Getting back into Nairobi was a welcome change, if for no other reason than the roads were smoother. We were in town for two days then heading out to Kisumu which was in the opposite direction of Masai Mara. While in Nairobi were scheduled to do some pretty cool cultural activities which were going to be packed into those two days.
Our first stop the next morning was the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. It was founded by Dr. Daphne Sheldrick in 1977 with many wildlife projects, including an anti-poaching initiative. The Trust has an elephant orphanage that rescues baby elephants orphaned by parental death or abandonment. All of the elephants are under five years old and kept for up to three years before they are released back into the wild. We were able to see one of the elephant feedings which was absolutely adorable. The babies are feed human formula bottles which most closely resembles the mother’s milk. They drink 24 liters on three-hour intervals throughout the day.
The Trust offers the public feedings once a week, but you can also sponsor an elephant for a year for $50 and have a semi-private visitation if you ever make it to Nairobi. (https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/orphans)
Our next stop was the Giraffe Sanctuary which is the same area as the Sheldrake trust. Different from the elephant orphanage the Giraffes sanctuary keeps the giraffes in captivity. Japheth and Miriam two of the handlers told me that the giraffes live longer when they are in captivity. (10-15 years in the wild, 28 in the sanctuary). The giraffes are super gentle but a bit clumsy and can accidental head butt you.
The handlers have bowls of pellet treats made out of oats and other grains that guests can feed the giraffes to interact with them. If you hold a pellet between your lips you can even kiss the giraffes. It was hella dope. I totally did it, which was slimy and a little gross. Giraffe tongues feel just like sandpaper.
Our last stop for the day was to the Kenya Cultural center. We were able to view 13 of there traditional tribal dances from the various regions. I even got pulled on stage to dance (insert introvert horror). There are also replicas communities of the 42 different Kenyan tribes. We were able to view the different ways in which they constructed their homes and communities based on region and need.
I also learned a valuable lesson viewing the different tribal homes: You always want to be the first wife. She gets the biggest house and food storage. It was also interesting that tribes like the Mejikhende built homes specifically to house grandparents and the grandchildren would stay there helping to care for the grandparents. I love that.
Before heading out to Kisumu we stopped by the City Park. It was early so there weren’t many people out. I loved this because it was quiet and I was just able to take in the trees and things. There are monkeys freely roaming around the park that you can feel peanut which I totally did. There are homeless folks that live in the park and that will run up on you and jack your cell phone, so you have to be vigilant about not having your valuables just out. That’s all, for now, good people!
Love and Light,