Kenya is one of the most popular countries in Africa and if you didn’t know why it’s because of it’s wild life. People that love and wish to see an array of animals always have Kenya on their list. I paid for a full day tour specifically for this purpose when I was planning my trip. I visited Nairobi National Park, Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and Giraffe Centre and here’s what went down.
NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK
Nairobi National Park is just 15 minutes away from the city centre but the night before I visited, I got a note from my tour guide to be ready at 6:00am. I had to ask why I had to wake up so early, I mean I was on holiday but he said the morning is the best time to visit. I had no choice but to show up since it was already paid for.
Once you’re in the park, you will forget you’re in a city capital. It’s literally the jungle. The views are amazing, the air is fresh and everything is calm and quiet.
I wasn’t prepared for the long drive though. The park is so big (with signs at every intersection thank goodness) you can be driving for hours and not see a single animal.
I saw two Wild Dogs first. For some weird reason, they like to lay flat on the road, wait for the car to approach then start running.
Then I saw Antelopes(Agazel in Sawhili) they were different kinds of them and I could tell that if one came out of the car, there will be serious trouble.
Then I saw Zebras. Zebras are fine animals and television doesn’t do them justice. I really really wish I could photograph them closer or take a selfie and the way their body moves when they walk is just surreal. I’m totally sure you will not understand me.
Up next Buffaloes! My tour guide flashed another and he told us where to find them. There was a party of them when we got there and they looked unbothered by us.
We went to the Hippo pools thereafter to take a little break and see some hippos and I got a chance to have my photo taken.
We continued our drive in search for the Lion, it was already 9am and we had been going round for two and half hours. At a point, I thought we were lost because I didn’t see any signs and I kept asking my tour guide if he knew where he was going. Suddenly, he came to an abrupt stop. I was alarmed then he pointed and alas it was The Lion the supposed King Of The Jungle looking very lazy and just chilling not doing much. We waited for a few minutes hoping he will get up and lead us to a group of them but no he only yawned. This lion wasn’t moving. I was disappointed. Can you tell?
Other animals I saw include; Warthogs, Rhinos, Baboons, Ostriches and a collection of different birds.
SHELDRICK ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE
I visited the Elephant orphanage next. It has a strict policy and is open to the public only between the hours of 11-12 noon. There was already a long queue when we got there and we joined the line. I was shocked there were that many people trying to get into the orphanage.
The gates were open at 10:45 and it cost KES500 ($5) per person to get in. Once we were in, we were informed the elephants were gonna come out in two groups and a few moments later, they came in.
These were baby elephants between 0-2years and you wouldn’t believe they are babies until you see them rush for milk. They were playing in the sand and with themselves and it was just so surreal knowing that the orphanage saves the elephants and keeps them till they are old enough to go back to the wild.
Each elephant had a name and a story and we were allowed to touch them but were warned not to put our hands in their mouth because their teeth is very sharp.
I learnt that elephants attain maturity at 15-20 years. Elephants never forget because they have an impeccable memory. Their gestation period is 2 years and they die from starvation at age 60-70 due to lack of teeth to eat food. I bet you didn’t know that.
This I was looking forward to because I wanted to see how tall the tallest living mammal really is. It cost KES1,000 ($10) for nonresidents to get in. Once you’re in, there’s an attendant positioned at the entrance who hands you pellets to feed the giraffes.
At first, it was weird watching the giraffes reach for the pellets but later I wanted to try it. I took some photos and also got a handful of pellets to feed the giraffes. I asked the staff to take my photos and later I walked around to learn more about the giraffes. Just like the elephants, all the giraffes have names.
It was fun to get close to these amazing creatures and I surely had a nice time even though the weather wasn’t very friendly. It was really cold and it rained at some point.
Other tourists visit MASAI MARA which is a large game reserve in Narok County and a popular tourist location in Kenya. You get to see more animals and experience living in the wild along with the animals. According to my tour guide, you cannot see all the animals in a day so the minimum visit that can be booked is for two days. I was in Kenya for a very short time so I couldn’t visit.
I also visited the SNAKE PARK but I felt like writing about all the different types of snakes I saw, holding a snake and all other animals will be too much in one post so let me know if you will like to read about it and I’ll tell you all about it in another post.
Thanks for reading.
Are you an animal lover or are you just curious like I am???