Nairobi Stories and Tips

Nairobi is just not Nairobbery

Would you believe that Nairobi was once a boggy watering hole for the Maasai? In the 19th century, it became a town of substantial buildings and then five years later succeeded Mombasa as the capital.

Nairobi is a city of contrasts - smart office workers, huge mansions, expensive shopping centres as well as overcrowded slums.

There is plenty to see and do around Nairobi. It is suggested you hire a driver to take you to these places. A word of warning: make sure that the vehicle is roadworthy.

The first stop of the day is the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which was established after the death of David Sheldrick in 1977. David and Daphne, his wife, pioneered techniques of raising orphaned black rhino and elephants and then reintroducing them to the wild. Admission is free but it is reasonable to make a donation at least KSh200. This was one of the highlights of my trip. We not only saw a baby rhino but three or four very hungry baby elephants. It was very funny sight to see these elephants going at full speed behind their keepers who were about to feed them lunch. After lunch one of the baby elephants came over to where we were standing and proceeded to run his/her trunk up my leg. We were allowed to touch the trunk and blow in it so that the elephant could get my scent. I don't think this will be something I will ever forget. It has to be noted often when they have raised an orphaned rhino or elephant and released it back into the wild that often when they are injured they will find their way back to the Wildlife Trust to be looked after and then return to the wild when well.

Next stop was the Langata Giraffe Centre, which is 18km from the centre of Nairobi. You can observe and hand-feed the Rothschild giraffes from a raised circular wooden structure. They also have a display about giraffes. I never knew a giraffe's tongue was so long or sloppy. Giraffes are certainly one of my favourite animals, and the Giraffe Centre is well worth a visit because you get so close.

Off to our next stop the Karen Blixen Museum. Situated in beautiful gardens, this is the farmhouse where Karen Blixen, the author of 'Out of Africa,' lived between 1914 and 1931. You can see the props from the movie that featured Meryl Steep and Robert Redford.

And last but not least, Nairobi National Park and the Nairobi Animal Orphanage. This is situated only a few kilometers from the city centre. Nairobi National Park was created in 1946 and is the oldest park. Nairobi National Park is not fenced and wildlife is still able to migrate along a narrow wildlife corridor to the Rift Valley. As we were on the way out the Nairobi Animal Orphanage, one of the staff asked if we would like to pat the cheetahs. Of course, I couldn't see my partner for dust, as he was already at the cheetah enclosure. Both cheetahs were having their lunch, but off we went in and sat there patting the cheetahs. Truly a memory I will never forget.

We did visit one more place this day, but you will have to read the restaurant review to find out where we visited.

Nairobi is certainly an experience, I have never seen so many people, and your eyes are opened, especially when you the visit slum areas and you feel like you want to do something but you know whatever you do will not make a difference.

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