During our travel planning for Madagascar, we booked flights travelling via Nairobi, Kenya. Almost all connections involved a long wait at the airport, so we decided to pick the longest option, which meant arriving at 6am on Saturday, and departing at 11am the following day. And we are so glad we chose to do this.
I contacted “Shadows of Africa“, a safari tour company, to help us organise some activities during our layover. With the time that we had, they arranged to meet us at the airport, take us on a game drive of Nairobi National Park, visit the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and the Giraffe Centre, before dropping us at our hotel. The following morning they also took as back to the airport for our onward flight.
We were met at Nairobi airport by our friendly local guide Amos. He welcomed us with a smile and told us about Nairobi as we drove to Nairobi National Park. He told us that “Jambo” was the traditional Swahili greeting, and “Karibu” was used for “you’re welcome”. He asked us about the mountains in Austria and what activities we did there. He also told us that it was unusually cold in Nairobi and that there had been large amounts of rainfall (which we later saw on the news was more in the 24 hours that we were there than the whole of the previous month) and there was widespread flooding.
During our game drive in the park, we were treated to views shallow rolling hills with grasslands as far as the eye could see, decorated sparsely with bushes, small areas of woodland and water holes. We were lucky enough to spot a great number of animals, despite the torrential rain. We were looking in to the distance, when two lions dosing in the long grass by the roadside caught my eye. We slammed on the breaks and spend a few minutes admiring them from the safety of the car. Amos told us that these two were most likely to be brothers, who were both showing signs of recently being in a fight. And laying just a few meters away from them was the remains of the zebra which was almost certainly their most recent meal.
The rain belted down as we struggled with the muddy, often flooded dirt roads in the park, so after a few hours, we left the park and headed to the elephant orphanage.
The elephant orphanage in Nairobi is run by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust . Here, orphaned baby elephants are raised and re-introduced back in to the wild when they reach the age of 5. For one hour a day, the public is allowed in to the sanctuary to witness them being fed, which was insanely cute!
We spent the night in the Best Western Premier Hotel in Nairobi, where we were very glad of a nice hot shower and good night’s sleep before heading back to the airport early the next morning.
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