We've followed James Sturz to India, where he pondered Bengali tigers. This time, he takes us on safari to Kenya, where the menagerie he encountered inspired a series of koans, the paradoxes that Zen Buddhist monks ponder to achieve enlightenment. Here's one to start: Everyone says the animal that kills the most people in Africa each year is the hippo. Except that mosquitoes kill more. In honor of Earth Day, we ponder the wildlife in Kenya.
What if you're on safari, stop to use the bathroom, and when you take out your penis, a hyena starts to laugh?
The warthogs can't remember why they're being chased.
Elephants saying hello.
What if the Kenyan manager of your camp regales you about spending the night in a tree with friends after they'd ventured into the park to milk an elephant, and a buffalo stalked them from below?
Elephants doing more than saying hello.
What if the Kenyan woman in the back of your 4x4 marvels at the magnificent, pendulous phallus of the elephant before you, and then casually remarks that an average-sized mboro weighs 60 pounds?
Would you nod and say, "Everything's bigger in Africa"?
The buffalo's curved horns make him look like Pippi Longstocking.
Cheetahs. One of many ways to die.
What if the TV in the bush plane's boarding area is bewilderingly set on 1000 Ways to Die?
The zebra looks tough, but also a little goofy.
What if the zebra grabs the baby impala by its leg and tosses into the air like a bale of hay? Will that make the zebra seem tougher?
Hyenas have the richest milk of any predator. It builds strong bones, which hyenas are also able to digest. Wildebeests are just some of the animals that don't like what hyenas can do with their strong bones.
Goat on the grill.
What if no matter how good the food the safari camps serve, you hunger for a plate of barbecued goat, and want to gnaw it off the bone?
An elephant's eye.
Its tongue is a flapping, twirling slab of raw liver.
Not an elephant but an eland, which looks as smooth as chamois.
The back of an elephant's ear feels like damp, warm chamois cloth.
The lion on the prowl.
The Masai guide says: "Don't be unnecessarily afraid of lions, because sometimes you can survive a lion attack. But no one survives if an elephant tramples them."
A group of impala.
And man kills even more than that.
Everyone says the animal that kills the most people in Africa each year is the hippo. Except that mosquitoes kill more.
Giraffe, at rest.
When giraffes spread their legs to lower their mouths to watering holes, they're vulnerable to predators.
The giraffe posing.
Giraffe tongues are 18-inches and black.
In the morning, there's coffee and baboons.
A scenic view from camp.
At night, the hyenas howl outside your room.
The Masai only eat domesticated animals, so there's still time for another plate of goat.
The sneaky crocodile.
But your heart speeds up every time a bush begins to shake, and the crocodiles are permanently inside your bed, aggressively nibbling at your toes.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
James stayed and shot his photos at these lodges in Kenya: Aberdare Country Club The Ark Sleeping Warrior Lodge Kicheche Valley Lodge