If you are on a short stay in Kenya; say 2 days and you would like to have a wildlife experience you should stop by the Nairobi National Park. Its only maximum 45minutes; an hours drive from the airport or from the city centre depending on the traffic.
The irony is (and am sure many Kenyans can attest to this) I have never visited the place since birth and only recently went there; whereas people save up and travel miles and miles just to visit the Jungle. Quite a shame for someone who considers herself patriotic. I think we dwell a lot on the assumption that its readily available and can visit anytime when one feels like; which is ignorance on our part. The government even reduced the park fees to encourage local tourism so we literally have no excuse. Shame Shame Shame.
NNP has 3 sides to it. There is the Orphanage, Safari Walk and the Game Drive. The Orphanage is ideal for people who would like to view the animals on an up-close basis. These includes the Lions, Cheetah, Warthog, Hyena, Monkeys, Peacocks, Wild Cats etc. The entry fees to Orphanage and Safari Walk are very affordable ranging from approximately 2 Dollars for Citizens, 3 Dollars for Residents and around 25 Dollars for Foreigners. However, the prices may vary depending on the season. Proof of Identification is required. As for the Game Drive, the fee depends on your choice of transport into the jungle. You can use your own private means, or you may use vehicles provided by the Park. However, every occupant has to pay a per head fee. You can find all this information at the reception on arrival so as to pick the best option that works for you. They even have local Maasai Morans ready to serenade you with song and dance.
My best time at the Orphanage was when i got to see the Lions! AAhhh that was breathtaking! There was this particular Lioness that had a certain aura about Her. The way She stood; Her posture; it was all done with Elegance. The Lions can also be found at the Safari walk but they can only be viewed from an observation deck reinforced with glass as they can attack anytime.
The Safari Walk is a tad bit different in that unlike the orphanage where the animals are caged, they are in a controlled park. Here you get to see a wider variety of Big animals (which cannot be caged) like The giraffe, Rhino, Hippopotamus, Buffalo, Zebra, Leopard, Monkeys et all. They even have an Albino Zebra. Some incidence happened where on my way out from the restrooms i bumped into a group of monkeys which were crossing to other side of the park which is a common occurrence.
But as this was unexpected, I ran towards Abdi one of the Park Attendants who was with us and they all came running after us. Abdi told us they do that a lot especially if your carrying a bag to ransack it for eateries. The nerve this monkeys had! We also got to feed the Giraffe thanks to Abdi and Its such a humble creature this one. Its just so cute.
He also gave us some good to know info such as the major difference between leopards and cheetahs; it being that the cheetahs (see below) have a black tear line running from the eyes all the way down to the mouth; leopards on the other hand dont. Even the skin tone/spots is different if you look closely. The Park attendants are really very helpful with this type of information and getting the animals close by to you. I cant explain how this animals communicate with them but Abdi did call the hyena and it showed up literally immediately. That chemistry i just dont understand!
There was a recent incidence in Kenya where a stray Lion was shot dead by a Wildlife Ranger after it attempted to attack a passerby. Shooting of animals, rather poaching is an illegal activity punishable by law. This however was an isolated case since the lion was about to attack a civilian and the wildlife rangers are mandated to shoot them in such scenarios. Only a wildlife ranger, any other person gets to explain that in court. In such scenarios or when they die out of old age, Abdi informed us that they are usually preserved and kept in the Museum.
We decided not to take the Game Drive because being the rainy season the road was quite muddy and also didn’t have a lot of time left before closing time. Moreover, that thrill i think is best reserved for the main park Maasai Mara which is way in the bush and has been ranked the best Safari experience ever in the world. Maasai Mara in Kenya or Serengeti in Tanzania. Didnt know?? Now You Do!! Take a look below of some of the animals we managed to take shots of. Enjoy and Peace Out; from Abdi & I.