On the road again or rather I’m up in the air and preparing for a 7 hour + trip to Frankfurt with connections on to Nairobi. I’ve traveled much of Africa by now and find that East Africa is absolutely gorgeous with animals and nature and space as the main themes. Kenya just may be my favorite place in Africa. I have been to Nairobi a few times before and always love sitting with the Maasai Women on a hill every Wednesday when they come to town to sell and trade. You can buy museum quality beadwork. Fabrics too are interesting. I bring along t-shirts and pencils for kids to trade.
Kenya is famous for the Maasai with their cattle, Mt. Kilamanjaro and huge Baobob trees ground the acres on the way to the Maasai Mara where the migration takes place yearly, moving huge herds of wildebeest with lions and hyenas close behind from Tanzania into Kenya and back again. There are rhinos the color of the earth so still you don’t see them until your safari car comes upon them, and hippos in small pools, their nostrils just above the water line, and in the gullies and shade you will be stopped on the road where a few monkeys have come from the trees to stop you. They quietly surround the car and hope you will offer fruit. Don’t.
We left at 8am for Lake Nukuru and finally another dream has been realized for me. I saw the Pink Flamingoes that the area is so famous for. Millions of them. And a herd of wild Zebra maybe 50 or more stampeded across the highway trotting and leaping and kicking up their hind legs as if joyous. It is just marvelous to see wild zebra. I think I’d have the same awe if I had seen a unicorn. So beautiful and you just have to sit and be amazed and smile.
Later in the park two rambunctious Baboons were sitting in the road with black fingernails and teeny- weeny orange eyes, stopping our car. We had to close the windows because they peered right in. I had offered a banana or two that was perfectly peeled before they ate the peel first. They wanted more and hovered by my side of the car and on the hood to see what I was reaching for next. We finally drove off far enough that we could open the windows and toss a few more goodies
Since seeing Out Of Africa, I knew I’d travel to Kenya. Karen Blitzen’s story of a woman with a farm in Africa brings tears to my eyes whenever I hear her say “I have a farm in Africa”. Her house is a wonderful place to have brunch under the trees on her farm. The movie was made here and the ride out is lovely. The sound track is one of my favorites as well,
Just outside of Nairobi is a starting point for a small safari, just a day or two excursion. There you can see your first giraffes roaming wild and then up to Giraffe house. Do not miss Giraffe Park. If you’ve never thought one way or another about the animal you’ll come away loving them. As you drive you’ll see magnificent private homes of the rich and famous from the around the world whose windows open to their ‘private’ herd of giraffes that feed through the family’s special windows.
We were the only automobile on the road and the sight unbelieveable, so perfect a site I thought it must be a movie set…No it wasn’t. There is a fine little restaurant on the road from Nairobi that takes you to Safari Park Hotel. A real treat to stay there if you can, it is so beautiful you may want to move here but a great place for a meal at lunch. The hotel represents each of the 7 continents with restaurants and decoration and architecture. You can find the best sushi ever right outside Nairobi.
Nairobi can he a little rough sometimes. Many refer to the city as Nairobbery…Never go out alone at night, the streets can be a little daunting. Crime is legendary. Stay a few days to shop and sight see Nairobi then head off to Mombasa and Lamu on the coast. These are seaport and coastal cities with a reputation from ages. Like most worldly seaports where world travelers have been drawn to for thousands of years, there’s a lot going on and it is a paradise for those who want sea and sky together. Tropical and wonderful hotels abound with outdoor patios for meals. Morning especially you’ll find the little monkeys eyeing you from a distance from the trees, totally non-threatening and too cute with babies under their arms. The waiters theatrically shoo them away but they always return to snatch something off a plate of an abandoned table. They love the little packets of sugar.
How charmed my life seems to be now. I will not to forget how blessed I am that I have had the privilege to work a job that sends me to Nairobi, Zanzibar, Mombasa, Cairo, Kinshasa, Brazzaville, Accra, Abidjan, Dakar, Lagos and Marrakesh.