zaire in central Africa. Apart from being one of the main sources of the Nile, they are among the strangest and most mysterious mountains in the world.

The lower parts of Ruwenzori are covered with dense tropical rain forest separated by powerful rivers. Everywhere, there is an immense fertility due to the very heavy rainfall all year round (as an average, it rains 300 days during the year). Trekking here is a tough walk for hours by hard accessible trails blocked by fallen trees, crossing muddy swamps. The forest is very different in appearance and species. Some of the remarkable vegetation in the lower regions consist of plenty of 2-3 meter high fern trees and extensive areas covered by thousands of 10 meter high bamboo trunks swinging over your head. Sometimes the trail disappears, and the direction leads you through big, muddy swamps. It's quite a good comparison to imagine, that you have just left your time machine after a long time travel back to a remote geologic age. Most of the vegetation feels unfamiliar and over-sized, and the whole landscape makes you think of the earth in a prehistoric time.

Click HERE to read my article about my climb of Kilimanjaro in Danish.
Click HERE to read my article in English about my trek in the Ruwenzori mountains in Uganda.
Click HERE to read my article in Danish about my trek in the Ruwenzori mountains in Uganda.
Click HERE to see my digital photos from Gambia and Senegal in West Africa.

Click HERE to see the English version of the main entrance to my home pages, with plenty of articles and photo galleries about travelling and trekking.