I’ve been back 2 weeks now, but haven’t written anything here yet about my 10-day trip to Kenya. There are so many photos to upload and my impressions too…
I’m intending to do my B3 speech on 24 September at Sans Souci about my experiences in Kenya – so it’s useful to write some of it down here as I plan that.Things I’d like to write more about (lots of these include photos – some will reference other websites):
- trip to the elephant orphanage
- trip to the giraffe sanctuary
- ride around Nairobi
- trip to Lake Nakuru
- trip to the Masai Mara including safaris, 2 nights of camping and visiting a Masai village
- trip to Lake Naivasha and Hells Gate park
- the CARTA meeting itself
- general tips on travelling to Kenya – including what to take (or not)
- Swahili – words I picked up and my impressions of the language
- impressions of being a tourist in a developing country
- Kenyan politics – including Barack Obama’s family origins, the role of the Kikuyu, the aftermath of the election troubles
Let’s start with some cute photos – the elephants from the David Sheldrick Trust elephant orphanage in Nairobi.
This is the youngest elephant they have at the moment – only 3 months old. They’re fed every 3 hours by bottle. I can’t remember this one’s story, but many of them have lost their mothers from poaching, or the mother getting too old and losing her teeth (and therefore being unable to feed herself or her baby). They need 24 hour attention from the keepers – they sleep alongside the elephants and cover them with blankets when they get cold. They change who looks after which elephant so they don’t get too attached: depression about the loss of their mother is very serious (it lowers their immune system to the extent that they can easily fall ill and die). Pneumonia is a big problem – they don’t display any symptoms (they can’t sneeze!) until the liquid builds up so much that their noses run and then it’s too late.
The elephants really enjoyed spraying themselves with water and rolling in the mud around the edges of the pond. One mischievous elephant then walked alongside the row of spectators and casually rubbed himself along their legs… I was busy looking the other way taking photos and got a real shock (and very muddy!). I’m sure he did it for the crowd’s reaction (“aagghhh!”)