Nairobi, June 2012

After an overnight flight from London we arrived in Nairobi, a place I had heard and read so many things about. Despite my uncertainties of whether or not to obtain a visa prior to travel, it turned out to be a simple and quick process at NBO. However the drive from NBO to Sarova Stanley Hotel was painfully slow, though I had been expected this to an extent as it was during the morning rush hour. The drive provided an interesting first insight into Kenyan lives with the streets full of men, women and children walking to work and school.

The Sarova Stanley was the first luxury hotel to be built in Nairobi in 1902 and it defiantly still maintains a classic elegance. The room was comfortable and provided a street view of Nairobi below. After a quick freshen up we headed over to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Elephant Orphanage.

The elephant orphanage opens its doors for an hour each day to allow visitors to watch the young elephants be fed and play in the mud with their new adopted family. The elephants are brought down to be fed in two groups, first the very young babies, then the slightly older ellies. Due to the nightmare that is Nairobi’s traffic congestion, the drive to the orphanage took much longer than our driver had expected so we reached the centre just as the very little ones were heading back home. The orphanage provides a vital home for orphaned elephants and rhino’s from all over Kenya. The orphanage seems to be a real success story with over 80 young orphaned elephants having been saved, reared and offered a second chance of life and freedom in Tsavo National Park.

After an enjoyable visit to the orphanage we visited the Giraffe Centre, where you can see, feed or even kiss the endangered rothschild giraffe. There is a small fee for the privilege to do this though this goes towards helping the breeding programme run by the centre. Opposite the centre was a nature reserve where you can have a walk around several trails, though there was little information on the routes, if any at all.

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