The Samburu people live in the northern territories of Kenya. There is very little water, and the tribespeople have suffered for many years from drought, disease and attacks from Shifta bandits. Here a Samburu warrior digs in the dried river bed for water for his goats. The Samburu sing while they dig, hence the reason this area is called the singing wells.
I took this picture three years ago when I was on a recce for a series I made for the BBC called ‘Mission Africa‘, presented by Nick Knowles and Ken Hames. We took 15 young apprentices from the UK to this luga (a dried river bed) in the Sera Wildlife Conservancy. Over six weeks, they helped build lodges for wildlife tourists, new water wells and started re-stocking the area with animals such as giraffe. We had partners such as Lewa Conservancy, Tusk Trust, Born Free, Scottish Water to name but a few. You can watch a clip on You Tube.
I like making shows where the legacy isn’t just the television programmes, but real lasting value. In this case, we set out with the aim of leaving the Samburu people a sustainable source of income. And from what I hear, that’s what has happened.
I suppose the highlight of making the series was being knocked out by a five-tonne bull elephant that had just been darted. Not many people can claim that honour.
Here is a video I took at the same time of the tribesmen digging for water.