Saturday, 14 December 2013

Baby elephants and giraffe kissing

Our first stay in Kenya was a short stay in Nairobi, to drop off half of our group who were not trekking gorillas. After saying our sad goodbyes we organised a day tour with the remainder of the group to see the baby elephant orphanage - the David Sheldrick elephant centre and the giraffe centre. The elephant centre started with the first group of young elephants, who ran out with enthusiasm, as they were introduced to us with a quick explanation on how they came to be orphaned. They then continued to bring the groups out depending on their age and the amount they were fed, after this we were allowed to get a close up picture and a quick pat if you were feeling game. Next up we went to the giraffe centre which aims to protect and promote the endangered Rothschild giraffe. The centre starts with an up close and personal feeding of the giraffe before entering the learning centre to discover more about these beautiful animals and how the centre is trying to increase their numbers. Much to my disgust (or jealousy?) Ryan decided he wanted to give the giraffe a kiss, so as instructed he put the food between his lips and waited for the giraffe to take it with his incredible long tongue - gross!

On our way to Uganda from Nairobi we stayed the night near Lake Nakuru for some rhino spotting, as it has one of the largest populations in Africa. Fortunately, we were lucky enough to spot and large group of white rhinos and one extremely skittish black rhino (very rarely spotted). The game drive through the national park was excellent as recent rain had driven all the animals to higher group, we we lucky to spot buffalo, flamingos, water buck, hyenas, giraffe and elephants. We also managed to see countless baboons with seemingly endless energy - eating, fighting, climbing, stealing food, fighting and fornicating.

As our driver was Kenyan, we had a short stop at his home on the way back into Nairobi after Uganda. He first introduced to his friendly mother (while dropping off groceries) before getting a quick tour of his house. The local children seemed very delighted by this and were all curiously watching and waving as we walked through the little lane that they all lived on. While just a short stop it was great to see how people lived in the surrounding areas of Nairobi.

While we only had a short stay in Kenya we loved seeing the animal and meeting the friendly people in this beautiful country.

- Louise -


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