Last Day

Last morning in Kenya and it is an early one!

Wake-up call at 5:30 am but I didn’t really need it as my internal clock woke me up before that. Time for a quick coffee in my room whilst checking my mail and FB before heading downstairs to grab some breakfast. Normally breakfast doesn’t start until 6 am but because I had to leave early I was allowed to go in a bit earlier. No day can be started here without a glass of fresh mango juice! Hmm You can say I am kind of addicted to it 🙂
Justus was right on time, as always so we made our way to Nairobi National Park in time. Traffic wasn’t bad either so we got there before 6:30 am and the gates weren’t even open yet. By the time Justus got our entry ticket, opened the roof of the van, we were able to drive through and start our journey. I am sure you have all heard on the news what happened to 6 lions here in the park, right? Killed by Masai people who avenged the deaths of their goats and cows. Unbelievable, even young lions and newborns were slaughtered with spears and machetes!! This is becoming a big problem here in Kenya. Masai communities are growing so their livestock is growing. They move into ‘lion’ country so when I lion comes across an easy meal like a goat or cow… it goes for it. But the Masai don’t leave it there unfortunately. This is the kind of work the Born Free Foundation is doing AND successfully down in Tsavo National Park. Maybe they should start building lion-proof bomas here near Nairobi as well..
Poor lions.. I have seen some pictures …
Anyway, don’t want to think about that too much!!
We drove into NNP and it was so peaceful and quiet! Only a few other vans or cars were in the park as well. At first not many animals seem to be around. I was surprised at this. Plenty of pretty little birds, that’s for sure but most were too fast to photograph. I did get a few pretty ones with my camera though.

Name of the bird unknown.. for now but will do some research about it as I’d like to know

A lonely buffalo and its friend (egret bird .. I think) were our first proper spotting of the day.

On the road

About 10 minutes later in the drive we hit jackpot!!!!
3 male lions laying by the side of the road! They looked like they didn’t care we were there at all. One of the males did seem to have an injury in his left eye. It looked a bit bloody and puss came out. I only saw this afterwards when I was looking at my pictures of course. All of a sudden the lions started to smell something. Their noses went into the air, eyes closed, ears backwards.. one took off and walked besides our van. I just love that sound of a passing lion.. J a very slow and gentle sound. The fist lion stopped behind the car that had stopped behind us. Then lion 2 and 3 followed. They didn’t go far though, just to the other side of the road where they were staring into the distance.. direction buffalos (forgot to say that after that lonely buffalo we came across a huge herd). No doubt the lions smelt their presence. You would think they would move on but instead one by one they lay down again.. so we left them in peace and took off. So very happy we spotted these 3 gorgeous beasts! Unfortunately that were the only lions we saw all day. Better than nothing I suppose as every van/bus we passed Justus asked what they had seen, but turned out we were the only ones who saw Simba.. yeay for me 🙂

One of the three lions I was lucky enough to see at Nairobi NP
Lion 2 and 3, resting, being a lion 🙂

We did see plenty of impala, gazelles, hartebeests.. a few more buffalo as well and some majestic Masai Giraffes that who were standing in the middle of the road as well. As we drove past them, they towered over our little van.. impressive for sure.

Three in a row

Oh yeah for a short time we had an extra passenger as well. We had stopped for a toilet break/ stretch-your-legs break and by the side of the road, ons ome rocks we saw a family of rock hyraxes. Cute as always and with babies. They are so adorable. Just after we had arrived Justus had to make sure that a huge baboon didn’t make it into our car so he chaced him off and he himself had gone to the bathroom. I just walked around to see if I could spot some birds or lizards (no such luck). All of a sudden I hear a noice behind me so I start talking as I thought it was Justus. So I turn around and what do I see? Mr Baboon jumping through the driver’s seat window! He walked around our van but luckely we had no food inside. I called out for Justus but by that time the baboon had already decided to leave. Haha
We drove on but didn’t come across any big animals anymore! We did have to drive back as we saw another vehicle in trouble. The car got stuck in the mud so Justus went over to see if he could help. It took us about 20-30 minutes but in the end we weren’t able to pull him out. They called for help and the KWS was on its way. We drove on.
Soon after that we left the park as we had to be at the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage by 11 am for my morning visit, this time without the children from Mama Tunza. This time around the ellies were so much more lively! Today being Friday may have had something to do with it. Every Friday they get an oil rubbing and what they do next, after their milk bottles of course, is just roll and roll in the mud and dust and they absolutely loved it!! You should have seen them and you will have by now as I have already posted a few films on my FB. You can not but smile when you see this!! It is so fantastic to see how these little creatures can find so much joy in doing this. Of course if they still had their mums this would happen in the wild as well. Maybe not every Friday but you know what I mean, right? 🙂

A little bit of water of the much needed milk bottles!
Fun times in the mud
They just can’t get enough

Time went by way to fast and the hour went by way to fast! I bought some souvenirs at the shop and we were ready to drive back into town. I had asked Justus to stop somewhere as I wanted to buy some fresh mango to take home with me. He dropped me off at the city market and a good thing I had asked him the price before I left the car as the guy at the store was going to charge way too much!! Typical of course. Every step I made in that market I was stopped by sellers wanting to sell me something. But I was a woman on a mission and bought nothing else!! Wow! Good on me right? Mango and avocado YUMMY!

Back at the Stanley I had a few hours to relax and take a shower as I was sooooo smelly from the elephants. Once had some up to me and of course I had to pet it.. not thinking about the oil and mud and dust haha. I wa sooo dirty. But I didn’t really care about that of course. It’s just that I don’t think I’d be allowed on the plane smelling and looking like that.
I had to check out by 6pm, went to the pool restaurant and had another great vegetarian pasta meal with a delicious white wine and time had come to say goodbye … with great sadness. The last 9 days just flew by, that’s for sure.
This has been a very emotional trip!!! The things I have seen and experienced at the orphanage were just heartbreaking and will be with me forever. Some of the things I have seen I will never forget and the smells will never go out of my nose..
Having done so much and bought so much for the children was of course an amazing thing to do. Thanks to so many people.
The lions, the elephants, rhino and giraffes.. well, that is Africa for me. I really can’t wait to start planning my next trip!!
Thank you to everyone who has made this possible and thank you for reading my blog! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I will keep you all updated on anything that happens to the orphanage, the kids, our foster ellies,….


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