The white sandy beach, lined with lush palm trees, is in the distance. The Kenyan sun is beating down on your skin. The wind is blowing through your hair. The spray of the water is cooling your face.
“Be careful” Dad says, with as much calmness as he can muster. “Not too fast.”
You see there are two people on this jet-ski, enjoying the wide expanse of the Indian Ocean. There is me on the front; hands on the throttle, revving the engine, supposedly in control. Then there is my Dad on the back; aged sixty-six years, slightly balding, blind as a bat and a highly inept swimmer We travel at full speed, skimming the surface of the ocean; twisting, turning, negotiating through the waves; the spray drenching us from head to toe; my Dad gripping onto the jet-ski for dear life.
Our guide for this fortnight long holiday in Kenya, Mohammed, has already taken us up hill and down dale; from long pristine beaches to volcanic lava flows to natural springs. For our second week, we have the vast oven-hot expanse of the African savannah to seduce us; traversing the dusty red earth by open-top jeep.
I stand up on the seat, lift myself slightly out of the confines of the jeep and rest my elbows on the vehicle’s roof - the metal bodywork still warm from the scorching afternoon sun. Undisturbed by our presence, zebras, elephants and wildebeest criss-cross in front of us; like our jeep is nothing but a normal feature of the landscape, blending in with the acacia and baobab trees.
We venture further across the savannah like a Trojan horse; our jeep taking on the façade of an animal while harbouring us humans, cocooned inside, patiently observing, absorbed by the plethora of wildlife and the small spinning vortexes of red dust which whirl around us and yet leave our vehicle intact.
As the evening gives way to the night, the sun sets and dusk is upon us. There is a cooling chill in the air with Kilimanjaro just an outline in the distance. Back at the lodge, smiling and courteous waiters welcome us for dinner. The Maasai wind their way between the tables of the dinning guests, energetically jumping high into the air, with their vibrant clothes and high pitch yelps.
We retreat to our respective lodges as the night draws to a close. I fall asleep gazing up at the sky, the hum of insects in the background, and me safely cocooned in my mosquito net, thinking about what tomorrow will bring.