Terry's Top 6 Travel Moments
See Virtual Tours of Kenya
2 of 6
Next, we change continents for the best-ever of many marvellous sunrises and sunsets I've seen in Africa.
We were in Kenya, on one side of the huge Rift valley, a few miles across and, stretching North-South for hundreds; the collapsed backbone of Africa. The inward sides of the valley are almost vertical and it took nearly an hour to climb a couple of thousand feet in our four-wheel drive to a laboriously built lodge at the top where we were staying. It was called Olkurruk, which is Swahili for raven, of which there were a number circling all the time.
We were on the Western side of the valley so the sun rose directly opposite and forewarned of the spectacular sight, we got up at 5:30 to see this. Early rising is no problem in Africa since it's often the most comfortable part of the day and about a dozen people scrambled, with torches, up to a rocky terrace facing due East. Around 6:00 am, the faintest lightening of the darkness could be seen and everyone and everything went very quiet - even the pre-dawn chorus seemed stilled.
Dawn is very fast in the tropics and suddenly the edge of the mountain horizon opposite began to glow, then rays shot upwards like a solar flare and a sliver of the sun's disk appeared, dusky red at this point. There were one or two gasps but few photographs taken - everyone was simply watching spellbound. Almost visibly moving, the glowing ball rose, becoming more yellow and brighter by the second though still comfortable to the naked eye. In little more than a minute, the lower edge of the disk broke free of the land and the sharp shadows of trees and bushes became noticeable. Another day had begun in Africa.