Kenya - Concorde and other big beasts, by Simon Watts (1986-90)

Image: Boeing747 over Kilimanjaro

Image: Boeing747 with Maasai

Boeing 747 over Mount Kilimanjaro

Boeing 747 taking off over Maasai tribesmen

 While I was with British Airways in Nairobi, Kenya in the late 80s there were many great photo opportunities. A photographer's dream with the classic wildlife, landscapes, beaches and fascinating people. I was also fortunate to be involved in some BA sponsored publicity photo shoots. I took some unique and unusual shots, including one involving the scheduled Boeing 747 service to Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania and the other a 'round the world' Concorde charter during its layover in Nairobi. 


A Cessna Citation was chartered from Wilson Airport and we shadowed the scheduled B747 as it overflew Mount Kilimanjaro en route to Dar Es Salaam. The BA captain was advised not to be alarmed by the aircraft on his tail and he obliged by circling the mountain a couple of times, to the delight of his passengers. I took some great photos as a result. On another occasion some local Maasai were engaged to pose by the runway as the B747 took off.


A 'round the world' Concorde charter stopped over in Nairobi for a few days and we took full advantage of the potential publicity that this magnificent aircraft provided. On arrival the passengers flew directly to the game parks in vintage DC3s and there is a great shot of the two aircraft side by side on the ramp in Nairobi. We took a number of photographs with the 'fastest land animal' a semi tame cheetah on or near the aircraft, including a shot of the cheetah wearing a headset in the cockpit! We also arranged for some local Maasai to pose with the animal, on the aircraft and at the end of the runway for both landing and take-off. An incredibly noisy experience, the Maasai took their fingers out of their ears just in time for the photos to be taken. I remember asking the departing Concorde Captain to rotate as late as possible so we could get the best shots - he laughed explaining that this is Concorde, you pile on the power and just hold on, ‘It’s like a rocket’ he said.


Rear View of Concorde on the Ground at Nairobi

Concorde beside DC-3 at Nairobi

Concorde tailplane

A tame cheetah surveys the scene from Concorde flight deck

Cheetah and Maasai pose on Concorde wing

Concorde take-off with Maasai (3 pictures)

Concorde take-off with clouds

Concorde landing

Cheetah with BA girls on Concorde


 Miscellaneous photos around Kenya




Image: Concorde in Africa with Maasai and cheetah

Image: Cheetah on Concorde




Image: Concorde 2 NBO 1990

Image: Cheetah and BA girls, Nairobi

Balloon Safari over the Masai Mara, 1988

Image: Balloon safari over the Masai Mara, 1988

RAF Red Devils, Nairobi Airshow, 1988

Image: RAF Red Devils, Nairobi Airshow, 1988

Lake Baringo, 1989

Image: Lake Baringo, Kenya, 1989

Kenyan Beauty

Image: Kenyan Beauty

Actually in Ethiopia, my area of responsibility from Nairobi.....Wild Life at Lake Tana

Image: Wild Life at Lake Tana, Ethiopia

Other pages:

This is the text-only version of this page. Click here to see this page with graphics.
Edit this page | Manage website
Make Your Own Website: 2-Minute-Website.com