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Black Beauty

Black Beauty

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Borana in Kenya offers some of the most raw and dramatic scenery in East Africa - rolling plains are interspersed with forests, steep hills and craggy rock faces. The most famous spot of all is, of course, Pride Rock of The Lion King fame. For the 2019 remake, the Disney crew spent eight weeks filming in Borana - quite an investment of time for an animated film. Last week I was very honoured to be asked to shoot the new Land Rover Defender on this location - it is a filmmaker’s El Dorado.

In 2007, the Dyer farming family made a decision to commit all retained earnings from commercial activities on Borana to support the increased costs of conservation. Borana and Lewa together now boast the most successful rhino conservancy in Kenya. Poaching is a thing of the past in this part of Kenya and much of the credit belongs to second and third generation farming families like the Dyers and the Craigs in Lewa, who know what they are talking about. As I grow older, I recognise the importance of knowing what I am talking about.

The success of Kenyan farmers in Borana brought new residents from Europe and even more horses. But not just any horses - champion racehorses. To photograph them at altitude in Borana was a great thrill - their muscled bodies set against the plains below offer the artist every chance.

I want to thank Michael Spencer for all his support and help over the years. No man knows more about old colonial Africa and no man has given back more - it is integral to his soul to be loyal to his roots and in Borana he has found his spiritual home. Michael and Sarah’s stunning racehorses add another dimension to one of my favourite places in East Africa.

David Yarrow

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