This is our last stop in Kenya before leaving on Saturday. Today was also our last day on Safari. We had committed ourselves to trying to see the Big 5 (elephant, water buffalo, lion, leopard, rhinoceros) while we were here and we had one more animal to see.
We left the AA Lodge in Amboseli very early this morning for a visit to one last Kenyan National Park. This one is right in Nairobi so we drove several hours in the morning.
When you drive the Kenyan highways, especially between Amboseli and Nairobi, you have to be vigilant for the wildlife. Our van slowed and or altered course in the road to avoid cattle, goats, donkeys, and baboons.
This giraffe was running to the road, then walked normally across the tarmac and then began running again on the other side.
As a quick reminder, our guide from the Masai Mara (Jacktone) led us through the Amboseli and Nairobi Park Safaris and was responsible for driving us in the van.
The Nairobi National Park is about 5 miles south of the city and despite only being 45 square miles in size, it has an impressive array of wildlife set against a backdrop of skyscrapers and the international airport. It’s fenced on three sizes but open on the south to allow animals to migrate to and from the adjacent plains.
More roadside wildlife appeared as we entered the park itself. These water buffalo were closer to us than any we had seen in Masai Mara or Amboseli. We had to move them along simply to proceed on the road. They weigh as much as a cow and a half.
Before we even had lunch, Jacktone led us to our 5th and final Big 5 animal; the rhinoceros. CreeperKitty was the first to spot one from about 1km away.
We came across 7 unique Black Rhinoceros while in the Nairobi National Park this afternoon. One of these critically endangered specimens walked on the road in front of us as though he owned the place (which in a way he does, this park is one of Kenya’s most successful rhino sanctuaries).
Note that the beautiful gazelles took no heed of the enormous rhino. They know he eats grass and not them.
Here was another roadside giraffe. This one munching away on leaves. In this image he seems to have an inquisitive look and is curious about these tourists in this van.
Tiffany spotted this while we were in motion and got a prize for the most unique find of the day. We didn’t see a leopard, but a leopard-shelled tortoise was a good trade.
We also saw crocodiles and hippos occupying space near one another. The reptiles seemed to prefer the sun and the mammals preferred the cool water.
The final image was taken as we were leaving the Park when we caught a family taking a drink. The large capital city Nairobi is framed in the background. The proximity to the international airport and the major city in the background was a very interesting juxtaposition with the wildlife reserve in the foreground.
After 6 days of land safari in Kenya we have learned that the older Adventurers would do this again next year if it was practical and affordable. The youngest seemed to be fine with 1 or 2 days hunting game in the bush and checking the boxes of the big 5. We will take another poll next year and see if their appreciation builds over time.