I met Freddy a few months back when I was looking for a Nairobi-based guide to show me around town. We made contact, but it was only later that I finally had time to meet him in person. We make an appointment at the research institute compound where I’m staying, but the security guards won’t let him in. He calls me from the checkpoint where he has parked his dilapidated van. I walk to the gate and I can instantly spot him – a tall, muscular guy in his mid twenties, wearing jeans and a baseball cap. We say our hellos and I jump into his car under a disapproving gaze of the security guards.
It takes five hours to drive from Nairobi to Maasai Mara. Our Landcruiser negotiates Nairobi’s infernal traffic, passes by a sprawling slum settlement, and a couple of hours later we are crossing the Rift Valley and heading towards the land of the Masai. Our destination is the Maasai Mara plain, a massive national park blending smoothly into Serengeti on the Tanzanian side.