My Great Rift Valley Trek with the Maasai.
Our adventure begins fitfully at the same place as humankind as we leave the Serengeti behind and reenter the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Oldupai Gorge. The entrance is far from what I remember from our first visit here twenty-five years previous. The old museum is still intact but is dominated by a new amphitheater that hangs from the cliff directly over the gorge. A local Maasai museum docent provides us with an understanding of what time and erosion have revealed in the gorge below.
After his talk, we find shade at the bottom of the deep gorge and search out a comfortable rock to sit and enjoy lunch. As we eat, our host peruses the creek bed around us and then casually presents what looks like a few random stones so we can consider their origin. It turns out that one was the petrified tooth of an ancient hippopotamus, the other was a rock that was fashioned into an ancient tool from a pre-homo Sapien inhabitant. Through our untrained eyes, we see simple stones lying on the ground. They are non-descript small piles of rocks that time has pushed to the surface. To those who study such things, they are treasure troves of Earthly, pre-human history.
Our guide's enthusiasm is contagious, and we take on all the information he is willing to share. There is so much here to consider and contemplate. Without him, we would have easily bypassed them as just ground underfoot and no wiser for the experience. Perhaps much about the future of mankind can be learned by studying the beginning. What better place to start than in the place where it all began with someone who knows how to read, interpret and share what the landscape has to offer. We finish our lunch and start our adventure with a long drive across the flat, dusty, seemingly never-ending Serengeti Plain. In a week or two, the short brown stubs of grass will turn vivid green with the short rains that will bring wildebeest on their migration route from the north.
Our trekking adventure begins with a short hike into our first fly camp. The yellow domed tents are a welcome sight, and Oldonyo Lengai, a perfectly shaped conical volcano, dominates the distant view. A tall Maasai man in traditional dress welcomes our arrival. Backlit by the setting sun, kids from a nearby Maasai village offer a silhouette image as they line the crest of the rolling plain in front of the mountain. As the dusk air cools, a campfire warms us against the fresh night air. For Jo Ann and I, this is our first night sleeping in a tent together since our fly camping experience on the Sands River on the Selous Reserve in southern Tanzania five or six years ago.
The next morning we begin our trekking adventure with a walk with Sammy. He's our Maasai guide, and he has as much personality as he has information about his homeland and culture. Over the next few days, he will come to nickname most of us, and his wit has us often matching his wide piano keyboard smile. Before breakfast, we take a short walk down the river gorge that is close to our camp. It's our first real walk since departing the safari group, and it's a welcome adventure. It is also our entry into the life and culture of the Maasai people in such a remote part of the country.
The long shadows and warm light create a brilliant sunglow as we descend into the shallow canyon. This time of the year, on the surface it's a dry riverbed but still a source of water to the local Maasai. Vultures roost on small rock outcroppings on the cliffs above; wings stretched poised for takeoff. The solar-powered thermals provide the energy they'll need to lift, and they will ride the warming air to an altitude that will take them to the Serengeti for a day of scavenging fresh carcasses. They'll have to compete with the hyenas and jackals for whatever is left by nature or the larger predators. In the evening, we'll visit another nearby gorge to see them return to their roosts, where they often compete with the local baboon troops for space.
The mostly sand riverbed is spotted with what are man-made boreholes. Some are as deep as 10 – 15 feet and are surrounded by acacia tree branches that sport one-to-three-inch-long spikes and provide security. The holes only have a small wet spot in the bottom without any visibly standing water. It's the dry season, to be sure. One family might possess two or three depending upon how many cattle and goats they own. Several young boys casually follow behind us, curious as to why we are there. One positions himself by his family hole, spear in hand. It's his job to protect it against interlopers from another village who might infringe on his family's claim.
We walk a short way up the canyon to admire its beauty and see more vultures launch into the sunrise. As we begin our return to the entrance, a smallish young woman is just entering the canyon. She has two donkeys in tow, each packing two or three empty 5-gallon size jugs While she walks behind with a shovel over her shoulder. With a stick in her other hand, she guides them past us with only a slight glance in our direction and disappears around a large boulder. As we walk our way out, the young man with the spear reappears, and it is at that moment, I realize that the tools he and the young women had would be used for their respective jobs that day. The holes would be woman-made, not man-made. She will dig until she hits water, then collect it, load it on the donkeys and haul it back to the village. He will stand guard. Cultural differences aside, I decided that my choice for a tool of trade would be the spear.
We head back to the camp for breakfast and then ride to the start of our first long-distance trek. Our safari vehicle rattles across the long plains, spotted by small groups of zebra and gazelle. The short sunburnt brown grasses are already showing signs of new life that will soon blossom into a brilliant green landscape and home to 2 million wildebeest, zebra, and all that comes with the great migration as it heads south from Kenya. You can feel the impending energy building as the residents begin their preparation for the short rains that December will bring.
A washboard dirt road would provide a smoother surface than our path across the plain. There is no road to navigate, just an open plain. Experience is our only guide, and Julius, our driver, knows exactly where to go. He stops. We pile out, check our hiking resources and begin our first trek in Maasai Land! It is the beginning of a life-changing sojourn. We watch as our ride and luggage disappear in a cloud of dust. We follow Sammy in near silence – the landscape itself providing us all the volume of input we need to fill our souls. The midday sun is now upon us, and it will be the dominant weather force for our entire 6-day trekking journey.
For nearly three hours, we make our way over the flat open plains. The surrounding mountains are all volcanoes that have, at one time or another have provided human history with much of the ingredients to grow into the beings we are today. They have dominated our past and will likely fuel our future. Small Maasai villages sit in their shadow, and the rains and erosion have created river gorges that are mostly filled with nothing but sand during the dry season. We approach one, and Sammy steers us through it to a beautiful forest of Fever Acacia trees. The shade they offer is a welcome relief from the blazing sun.
We walk through the small forest and catch the first glimpse of our next camp. The bright yellow tents signify that today's trek is nearly over. A cool shower confirms it. Yep, we have bush bucket showers, and the longer we walk in the hot sun, the more inspiration we find in knowing they’ll await us at every camp. Our fly camp is located in a place where no other camp has ever existed, a place where only the local Maasai can call home. For the night, they are willing to share this space with us.
Dinner is an African bush feast. Fresh everything, expertly prepared, served by a gracious host and thoughtfully attended by the camp staff. Tonight, rest comes easy. Nearby roaming hyenas break the silence of the night. A swath of Milky Way stars breaks the darkness. It seems to be splattered across the black sky by a pinkish hue of spray paint mist. When nature called in the middle of the night, I emerged from our tent and walked to our bush toilet, I saw something I don’t recall ever having seen before. As I looked out toward the flat horizon plain in front of me, I could see brilliant stars shining right down to the line of the horizon. They shined even more brightly as the Earth's atmosphere enhanced their size and brilliance much as it does with the October Super Moon over the American southwest deserts. There was no weather interference and no light pollution from any source. There were just sharp beams of starlight setting as if they were our sun.
Our camp is located at the foot of a steep rockface that I later learned, is a rock climber’s paradise. Before us, Maasai land stretches as far as the eye can see, and Oldonyo Lengai dominates the distant view. Morning will bring a bright orange sunrise, and for a brief few minutes, the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro casts a silhouetted view against a pink/orange sky. It's all visible from the comfort of my cozy fly camp bed. As I consider the adventure of the day ahead, I find a certain comfort in knowing that the hike is DOWN the Rift Valley. It doesn't mean that down is easier than up; it just means that today is not UP! For that, my thighs, still recovering from yesterday's flat hike, celebrate. The party would be short lived!
Our off-road vehicle is appropriately named for this ride since once again, there is literally no road: just big-sky Serengeti and Julius' knowledge of the landscape. After an hour or so, he stops, lets us out. We find ourselves standing at the edge of the Great Rift Valley Escarpment. The escarpment begins in Jordan and ends somewhere in Mozambique. That’s more than 8000 miles long.
Compared to that, our trek down a 2800’ gorge seems small.
From the rim looking down, the change in the landscape is dramatic and the panorama ahead is stunning. Distant Lake Natron shimmers in the morning sun, and the conical shape of Lengai looks close enough to touch. Again, we check our hiking resources and begin our slow descent to the flat plains below. The gorge is steep and deep, and the equatorial sun has already penetrated the light morning mist and beats heavily down on our shoulders. Not long into the descent, both of my thighs begin to quiver from the new angles they must take to navigate the rocky path we have chosen to hike.
I have walked down steep trails under similar conditions in other places, but this reminds me mainly of a trek down America's Grand Canyon, South Kaibab Trail, in the heat of summer. My last trek there was in late July, and temperatures soared to 118f. While today's temps are nowhere near that hot, the trail is much steeper, and the overhead sun radiates off the walls of the gorge to form the same comfort zone one can find inside a convection oven.
As we continue down, we arrive at a particularly tight section of the trail and with it, a bit of shade. We sit, drink, loosen our boot strings to un-jam our toes from the tips, and then re-lace them to ready ourselves for the next pitch. The trail takes us around a large rock outcropping. The panorama ahead is remarkable, yet the plain seems no closer to us after an hour or so of hiking. My legs beg for more rest, my brain says keep going, and the rest of me remembers that there will be a cool shower ready for me at the end of the hike. So, around the corner, I go.
We hit a particularly narrow part of the trail with a steep rockface on each side. Huge boulders make navigation slow but manageable. The section of the trail was wide enough to accommodate a few people standing shoulder to shoulder. It was not wide enough to accommodate the few hundred sheep and goats that met us at the very spot where the trail was at its most narrow. Since Maasai shepherds lead their flocks from behind, there was no one to explain to the lead goat that hungry and exhausted hikers needed to get by. The sheep offer occasional complaints with a loud bah but seem to know how to weave their way around us. For the most part, we keep moving down, they keep moving up, and it was a fun experience.
Like the Grand Canyon I mentioned above, the lower you go into the canyon, the hotter it gets. I guess that works the same in the Southern hemisphere too, and somehow the name Lake Natron is befitting the environment. To me, it sounds like a place on a distant planet, one like Mercury, but in truth, once out of the overhead sun, the heat is an acceptable part of the adventure. Aside from the frequent showers I took to stay cool, the Camp At Lake Natron is a two-night destination worth every step of the journey to get there. Not only wouldn't I change a thing, its a good bet I'll return soon. The Flamingos draw you to the lake, and The Footsteps of Man is a path everyone should walk. The Maasai massage, the cool water of the natural pool, Chef Jackson and the camp staff, the open views in every direction, and the endless supply of soft cool water of your shower all make this a must-do adventure destination.
Our journey so far has two consistent features – the care and tutelage of fantastic hosts and guides. So, with just a few days' rest, and with them at the front and back, we continue our walk up the Great Rift Valley Escarpment.
As we ready ourselves for two more days of trekking, a new guide, Alex, joins our team. He is a soft-spoken Maasai man with self-assured confidence that he passes on to us as we depart Lake Natron Camp to the trailhead of our hike UP!
Jo Ann and I are now the only hikers on our team, and together we look up at the ridgeline we'll be climbing. On the inside, we convince ourselves that it is doable, but as I look at Jo Ann, I see that we are both trying to decide who is responsible for choosing this UP hike. Through the gentle slope of the first hour on the trail, what little confidence we had built up, begins to wane. According to AllTrails our elevation gain was only 1000' since we began, but my heart rate begs to differ. Standing at the base of the ridgeline we are to follow, we put our reservations aside and decide to quietly internalize the whole experience. We set out to do what we do best, put one foot in front of the other until we reach our goal. That will take a little more than three hours.
The hike follows the natural ridgeline that begins at the foot of Mt. Lengai. That mountain, by the way, is the single most challenging day hike in East Africa. Our ascent is not as long, steep, or difficult as that, but for 3300' of more UP, it follows a path devoid of the one thing that could provide some relief from the incredibly steep incline. And that is switchbacks. There simply are none. It's just straight up.
While our guides smile and whistle while they work, I mostly stare at the tops of my boots. Occasionally I look over my shoulder to see the lake become more distant. I look to my side to see that we are what appears to be halfway up Lengai, and then look back to the tops of my Solomon's. Thankfully, the openness of the trail and a steady swirling wind reduce the intensity of the sun. The rim of the escarpment seems elusive for most of the day. I'm continually fooled into believing the peak of the ridgeline ahead is the last, but behind each one, there is another, and another.
As the morning turns to afternoon, the UP finally gives way to welcome relief as Alex leads us into a shady fever acacia tree forest. Not long after, the welcome sight of our yellow domed tents cheers us up, and our sense of accomplishment soars. The hard day's hike is complete, and I, of course, take a cool, refreshing shower to celebrate. Another African fly camp feast is once again before me, and I quietly revel in the achievements of the day. We are spent, full of pasta, and surrounded by utter silence. Once again, sleep comes fast.
I want to say that I awoke refreshed, bright-eyed, and ready for the new day's adventure, but my body didn't see it that way. I was tired, weary, hungry, and grumpy. The rich coffee and solid breakfast didn't help my mood. Our fly camp was located in a low-lying section in a vast mountain range, so my notion that today's walk would be on flatter ground was fool-hearted. There was going to be more up and even though I knew it, preparing my mind and legs that it would be an easy day was futile. We finished our breakfast feast, thanked the camp staff, and with head down, departed camp. My somber mood wouldn't change for the first hour of our hike.
I am always amazed at how when we walk in very remote areas of the world, whether it be a remote sand dune of the Namib Desert, a village-to-village hike in India’s Himalaya, or the seasonal terra-firma of Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest, the locals always know precisely where and when we will pass by a specific place. As if by magic, pop-up stores seem to materialize out of thin air with elaborate displays of jewelry, handicrafts, blankets, and other culturally related items for us to peruse.
We are greeted with smiles and a cheerful American-style "hello," as we pass. They don't seem to know that whatever money I have is tucked away in the bottom of my pack under my dirty clothes. Today is no different. A group of maybe eight or nine women and children have created displays of Maasai jewelry placed on blankets in hopes that we will do more than pass by with a casual glance. While I appreciate the cultural norms of them selling locally made items, if they really wanted my money, they'd be selling ice cream. We pass without slowing.
As for the cultural part, the next four hours would also have the same effect on me as similar experiences we've had in other parts of the world. Similar to our first half-day cruise down the Grand Canal in central China decades ago, a visit to Willoq, a small village high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, or sharing yak butter tea with a family we came across in the Shangri La region in Yunnan Province in western China, they are experiences that didn't necessarily change our lives, but ones that prod us into thinking more deeply about how different the human experience is for the people who live those places when compared to our life's journey. The effect is profound, and the experiences cannot be processed in real-time. Taking in the moments as they pass is all I can do, and I fear that time may rob me of the memories before I fully understand what I've seen. It will take time to find the words to describe it all and still more time to put them on paper. My camera somewhat captures the images of each experience, but they are flat. In my mind’s eye, the visions are vivid with color and rich in detail, but they are in 3D motion and, for the time being, defy my ability to express my thoughts.
My experience today will be a similar epic cultural journey. As the morning air warms and my body begins to shed the dread of more steep hill-walking, we pass through a shallow valley. In the distance, there is a gathering of eight-to-ten round straw-roofed Maasai huts off to the right. As our host heads up yet another hill toward them, I'm thinking he must be going up there to pre-order espressos for our arrival. Though that would have been nice, I'm not disappointed that we didn't follow him. Instead, Alex leads Jo Ann and me straight ahead, and as we walk, more and more round hut village compounds appear on the horizon. Sometimes they are just two or three huts clustered together, and sometimes there are ten, twenty, or more, often surrounded by the thorny thickets of acacia tree branches that I described earlier. The round thickets form a "boma" and they circle each compound with walls sometimes as high as ten feet or more. At first, they dot the hillsides, but soon they number more than we can count. With rolling hills surrounding us, it feels almost like a movie set, something like "The Sound of Music," but the Maasai version.
As we approach the villages, they too are awaking for another day of life. It's Sunday, so children who might be in school are today leading large herds of sheep, goats, donkeys, and cattle away from the villages and into the countryside for a day of grazing. Most of the herds are sizable, some even number in the hundreds, and they are shepherded by 12-to-15-year-old boys. They will guide them and watch over the herds and flocks, which in most cases also represent their family's entire cache of wealth. As I marvel at how they manage, I try to imagine another society on Earth that entrusts their family's fortune to their teenagers for safekeeping. I'm sure it happens, but I can't say that I've seen it anywhere else.
The village compounds themselves have also become centers for daily activities. Men stand guard as women build the huts, collect food, water, fuel, cook, and take care of their families. Careful not to intrude, we keep our distance as we pass, but the shouting calls of "Hello," the happy faces and waving arms and hands of small children beg a cheerful response. For sure, we are not the only strangers to pass through this area, but neither is it an everyday occurrence. The shouts, smiles, and waves continue from village to village for a few kilometers as we make our way across the countryside, and I wave and smile as though I'm on a parade float.
A small herd of goats walks toward me, and soon I am surrounded by them as they pass. A young boy no more than 11 or 12 years old dutifully at the rear of the herd uses his stick to move a goat or two out of my way. He stops and walks to my side. He extends his hand for a fist bump which I meet with my hand and a wide smile. Just as we are to pass, he leans his head toward me, and I extend my hand to pat the top of his nearly bald head. I know that he is fascinated by my light skin, and he pushes back against my hand and lets out a loud laugh. To my back are three more boys his same age, and their giggles become full-on laughter as they all lean in, seeking their own pat on the head. They bound away from me, running toward the village as if they have a great story to tell.
Though I didn't know it at the time, it is a Maasai tradition for elders to bless children with an acknowledgment and pat on the head. So maybe, indeed the boys did have a good story to tell. The actual encounter only lasted a few seconds. For me, the memory will last a lifetime.
Alex leads us up a short bluff toward what we perceive as the village center. It turns out to be much more. A grouping of similarly constructed huts replaced residences we passed but were rectangular-shaped buildings. They are set up for local commerce. We pass a relatively large concrete water well nearly fifty feet long which is the source of water for the entire surrounding community. Livestock drink from one end, women collect water for their households on the other. Though we do not have any actual numbers, thousands of people reside in this community and gather here for nearly every service they need. There's a medical clinic, and buildings for the Shamon and Village Chairman, government offices, and meeting places, along with small service shops, stores, and tea huts. They are all constructed of sticks, mud, dung, and corrugated or thatched roofs.
The host that had walked ahead of us, had a meeting with the village Chairman. He reappeared and met us in front of one of the little tea huts. I admit I was a little disappointed at the lack of espressos, but Alex led us inside the hut, which was about the same size as a car park space. A few local men pushed back the cloth hanging in the doorway and walked out as we walked in. The four of us sat on a wooden bench along the side wall next to huge sacks of maze stacked inside to protect them against the weather. The owner exchanges a few words in Swahili with our host and Alex, and we accept his offer of tea and chapattis. The chapattis are round flatbreads similar in appearance to tortillas but are cooked in a lighter oil and offer a sweeter taste that is closer to a pancake. They are addictingly good, so we eat a few each, sip tea, and accept the constant buzzing of flies that are a never-ending part of Maasai life.
We, too, have come to the point of not bothering to constantly swat flies away. We are in the heart of a livestock-based community and literally in the middle of thousands of heads of farm animals. The nearest pavement is fifty kilometers away, and the pathways and roads here are made of rocks, mud, and animal poop. Flies are everywhere, and they land on everything. We are past caring and enjoy our tea and bread. Alex shares a bit more about the community with us, and then we leave the dimly lit hut to meet a safari vehicle that is our ride to our next stop, and the final leg of our trek.
Like the unanticipated uphill hikes on this journey, we've had our share of unexpected vehicular adventures as well. A handful of tire punctures, a broken spring, and a few stuck in the mud moments have slowed us on occasion. Today was a bit more of the same, but this delay proved serendipitous for Jo Ann and me. While our host worked out the details for a backup 4-wheel drive vehicle, we had an opportunity to sit on a grass lawn at a high point in the village with Alex. This was his home village, and we sat in the shade of a huge tree overlooking a large government school, ranger station, government constructed homes, and the water well I described.
As we relaxed and watched people move about their business, a young man in military fatigues with an AK-47 rifle slung over his shoulder joined us. He will be our escort for the next portion of our journey. He will protect us from any possible buffalo or leopard encounters we might have when we walk through and sleep in the forest. He looks a mere 16 years old, but we learn he has been a Ranger for six years. Though we didn't ask, we both hope he can tell the difference between us and a leopard, and that if needed, he's a good shot!
I asked Alex about his village, and he shared a few stories about how it operates. From our vantage point, we could watch as people led their cache of cows to the water well. So, I enquired about scheduling and who decides which herd of cows get to drink first. These are not small herds, and there seems to be a steady stream of them nearby. I assumed there was some sort of schedule on who goes first, so I asked about the organization of it all. He didn't understand my question. "Of course, the animals that need water the most go first." "But who decides?" I press. "The animals," he replies. "But what if I believe my animals need water before yours?" "The animals will drink when it's their turn," he repeats. "But…" After two or three rounds of this circular conversation, I now realize why my question is nonsensical to him. Even though wristwatches are a status symbol among Maasai men, they mostly tell time by the season, not a clock. And those seasons are not necessarily on a calendar but are measured by the dry season, short and long rains, where and when the grazing grass is greenest. As long as the water supply holds out, all the cows will drink when it is their turn. Everyone in the village knows that.
At the heart of my inquiry was the subject of agreements and conflict resolution. I was interested in learning how business relationships are built, deals made, and disputes settled. It turns out that the process is highly democratic and quite similar to the indigenous people of pre-colonial North America. It involves a hierarchy of elders, a Chairman, locally elected officials who help influence and manage the internal workings of the tribe along with their dealings with the external bureaucracies of the Tanzanian government. All for the sake of the community. He explains in detail how it all works and relays to us how it personally affects his family and the lives they lead. Then, fascinating as it all is, our vehicle arrives, and Alex, our host, and the Ranger all go into "guide" mode. We pile into the replacement vehicle, and it heads down the bumpy road toward the final destination of our 6-day, Footsteps of Man and Great Rift Valley Trek, which is the rim of Empakai Crater.
Having spent the last five days in the shadow of Oldonyo Lengai, we stand on the rim of Empakai crater and look down. As perfect as the conical shape that Lengai is, is as perfect as the round crater rim and shoreline of the soda lake now below us is. It is amazing to be standing here. The surrounding jungle is impenetrable, and the sides are perfectly steep. Indeed they are steep enough for me to choose to stay on the rim while the Ranger, our host, and Jo Ann make their way along the trail to the shores of Empakai Lake at the bottom of the crater walls. This final piece of the trek takes only several hours, and the shade offered by the canopy above provides the team more shade than I imagined it would. I can see the small flock of flamingos at the lake's edge from the rim but know that Jo Ann's unique photographic talents would not be captured by a phone that was out of power. Though she did not return to the rim with her usual fantastic cell phone footage and images, she did arrive happy, healthy, and full of the energy that one feels after completing a challenging extended trek.
Together our team rides a short distance to one of the most amazing fly camps in all of Africa – the narrow rim of Empakai Crater. Looking down at the lake on one side and the precipice of Mt. Lengai on the other, the campfire warms us. An excellent diner fills us. The completion of the journey satisfies us. The time and experience, along with the people we met along the way are now permanently etched on my soul and with that, my search for descriptive words to convey my experience no longer matters.
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A word about our host. Ake, pronounced “Orca,” like the whale. He is one of the most complex people of I have ever met. He is the owner and operator of Summits Africa and I first experienced his company’s services during my first ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro. His team made it possible for me to successfully summit the mountain. Their careful trip planning, professional guidance, and top-notch gear made the trip possible. Their passion for their work encouraged me, kept me safe, and handled every detail with incredible precision. I was so impressed with his team, that I returned to the mountain again a few years later, this time leading a team of autistic college students, but that is a different story for a different time.
It would be another five years before I had the opportunity to experience another of his adventures. This time I had the pleasure of spending 6 days walking through Maasai Land, up and down the Great Rift Valley Walk, and incredibly on The Footsteps of Man Adventure located near the shores of Lake Natron at the base of Mt. Lengai. Ake led every step of the way.
The experience I wrote about in my story was entirely the making of Ake and his team. As our company, The Walking Connection begins to formulate our 2022 & 2023 destinations and itineraries we will be including this adventure as simply one of the best human experiences on the planet. We congratulate Ake on his success. We consider him a friend, trusted colleague, and a true pioneer in the field of adventure travel. If you would like to travel on a similar adventure with Ake's team, call, text, or email me below to learn more. Ake's Team and Summits Africa do not accept direct reservations.
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Title: Walking In The Footsteps Of Man
Author: Gene Taylor
Contact: @GenesJourney, GeneTaylor.Me, GT@WalkingConnection.com
SMS Text: 623.800.3649
Company Website: iConquerAdventures.com | WalkingConnection.com
Attributions: Story and Photography by Gene Taylor | ©2022 Gene Taylor
Contributions, Photography and Editing by Jo Ann Taylor
Gene Taylor is a black entrepreneur, writer, and photographer. His companies are both minority and woman co-owned businesses that for more than 33 years have led adventure travel programs to more than 30 countries around the world. For more links to Gene, visit GeneTaylor.Me.
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