Jun 172013
 

Nairobi is one of the few cities with a national park right next to it.  The national park is actually right across the street from my office, and I often stare out at it whenever I go up our glass elevators.  It’s quite big–you can’t even really see where it ends from my office.  Some of my coworkers who live in Karen drive through the park every day to get to and from work, and they post photos of a group of lions by the side of the road on their way home.  Crazy right?  It’s typically hard to see wildlife from the road though, and to get a good luck, you usually have to get up by 6am when the animals are out.

You can drive around yourself in the park as long as you stick to the roads.  Mike and I haven’t really been though since a) we don’t feel like waking up at 6am on the weekend, and b) it’s a bit far from where we live and we usually stick close to our neighborhood due to traffic.  But one weekend my coworker invited us to his house for lunch and he lives even further from us than the national park, so we decide to visit the park before we go visit him.  Since we don’t wake up super early, we decide just to check out the Safari Walk, which is a sectioned off area of the park.  We have friends who bring their kids on the weekend.  You go through the entrance of Nairobi National Park off of Langata Rd (just past Wilson Airport), and the Safari Walk is on the right hand side of the parking lot.

But we get to the ticket gate and it’s more like a zoo.  Mike and I aren’t big fans of zoos at all since it’s so sad to see the animals locked up.  But we were there already, so…I guess if you were going to have a zoo, the Safari Walk is a better model.  The animals have a larger space to walk around and it’s their native environment, so there’s not a lot of fake habitat.  But what ends up happening is that since it’s natural brush, you can get to an exhibit and not see the animals at all since they are hiding in the bush or trees.  We were lucky to get a few peeks of some of the animals, so I’m sharing those photos here.

Baboon and Her Baby

Baboon and Her Baby

Cheetah With Nowhere to Run =(

Cheetah With Nowhere to Run =(

An Eland - This Thing was Huge!

An Eland – This Thing was Huge!

When we got to the lion exhibit, we couldn’t see any lions since they were hiding.  But after we left and were walking away, we heard these crazy loud roars!  We saw a groundskeeper and he told us it was the lions.  So we ran back and there they were, coming out of the bush.  The sound was like nothing I’d ever heard.  Much louder than you think.

Lion Coming Out of the Bush

Lion Coming Out of the Bush

Next time we are going to wake up early to drive around the park – no more Safari Walk for us!

 June 17, 2013  Posted by at 9:19 pm Attractions, Kenya, Nairobi Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  No Responses »
Jun 162013
 

It’s been a way long time since I last posted!  Sorry, sorry.  It’s been really busy at work lately so the last thing I want to do when I get home is sort through my photos and write.  So these photos are quite old, but still worth the update!

Since we’ve been in Nairobi, Mike and I are always on the hunt for outdoor spaces to go on walks.  We really miss walking around and while we have Karura Forest, we wanted to explore the Arboretum which is not far from us.  I had heard mixed reviews; people said it was actually quite busy and not very peaceful at all because of singing church groups (huh?).  But really how bad could it be?

You can get to the Arboretum off State House ride and then make a turn on Arboretum Drive.  There’s a small parking lot where you pay a small fee.  It’s free to walk in though.  There’s a paved path when you enter, but pretty soon it’s just dirt paths.  There are large fields scattered around and it’s less of an arboretum and more of a green public space.  Wow, but we were unprepared for what we experienced!!  It was actually super crowded, and sure enough, tons of church groups.  Mostly, they were doing team building activities–lots of holding hands in circles.  There was preaching, singing, jumping up and down, games, anything you could think of.  And the groups were literally all next to each other so you almost felt like you were at a very crowded church camp.  It was actually quite cool to see, but definitely not our idea of a peaceful garden walk.  Pretty chaotic.  Since there were so many groups, it was actually quite loud with all the singing and yelling in teams.

Kids About to Break a Tree Branch

Kids About to Break a Tree Branch

Team Building Mania

Team Building Mania

To escape the crowds, Mike and I tried to take the side paths around the park.  When we came upon this little guy!

Karma Chameleon

Karma Chameleon

I had never seen a chameleon in real life before.  It’s feet were the coolest.  Of course Mike had to pick it up and take a look.  It didn’t really flinch at all and just kind of settled on to his arm.  We’re glad we went to check out the arboretum, but honestly, I’d probably stick to Karura Forest if I’m looking a nice quiet place to walk around. =)

 June 16, 2013  Posted by at 9:17 pm Attractions, Kenya, Nairobi Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  1 Response »