Kenyan tour guide rescues 14 tourists after devastating floods crash through the Maasai Mara

A Kenyan tour guide has rescued 14 tourists after heavy rains caused devastating floodwaters to crash through the Maasai Mara national reserve.

James Apolloh Omenya's quick thinking also helped rescue 25 staff members at the Talek Bush Camp in the wilderness reserve in southwestern Kenya.

The East African nation has been battered by heavy downpours since rainy season started in March.

Flooding and landslides have killed more than 200 people and destroyed homes, roads and infrastructure across the country.

Mr Omenya was asleep in his tent at the camp on Wednesday when his driver woke him up at around 1.20am local time to warn him of heavy rainfall and flooding.

"When I woke up our tent was literally floating," he told Sky News.

"We stepped out of the tent and after a short while the water was reaching up to our waists."

Realising the danger the fast-flowing water posed to tourists and staff members at the camp, Mr Omenya woke them up before leading them all to a single room where they were more safe.

However, when he looked outside, Mr Omenya could see the water level was going to keep rising and felt the room wasn't going to keep them dry for much longer.

"I realised we needed to get everyone to a higher platform.

"It was still raining, the water level was rising and some of the tourists looked extremely worried.

"In the camp there are concrete water tankers that are about 27ft (8.2m) above the ground on a platform - so I went and got a ladder and moved it up next to the tank."

The group of tourists, which included three people from the UK, were finally rescued by the Kenya Red Cross at around 10.40am local time on Wednesday morning.

Some were flown to the Kenyan capital Nairobi, while others chose to stay in the Maasai Mara to attempt to finish their trip.

Reflecting on the ordeal, Mr Omenya said: "You have to stay calm in a crisis and put people's safety first.

"I love God, and by saving someone's life you are saving humanity."

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The 14 tourists were among around 110 people the Kenya Red Cross said it rescued in the reserve after more than a dozen hotels, lodges and camps were flooded due to the downpours.

The flooding came after a river within the Maasai Mara broke its banks early Wednesday.

Mr Omenya said two 4x4s and two saloon cars used by the Talek Bush Camp were completely submerged - with one carried around 150m down the road before it hit a bush and stopped.

The reserve, in southwest Kenya, is a popular tourist destination and features the annual wildebeest migration from the Serengeti in Tanzania.

The flooding could have a significant impact on the park's ecosystem - affecting animals through drowning as well as disrupting habitats, food sources and water sources, the Nation news service in Kenya reports.

Narok County Natural Resources Network chairperson Nicholas Ole Murero has said giraffes and gazelles have been most affected.

Kenya is bracing for rainfall this week.

Kenyan President William Ruto has said "meteorological reports paint a dire picture," citing the possibility of Cyclone Hidaya hitting coastal Kenya in the coming days.

The cyclone is expected to make landfall in Tanzania, Kenya's southern neighbour, on Saturday.