With the support of the American Museum of Natural History, Martin and Osa returned to East Africa for a second time with the intent to stay up to five years. Leaving the states on December 1, 1923, they reached the most notable film location of their career, Lake Paradise, in the spring of 1924.
Their intention was to set up a semi-permanent camp and this required an enormous amount of supplies to be transported to northern Kenya. Five trucks, four cars and several wagons were required to move their gear which included nearly two dozen cameras. The trip to Mount Marsabit took them three months and it took another three months to construct the buildings which included personal quarters, a workshop, kitchen, and a laboratory with the capabilities to develop film.
While at Lake Paradise, the Johnsons spent long hours in blinds both during the day and at night. They also folloiwed the animals as they migrated according to the seasons to areas south of Marsabit, including the Mathews Range and the Lorian Swamp.
The Johnsons left Lake Paradise in December 1926 and returned to the states in the spring of 1927. They brought back 200,000 feet of silent stock which was edited into the highly successful movie “Simba.” Martin’s book, “Safari” and Osa’s “Four Years in Paradise” contain some of the 2,300 photos taken during this trip.
Photography note: Martin + Osa Johnson often used and experimented with different types of film and cameras in the field, and each took still shots and ran film footage. Repetitions and duplicates of images in order and the repetition of the same images in later series numbers stem from the use of these different cameras, film types and each series may have been done by Martin, Osa or a mix of both. The numbering system in the expedition photos is the one Martin created for their inventory.