When news of American RnB superstar Ashanti visiting Kenya hit the airwaves, many were left guessing where she could be visiting.
Ashanti touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Monday and proceeded to her posh hotel, Hemingways Nairobi. She did not, however, say for how long she will be in the country.
A day later, she started off her vacation by visiting the most iconic places in the capital which took her to the Nairobi National Park. The park was established in 1946 and it is the only national park located in a city.Seven kilometres from the city centre, Nairobi National Park covers an average area of 117.21 square kilometres. The park is has a vast open grassland with plains and at the back of it all are the city’s skyscrapers. Then there are the scattered acacia bushes which are phenomenally known for hosting animals in the jungle.
Taking pride as ”the World’s only Wildlife Capital”, Nairobi National Park offers a dose of life in the wild in one of the most unexpected places. The park plays host to some of the big five members; lions, buffalos, leopards, the black rhino can be seen. Giraffes, hyenas and Zebras dot every corner of this expansive park at the heart of Kenya’s capital.
With its diversity Nairobi National Park does not leave behind bird enthusiasts. There are more than 400 bird species in this expansive park. Both migratory and endemic birds can be seen in the park.
Usually, this is a big spectacle anywhere in the world. Bird watching is thrilling and inculcates some deep sense of being observatory but more important is learning to appreciate mother nature for her magical works.
It is at the Nairobi National Park that the David Sheldrick Trust runs a sanctuary that adopts orphaned and sick elephants and rhinoceros calves and later releases them back into the wild. David Sheldrick Trust has made the Nairobi National Park one of the most successful rhinoceros sanctuaries where visitors can be certain of seeing a black rhinoceros in its natural habitat.
The David Sheldrick Trust also known as the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, is a charity in Kenya and a registered charity in England which was formed in the 80s’ to rescue and give a home to orphaned elephants and rhinos at the height of poaching in the country. Besides giving shelter to the orphaned animals which are now endangered species in Kenya, the trust carries out extensive awareness programmes with communities around park sensitizing them on the need to conserve wildlife.
The Trust is an amazing place to interact with docile baby elephants who are playful and interact with visitors cordially unlike the huge jumbos already in the park who could crush you at any opportunity they get.
Game drives take you through the width and breadth of the park’s wildlife scenery in such an impressive manner. The beauty of the park is that it allows private cars to do game drives in the park but it advisable to ensure that you have a 4*4 to hit some rugged terrains in the park especially after a rainy season.
But the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) offers enchanting game drives in vehicles totally designed for this.
Then, there is Emakoko Tented Camp, situated within the vicinity of the park. The lodge cements the real feeling of life in the world. Visitors can also enjoy the park’s picnic sites, campsites and walking trails for hikers. The trails are well marked to guide you.
Nairobi National Park also offers a superb picnic site filled with historical memories. The ‘Ivory burning site’ is a memento to hold and it is within the park while another gracious picnic site is Mokoiyet and Impala.