In case you have been wondering where I had disappeared in the last month?, Let me tell you that I was on my long awaited vacation or more of a adventure trip to Africa. I visited Nairobi, Kenya this year not only it is the capital of Kenya but also a bag full of surprises. Last year I was in Mombasa and I still miss the golden beaches of Kenya.
Nairobi City has a lot of surprises to offer in itself and also it is the nearest urban settlement to all the National Reserves Of Kenya where you can come face to face with the wildlife in their natural environment without any cages. They are closely guarded by KWS so that no poaching can happen however some unfortunate incidents do happen around every 3 months. Some poor Rhino or Elephant is killed by poachers just for their horns or Ivory as they still have lot of demand in the international market.
These conservatories or Game reserves have been created to reduce the number of poaching in Africa and it has significantly gone down with the help of the National Parks. Poaching in Africa if caught leads to death penalty also smuggling or purchasing of exotic skins and endangered animals can lead to Jail.
"Kenya's economy thrives on Tourism without tourists, Africa's game reserves will not have much left to survive. The fees that you pay in these parks is utilised to protect all endangered species of Kenya from poachers."
A Day in Nairobi
#1 Kenyatta International Conference Centre
I visited the Kenyatta International Conference Centre after a days rest. You can see a 3D view of the city once you reach the top of the building and get your picture taken on the Helipad. A nice way to view to entire city and it is right next to the Supreme Court Of Kenya.
# 2 Nairobi Animal Orphanage
The Animal Orphanage in Nairobi disappointed me a lot as I entered it I realised that Adult leopards, Cheetahs and Lions were kept in small cages and there was not enough space for them I really wish that the govt would to at least release them in the wild so that they can rehabilitate themselves as I could feel that none of them knew what freedom was like. All the animals in this orphanage came when they were cubs and they lost their parents either because of poaching or either their parents were killed in the wild by other animals.
The Nairobi Animal Orphanage is home to some of the unfortunate exotic animals of Kenya who deserve a chance in the wild but since they have been there it will very difficult for this animals to survive on their own and many of them will die if they are released in the wild but I really think the govt to should at least release them once.
I did sit right next to Cheetah and got my picture taken her name is "Mandy" which will be definitely one of the best picture of mine taken on this trip.
The New Mahindra XUV500 keeps reminding me of this exciting experience!! MIL GAYA....MAY YOUR LIFE BE FULL OF STORIES......
#3 The Giraffe Centre.
The Giraffe Centre is Nairobi is home of the famous Giraffes named Daisy and Jock her baby boy and you can feed them here to get an up close encounter of giraffes and their behavior with humans. You can also kiss them lip to lip or just a peck on your cheek. This centre is located right next to Giraffe Manor where you can choose a stay a night and have an early breakfast with the giraffes but it is very expensive stay there the rent is $1100 U.S. a night.
#4 Amboseli National Park
This park is situated in the south of Kenya near the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro it is four hours away from the capital and you can travel either by car or by plane. Mt Kilimanjaro is situated in Tanzania and is the tallest peak in Africa but you can get a better view of it here with the wild life. Amboseli is full of surprises you can see beautiful sunrises and sunsets with off course the wild in their natural habitat. I wondered if "Alex the Lion" from the movie Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa came visiting the very same reserve, lol!.
I saw lions two brothers enjoying the sunset just 12 feet away from us. Elephants and Zebra's were just a arm's distance away!! Other wildlife that I saw was Hyena's in the evening and in the night safari where I was able to see them with night vision binocular's straight out of Schwarzenegger movies!, I also saw a Hyena carrying it's infant in the day time. There was a huge population of Gazelles, Deers, Hippo's, Water bucks, Wildebeest, Warthogs, Zebra's but I couldn't make out which one was Marty they all looked the same lol!!
# 5 Amboseli Serena Lodge
Your Home in the Wilderness!!
#5 Masai Market.
The Masai Market is a Local street market that you visit on weekends right next to Supreme Court Of Kenya and on Fridays at the Village Market here you can bargain and buy African handicrafts, Paintings and Jewellery.
#6 Bomas Of Kenya
Bomas of Kenya is situated within the capital where you can visit the local villages and see their architecture also you can see all the ethnic dances of Kenya there.
#7 Equator 00.00' Latitude, Earth
You can travel to the Equator just three hours away from Nairobi, The Equator of Earth passes through Nanyuki a small town in Kenya near Sweetwaters game reserve where you take your picture and you can also witness the "Coriolis effect" created by the magnetic effect of the equator.
The Equator Passes through five countries in Africa including Kenya.
Did you know that the Equator has a magnetic effect on water?
The Equator Water Experiment or "Coriolis Effect"
#8 Sweetwaters Tented Camps
Just near the Equator is Sweetwaters tented camps in the North of Kenya near Mt. Kenya the Tallest mountain the in the country.
Sweetwaters tented camps are situated right next to Sweetwaters game reserve and ol pejeta conservancy. You can stay as long as like here on basis of availability it is generally fully booked. The main attraction of this place is that you get stay in camps in the middle of the jungle and many of times wild animals come to visit you. We saw deer's right next to our tent and also a large species of birds also there is also a huge pond nearby where you can see the big five we saw a white rhino in the night which is one of the endangered species and in the night 3am we were visited by baboons or some kind of birds who made strange noises in the night scary!!
#9 Sweetwaters Game Reserve
Sweetwaters game reserve is a private reserve where you can see the big five we dint have much luck on the first day but the second day in the morning around 7 AM. we came across a young pair of lion and lioness sun bathing just 3 ft away and the lion just passed by our car probably because we were blocking his sun lol! this was the most memorable experience of the trip not everyone gets to see a pair of young loving lions this close in the wild and also they were surrounded by hundreds of baboons who were obviously scared of the lion's and were making crying noises, running for cover from tree to tree in order to save themselves from any attack.
We also saw a white haired Jackal and a family of warthogs. There is a huge population of Gazelles, Zebras, Warthogs, Elephants, Hyena's, Jackal's, Water bucks, Ostrichs all throughout the conservancy.
#10 Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Ol Pejeta is also another private reserve within the Sweetwaters game reserve where they have safeguarded endangered species of chimpanzee's and Rhino's both White and Black. The White Rhino's are critically endangered as the locals told me that the Chinese hunt them for their horns which is added into their so called herbal medicine's so they were pretty looked down upon by them; Also chimpanzee's were protected as they were actually eaten by other African tribe's as delicacy.
We visited the Chimpanzee conservancy and also the Rhino Conservancy both situated at a distance within Sweetwaters and I also got a chance to feed "Barraka" the Rhino who is Black Rhino but he is blind as he lost one eye in battle of the sexes in his own species as they are extremely territorial and other one to cataract.
Did you know that Rhino's are the last of the Dinosaurs left on earth and that is why they are also called Rhinosaurus? and they Critically endangered. White Rhino's are also conserved here and there are only 7 left in the world which Ol Pejeta is trying to protect from poachers. The fees that you pay to the park goes towards the protection of the animals in the conservancy and KWS.
#11 Trout Tree Restaurant
Restaurant On A Tree, Do I need to say more? If you love trout fish they have private farming of trouts here and you can take a dig at fresh fish. It's located just on the highway of Sweetwaters tented camps.
#11 Nairobi Museum
The Nairobi National Museum is in the heart of the city where you can take look at the all species of birds and animals found in Kenya preserved in their natural skins. Their is also snake park here where you can take look at the most poisonous snakes in Africa specially a red cobra though these snakes were very dangerous I did not like they way they were kept in small glass cages. There is also a crocodile farm there but they are not much in number and they are definitely kept in small enclosures which is not much a fun to watch.
#12 The Village Market
The Elite / Luxury Market of Nairobi situated in Gigiri. All the Rich and the Famous come here to shop here as they have some of the most beautiful collections of Designer Wear, Indian Wear, Kashmir Arts, African and Ethopian Jewellery and Handicrafts. You can also buy the precious stone Tanzanite from here which looks more like a Sapphire, Royal Blue in Colour.
Patrick Mavros Store @ The Village Market
They also have huge collection of Silver Ware here in many shops which are a delight and I came the across the Luxury Silver Jewellery Shop of Patrick Mavros recently opened in Nairobi and I got my hands on the Earrings from the "zozo" collection which was seriously one the best souvenirs I purchased from Kenya.
These earrings will always remind of the Unforgettable Wildlife of Kenya!!
Food Court @ The Village Market
There is also an amazing food court here where you can eat authentic and delicious Indian, African, Chinese, Italian, German, Thai and fast-foods around the world all under one roof with quality service.
#13 The Great Rift Valley View and Mt. Longonot
One the way to Lake Naivasha is The Great Rift Valley Vies and shop at the local curio shops. This area is like the Scotland of Kenya. You can also see Mt. Longonot from there.
#14 Lake Naivasha
Just three hours aways from Nairobi is Lake Naivasha, A Lake full of Hippo's and Strange Human Beings.
I am sure that's Gloria having a lot of fun in the Lake!!
#15 Enashipai Resort
Enashipai Resort is right next Lake Naivasha where you eat a lovely lunch or stay the night!
#15 The Food, Malls and Restaurants
Arrowroot is a powerful vegetable sold locally here in Kenya and it is very hard vegetable to cut you can barbeque it's chips or just buy its chips from the market's like Nakumatt all over Kenya. This Vegetable is called Arrowroot because in the ancient times when the tribal people were hit by poisonous arrows they were given this vegetable to fight against the toxins in the body and to release them out so they were called by the name Arrowroot which is a Super food from Kenya.
Arrowroot, that is probably the Marantaceae plant family, is broadly regarded as an easily digested as well as nourishing starch. The herb is obtained from the fleshy roots, known as rhizomes, of the arrowroot plant with an sophisticated procedure for washing, peeling, soaking, as well as drying in the sunshine. The end product is an excellent, white powder with similar appearance as well as texture as cornstarch. Arrowroot is highly valued by herbal healthcare specialists mainly because of its demulcent as well as antidiarrheal qualities. Just how it creates its healing effects is not known. The chemical structure of the herb hasn’t been completely researched.
The Cassava root is also a tropical vegetable called Kappa in India and is grown in Kerala. This is also called a fertility root as eating it frequently leads hyper ovulation in females which make them highly fertile in case you planning twins dig in to cassava.The Yoruba tribe in West Africa has the highest rate of twinning in the world. A study concluded that the mother’s diet was the cause, being high in Cassava.
The Cassava plant contains a chemical that causes hyper-ovulation. Cassava works by the same method as prescription fertility drugs, only without the side effects.
Cassava provides twice the fiber of the common potato and, when prepared as a snack chip, has a delightfully satisfying flavor and a light, crispy, addictive crunch. Furthermore, CrispRoot chips have 30-40% less fat than leading brand potato chips.
Macadamia nuts are local nuts of Africa which taste delicious as a snack whether they are roasted or salted. They are very high proteins.
Macadamia nuts have sweet taste and are rich source of energy. 100 g of nuts provide about 718 calorie/100 g, which is one of the highest values among nuts.
Amarula is a Alcoholic Creme Drink made from a fruit in Kenya in the deep jungles. It was discovered as many elephants used to eat this in their daily diet and ended up drunk and merry!
Amarula is a sweet and creamy liqueur from Africa. It is made with sugar, cream, and the Amarula tree fruit. Unlike many other cream liqueurs, Amarula is not made from a whiskey or brandy base.
The Marula fruit is distilled to produce a fruit spirit base. With a genuine African heritage, Amarula is more exotic than other cream liqueur brands. The liqueur has an alcohol content of 17% by volume. The liqueur was launched in 1983, and is one of the most distributed alcoholic beverages of South Africa.
Ripe Marula fruit is gathered from the wild, by hand, in the tribal heartlands of the Limpopo province in South Africa.
An Ethiopian Restaurant in Nairobi where you can enjoy with authentic Ethiopian with your family on a huge plate sufficient for six.
Local market with its own food court. You can Indian, African, Chinese, Gujarati and fast foods around the world all under one roof. Dig into Golgappa's and Dabeli also you can purchase Indian Sweets at Chappan Bhog. Jalebis and Samosas at Various shops over here. In short a Local Market run by Gujarati Businessmen of Kenya.
The Yaya Centre
The Leading Mall of Nairobi full of big brands and highly priced African Couture.
The Sarit Centre.
Located in Westlands it is one the premier malls of Nairobi with good brands and a Java Coffee House of its own. It is also located close to Westgate Mall which was attacked last year by Terrorists.
ArtCafe at the Oval
Chit chat over a cup of coffee or cocktails!!
There other two malls like Thikha Mall and Junction Mall which are worth a visit you can see the 7d and 5d shows here for some fun time!! I really didn't enjoy the 7d as it was similar to what you can see in The Great India Palace Mall, Noida however these 5d shows at Junction Mall was something that I haven't seen before with beautiful animations which you will just fall in love with.
I saw "The Great Wall Of China" at the 5D show - Junction mall it was an amazing experience.
After a twenty days of vacation I realised Nairobi was already my second home. I would love to retire there in live in the wilderness however I knew I had to catch a flight back home to Delhi. So I was back and I was completely exhausted with this exciting trip.
I will never forget the beautiful wild animals of Kenya and the fact that innocence resides in these forests. It is a proven fact that Africa was the continent where early life actually begin! Please do find some time in the Summers next year and travel to this beautiful continent show your kids how beautiful these animals look in the wild rather than zoo's not only you would be helping to protect these animals when you visit these reserves but you will also helping the the people of Africa to defend for themselves.
"Kenya's economy thrives on Tourism without tourists, Africa's game reserves will not have much left to survive. The fees that you pay in these parks is utilized to protect all endangered species of Kenya from poachers."
- To travel to Kenya you need to get a Yellow Fever vaccination.
- Visa is on Arrival $50 per person.
- Purchasing exotic skins and hunting animals is banned in Kenya.
- To not tease or feed the animals.
- Once you are in Jeep, Car on Van in the wild, you are not allowed to get off, Serious consequences will follow if you do not follow rules.
- You can be asked to leave the reserve to you break rules.
- If you get out of the van in the reserve a lion or hyena can attack you and eat you!!
- Carry along a SPF 50+ with you.
- Do not wear gold on the streets, Nairobi is also called "Nai robbery"
- Carry fashion or costume jewellery with you.
- Carry along sports shoes and crocs to the wild.
- Camouflage prints are banned in the certain wildlife conservations.
- A good sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection.
- June to October is winters in Kenya.
- Carry along warm inner, socks, jackets and something to cover your head and ears :- scarfs, caps specially in Amboselli, Masai Mara, Sweetwaters they are very cold places in the morning.
- DSLR Camera and Video Camera.
- Extra SD cards and Pen drives 16 GB.
- You Laptop if required.
Must Buy and Try
- Amarula Drink
- Amarula Chocolates
- Souvenirs from Masai Market
- Patrick Mavros Silver
- Food at village market
- Indian Street Food at Diamond Plaza
- Ethopian Food
- Kenyan Food
- Kenya Coffee and Kilimanjaro Coffee
- Arrow Root Chip
- Butternut Soup
- Kasava root or Chips
- Macdamia Nuts
Your's Faithfully, Travel Bug