We arrived on our Emirates flight bang on time, 1930hrs, from Dubai. Travel time from Perth to Dubai was 10 hours, with a two hour layover, then 4+ hours to NBO. We got our visas organized very quickly, we were ushered sideways and found ourselves at the front of queue, we then had about 40 mins for our bags, the luggage belt broke down briefly. Our driver Moses was waiting for us, phew, I was a bit concerned that he may not be. The drive to Nairobi National Park (our accommodation “Nairobi Tented Camp” is right in NNP) took about an hour. The traffic was moving very slowly along Langata Road, I was a little nervous , but all went very smoothly. I chose this camp inside NNP (the only one in the Park), (thanks to Richards recommendation on this forum) as it sounded perfect for us and it has very high security, with its own camp guards and the NNP armed guards, has only 8 tents, has an eco-friendly philosophy.
It was so exciting pulling up in front of the big Park gate where we said goodbye to Moses and met Kevin who was to drive us to Camp. The KWS staff opened the gate and suddenly we were in Africa! We had about an hours drive to the Camp site from the gate over a mix of good to shocking roads. What a treat when we arrived. The Maasai guards, with torches, it was pitch black, led us down a rocky path to the Camp. It was so pretty, lit up with lanterns and beautifully appointed. We met the staff and then sat down to a delicious bowl of soup (the first of many delicious soups that we were to enjoy along the way). By now we were ready to “crash”. Hot water bottles were waiting in our beds, I was asleep the second my head hit the pillow. Unforunately my husband had forgotten to turn off his phone and it rang at 4am, I woke up startled and disorientated. As it turned out, that was a blessing because within minutes a lion roared nearby and Id hate to have missed that. Before I knew it there was a gentle tap on the tent and a tray of tea and biscuits was waiting on the ‘porch”.
Soon, we were so excited to be heading off on our first game drive. The first animals we saw were 3 giraffe (are they the first animal spotted, it seems that way). Kevin asked me if there was any animal I particularly wanted to see, “Black Rhinos” was of course my immediate response, but I know wildlife is unpredictable and chances were slim. Kevin said he was feeling lucky, so I said “me too”! It wasn’t long before we hit the jackpot. A group of 4 black Rhino suddenly appeared in the distance and obligingly stayed within sight for half an hour or so, strolling along having a browse, a bit of a lay down, another stroll. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, to the left, a group of 5 white Rhinos wandered in, 4 biggies and a baby.The baby had a little run, a little lay down, so sweet. I was gob-smacked, 9 Rhinos in my line of vision, who’d have thought. What a sight. In the foreground a herd of Impala, behind them Hartebeest, behind them Rhino, and behind them.... the suburbs, how extroaordinary!
We drove off eventually,so excited at our beginners luck. It was time to head back, we mentioned that we hadn’t seen any lions although couldn’t feel any disappointment after what we’d just witnessed. Then “Bingo”, there was a male lion sitting on a rock surveying his territory. At that point, that included the Rhino which we were now on the other side of. So now a lion to the right and two goups of Rhino in front of us. Two of the Black Rhino were “jostling”, locking horns, pushing each other back and forth, running around then going at it again. Seriously, Nat Geog. Probably waits weeks to see all the Rhino shenanigans we saw in one hour.I should also mention that baby Rhinos are just the cutest little creatures.
We headed back to camp for breakfast then left for Sheldricks. Id seen “Elephant Diaries” a couple of times but it was truly wonderful to see the orphans, including our “Orwa”, and their keepers in this remarkable place.
Back to Camp for a relaxing lunch, put our feet up, glass of “white”, write the journal and just enjoy the Camp and its surrounds (and wish we had another day here). 4.45pm and we were back in the 4WD and off to Sheldricks for end day bottle and bed. Our little “Orwa” must have had a big day as he was the first to settle down to sleep. The two tiny babies, not so keen to settle, they were just so sweet, heartbreakingly so. The keepers and their dedication is well documented, but to see them settling all the babies, to see the stalls and keepers and ellies matresses, dinners being handed in to them, really bought home what extraordinary men they are. Very humbling indeed.
And so dinner, tomato and aubergine stacks with a pesto sauce, Beef with ginger filling, and chocolate mousse (with a hint of chilli) to finish. As fine a meal as we’d get in a quality restaurant here. Settled in bed to the sounds of the “wilds” at night. What a remarkable, exciting, beautiful start to our trip. Dawn welcomed us with a chorus of birds, I stood on the porch of the tent at sunrise listening to the sound of the forest life around us.
A link to our photos: https:/…