I meant to post about this amazing trip a while ago, but somehow never got around to it. Going to live in Nanyuki, Kenya for a month was an amazing experience I was lucky enough to have over Christmas. It was my first time ever leaving the UK too, so the culture change, along with going on a plane and everything to do with going abroad to another country was all brand new to me!
Just the plane itself was quite a daunting experience, let alone landing in one of the most alien countries to me. Kenya wasn’t actually as scorching hot as I thought it would be – the sun was lovely! – but it was rare that it reached overwhelming temperatures. It was probably the ideal sort of temperature in the high 20 (C)’s.
The animals, of course, were amazing! In my time in Kenya I stayed at both Shaba and Samburu Lodge. Lodges on Kenya are sort of like fancy hotels, but these ones were very open and focused upon visitor interaction with animals. Waking up to monkeys climbing onto your roof, and going to sleep after sitting and watching the crocodiles getting fed was brilliant. Of course, back in the UK, to me witnessing a pigeon waddling along in the middle of town is the closest I’ve ever been to a wild animal, so to be right up close to all of these rare creatures, such as rhinos and giraffes (both reticulated and non-reticulated) was something that really took a while to sink in for me.
And immediately outside from the lodges were the actual wild African plains, where you could go out in a car and go on safari! The idea of doing this weirded me out a bit, since when I think of safari’s, I always associate them with super rich old people who have decided on a whim just to pop down to Africa for the weekend to try and adopt the odd lion or two that they see. But I managed to do quite a lot of safari’s and they was great! But when you get out of the car at the end, you WILL be very achy, it turns out that these wild, African plains are in fact very bumpy and irregular, so you get thrown around a lot in the name of exploration.
Also, on safari I would recommend wearing extremely thick shoes!! There are these lovely little plants, which are absolutely everywhere in the wilds, called bastard bushes. They certainly deserve this cruel name, since all they are is massive, hard, VERY sharp thorns. And they seemed, sometimes, to be the most common plant out there. At one point in the trip a group of us, escorted by some guards, took a hike out in the plains, and seeing my boyfriend’s pathetic flip flops (and feet) getting mutilated by these horrific spiky monstrosities was painful to watch. We ended up climbing to the top of what felt like a massive hill, and whilst the views were amazing, all of us were crying out from the pain in our feet.
But it was, of course, worth it to see all of the amazing animals! I was told I was extremely lucky, as in my time there I saw all three of the big cats: Lions, cheetahs and leopards, alongside hyena’s, absolutely loads of elephants and, my personal favourite, the cute little warthogs. Warthogs don;t run; they awkwardly waddle around. Also, they have very, VERY short memory spans. So they run from your car, assuming it to be a predator, and stop about 5 steps in because they have completely forgotten what they are even running from. It was adorable ❤
But my favourite friend I made there was undoubtedly Jefferson, the little lizard who was in my room at Shaba lodge all three nights that I stayed there. Every night, without fail, there he was, chilling out on the ceiling, by the window, just pondering his own little philosophical dilemmas.
I’ll also be posting a second part to this, where I discuss my trip to Mount Kenya National Park and the Mount Kenya Animal Orphanage, where I actually stroke and snuggle a cheetah! So look out for that 🙂