On safari at Nairobi National Park

Last weekend we went on a short safari to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Nairobi National Park. Linnea and Garrett wore their new safari vests which were gifts from Uncle Ryan and Aunt Jeanette. The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was our first stop. This conservation organization is best known for rearing, rehabilitating, and releasing orphaned elephants and rhinos. While waiting for the trust to open, we were treated to visits from black-faced vervet monkeys and a warthog. Inside we watched the baby orphaned elephants drink from huge bottles (human formula), eat leaves, and march about the viewing area. It was quite a show.

After a nice lunch of traditional Kenyan food (boiled green bananas and potatoes (matoke), lentils (dengu), and chicken), it was time for Nairobi National Park. We opted to take the bus tour that included a guide. The park is too small to support a herd of elephants, but it does support four of Africa’s “big five” game animals: lions, rhinos, leopards, and cape buffalo. We saw all of these except the secretive leopard. We also saw countless zebra, impala, gazelle, Coke’s hartebeest, wildebeest, eland, giraffe, ostrich, and baboon. The lions had just finished lunching on a zebra. The hyenas were expected to eat the leftovers, but we didn’t see any.

The park roads were incredibly dusty, but that didn’t stop Linnea from hanging her head out the bus window. As a result, her face got quite dirty. You might notice that in some of the pictures. The park is also surprisingly close to the city of Nairobi. In fact, you can see the city skyline clearly in some of the pictures. The northern part of the park is fenced to keep the wildlife from roaming the streets of Nairobi, but the southern boundary is unfenced to allow for migration.

We all had a great time at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Nairobi National Park. There is so much to see and do in that area and it is relatively close to us (a 30 minute drive without traffic). We will go back again to visit the Karen Blixem house (of Out of Africa fame) and the Giraffe Center / Giraffe Manor.

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