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Published: August 10th 2017
The elephants are brought up in a safe environment, they are fed cow milk to replace the mother’s milk and when they are old enough they are reintroduced into the wild again.
Wild animals, semi-wild animals and one animal that wouldn’t survive more than two days in the wild
Emma has her birthday in the second half of June. This year we decided to celebrate this day in Kenya. The original plan was to spend the birthday on a safari. It didn’t pan out quite like that. We did go on two safaris while we were in Kenya but neither one was on her birthday. On the birthday we did something else, which was almost as good as a safari.
We stayed only a short time in Kenya, just over a week, and we are going to tell our story from there in two separate blog entries. The first of these two you are reading right now and that one will focus on the wildlife of Kenya.
Let us first go back to the birthday. We wanted to visit Nairobi NP but the safari organised by the travel agent at the camp where we stayed was overpriced. When we a few days later organised the same trip with another company we managed to negotiate a much lower price. Instead of the safari we hired
The elephant sanctuary is a park where baby elephants that have either been orphaned or in some other way can’t survive in the wild are taken care of.
a taxi and went to two other animal related sites in Nairobi, an elephant sanctuary and a giraffe breeding centre.
The elephant sanctuary is a park where baby elephants which have either been orphaned or in some other way can’t survive in the wild are taken care of. The elephants are brought up in a safe environment, they are fed cow milk to replace the mother’s milk and when they are old enough they are reintroduced into the wild again.
Each day when the elephants are fed the public is welcome to watch and that is what we did. Elephant babies are actually very cute and watch them getting fed is absolutely adorable.
The giraffe breeding centre is set up to breed the endangered Rothschild giraffe. The giraffes are in a screened off park but there is a viewing area where the public can see the giraffes and feed them giraffe candy. In their normal habitat giraffes eat leaves and they can easily reach out with their tongue and rip off a single leaf from a branch. If you hold one giraffe candy in your hand it’s a piece of cake
Cuddling an elephant
Perhaps an elephant isn't the first animal you think about cuddling
for them to swoop it up with their tongue and if you hold the candy between your lips the giraffe will catch the candy there too giving you a giraffe kiss at the same time. To explain the sensation of kissing a giraffe we engage the help of Raymond Babbitt and Raymond's brother's girlfriend Susanna when they talk about Raymond's first experience of kissing a woman: "Susanna: 'How was that?' Raymond: 'Wet'"
A few days later we went on a safari in Hell’s Gate National Park
, a few hours drive north of Nairobi. The special feature about Hell's Gate NP is that in that park there are no animals dangerous to humans, that is there are no elephants, rhinos or lions, thus making it possible to visit the park on foot or, as most people do, by riding a bicycle. Even though those animals don’t roam in Hell’s Gate National Park there are still enough other interesting ones around to make a visit rewarding. Animals we spotted on this safari include
• giraffes – we love giraffes. They look awkward with their long legs and superlong necks and that is what makes them so charming
We didn't know they had squirrels in Africa
zebras – they don’t look like they are for real. They look like painted horses
• baboons – we saw a large group in the far distance
• buffalos – they are really big when you are close to them!
• gazelles, hartebeests and elands – we can’t tell which one is which and it is so embarrassing
• rock hyraxes – this was a first. We have never seen rock hyraxes before. They are very cute
The last day we were in Kenya we went back to Nairobi and we bought a tour of the Nairobi National Park
. What makes this national park special is that it is bordering the city Nairobi thus making it one of the easiest accessible national parks in Kenya and makes it possible to see and photograph lions and other animals with the skyline of Nairobi with its high-rise buildings in the background.
In Nairobi NP there are plenty of dangerous animals so to keep both animals and humans safe there is a high fence all around the national park. The guide told us that a few years ago a ranger forget to close one of
Giraffe breeding centre
The giraffe breeding centre is set up to breed the endangered Rothschild giraffe.
the gates and three lions escaped. Can you imagine getting up a typical morning and get ready to go to work. You have two sandwiches and a cup of coffee, kiss your partner goodbye, get the car keys, you leave your house and walk over to your car and half way there you notice that there is a lion sitting on the lawn watching you like you are a very tasty entrée…
Two of the three lions which escaped through the open gate were captured and returned to the park. The third lion had to be shot because when she was found she was happily munching a human she had recently killed. She, although we don’t know the gender of the lion we still write “she” because it is mainly the female lions who do the hunting, had to be killed because a lion who has tasted human flesh tends to go after humans on a regular basis after that.
The animals we spotted in Nairobi NP that we hadn’t seen before on this trip were
• lions – we are not as fascinated by lions as many others are to be honest
Giraffe breeding centre
The giraffes are in a screened off park but there is a viewing area where the public can see the giraffes and feed them giraffe candy
• rhinos – we saw seven rhinos in total. That is quite a lot considering that they are endangered
On this trip we also spent a few days in Diani Beach
on the coast near Mombasa. At the guesthouse we stayed at there they had a group of galagos or bushbabies they feed each night. Just like when we fed the giraffes in Nairobi it was possible to hand over the food using the mouth thus in the process getting a kiss from the animal. We have included two videos showing us feeding the galagos.
We have in the blog also included some other pictures of various Kenyan wildlife such as monkeys, birds, a gigantic snail, a huge millipede and a starfish. We took a short video of the millipede. If you are sensitive you might not want to watch that...
Oh yes, that is right, in the end we also threw in a picture of one animal which doesn’t fit in any definition of “wildlife” that we can think of. But we hope you don’t mind.
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