My Affair with Nairobi National Park (to be followed!)

Posted on November 15th, 2010
Categories: News

My wife, Suzy, thinks I must be having an affair as I wake up really early to leave our cozy bed and sometimes get home well after dark. How wrong she is!

The truth of the matter is, I have one of the best drives to and from work than anywhere else in the world. 

You see Nairobi National Park is in a direct line with our home and my work, and has been my saviour for 14 years.  The park is an Oasis in the midst of urban sprawl, 90 square miles of tranquility and stress free driving. 

My traffic jam can vary from a stubborn bull Giraffe to a pride of lions slowly sauntering down the road, totally oblivious and ignoring the intrusion.  My advice to any visitor is never go with high expectations, enjoy the peace and quiet, turn off the AC, open your windows, drive slowly and stop often and you will never be disappointed. Always have a camera and binoculars. 

From amazing pink, orange and red sunrises to mist shrouded glades; the morning chorus’ lions roaring in the distance, to amazing sunsets and harvest full moons, it’s never boring and always entertaining. 

From the Awwww factor, the plains game with young, finding out they have legs and can run like the wind, gamboling, pronking and racing around, to baby giraffe peeking round bushes wide-eyed and curious, Egyptian Geese with fluffy goslings, giving you hell for stopping or being in the midst of buffalo herd where one or two just can’t stop themselves getting closer for a sniff.   King Fishers hovering and waiting to dive, lion cubs with mum walking so close if you put your hand out you could put a parting down her head.  The excitement and thrill that you have the engine off, electric windows down and have a lion so close your camera won’t focus. 

Conversely you have the brutality of nature, Lions throttling their prey, birds of prey ripping a guinea fowl, Male lions trying to get rid of siblings they haven’t sired; the lioness defending them for all her worth.

I spend over 2 hours a day in the park, no two days the same, some days no lions, others too many to count, it’s patience and luck but never boring, look for the flick of an ear, the light patch in the grass, crows dive bombing, animals all alert and you will eventually find that something special.

I am no expert safari guide, I’m not a professional photographer or lion expert, but over the next few weeks I will show you what you may find. Nairobi National Park is on your door step, it’s the only one in the world next to a city with over 3 million people.  It should be enjoyed and preserved by all.

By Dave Mckelvie