Nairobi

8 06 2009

OK, so I am back from the Safari, it was amazing, and now I have to try and blog it.  Its going to take a while, so I think that I am going to do it in several stages in which case people might actually read it.  As you may have guessed from the title, this is all about the time that I spent in Nairobi.

After the 9 hour flight from Heathrow T5 (A lot better than I was expecting actually) I got to Nairobi late evening, and after a more than a few drinks at the hotel bar, myself and Pete had to try and find something to eat.  We wanted to go off of the premises, but were only allowed out if we were accompanied by a guard with a truncheon, getting back at 2am, I went to bed.  I had a long day planned the next day, and wanted to get away early to make the most of it.

Daniel my driver for the day picked me up at 9am to take me to the Langata Its a GiraffeGiraffe Sanctuary.  This was started by Karen Blixen, the author of Out of Africa and involves a game walk and a viewing platform where you can feed the Giraffes.

I got taken on a tour of the game walk and spotted some weaver birds and a dung beetle, but not a lot else, until I turned a corner to find a Giraffe standing in the path.  After taking a long time to look at this giant animal and have my photo taken next to it, I headed over to the viewing platform where I was given a bucket of feed and told to wait.  Within seconds, 2 Giraffes had appeared, and feeding Feeding Giraffesthem by hand was great fun.  Their tongues are blue and sticky, and they make your hands incredibly wet.  A Giraffe can life to up to 28 years (Fact!) and a common cause of death is blindness, meaning they cant find food and then get eaten by predators (lions generally), even though a Giraffe can kill a Lion with a kick (Fact!).  Another interesting and completely useless fact is that they are the only animals that can lick their anus while standing up (Fact!).

After the mauling from the Giraffes, I headed to the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage.  You can only visit for one hour a day and a maximum of 150 people are allowed in.  Waiting for the baby elephants to turn up was interesting, as you got to see Baboons, Warthogs and some Gazelles in the background.

Elephant ParadeSoon the baby elephants had arrived and the rest of it was forgotten.  These were really young and had lost their mothers.  Each had their own handler who at that age stays with them for 24 hours a day.  The tiny Pachyderms were incredibly cute in their sun blankets, but the best thing was the 4 month old Rhino, who allowed people to stroke him, and felt like a soft leather couch.

Elephant OrphanGetting back to the hotel in mid afternoon, I sat with a couple of guys on other tours and chatted to them before the pre departure meeting in the evening.  Meeting everyone on this is a daunting prospect and a bit like a job interview, but on first impressions everyone seemed pretty nice.  I had agreed to meet up with some of the guys for dinner in the evening and we ended up goping to Carnivores, a world famous restaurant voted among the 50 best in the world by Restaurant Magazine.  The place is amazing, its pretty much an all you can eat buffet, except, all of the meat is cooked on barbecues on Maasi spears, which then get brought to your tables and carved for you. Baby Rhino

On the menu that night was Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, Goat, Crocodile and Ostrich.  The basic idea of the restaurant is that you have a flag on your table, and as soon as you raise it the waiters start to bring you food.  To get them to stop you lower the flag in surrender.  I was the last one eating and was left wanting more of the most amazing lamb I have ever had. 

Thus ended my time in Nairobi, next up was the trip to the Masi Mara.

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