Nairobi National Park and Safari Walk
Safari By Taxi In Kenya?
Kenya is the foremost destination for tourists wishing to experience the magic of an African safari. It has many national parks and game reserves, including the ever-famous Maasai Mara, And with often very rough and very muddy terrain, and with strict policing by the Kenya Wildlife Service, you are unlikely to be admitted unless you are equipped with a suitable 4-wheel drive vehicle, such as a Land Cruiser or a Land Rover.
Yet it is not unheard of for a taxi saloon car to take it's passengers around one of these parks, often business visitors with little free time to spare before flying back home, How can that be? Well, the answer is that to enjoy a safari does not necessarily mean you have to prepare for the long expedition that a visit to a park such as the Maasai Mara entails.
A Great Safari Location For Those Pressed For Time!
7 kilometres outside Nairobi is Nairobi National Park. It is the only reserve in Africa to be close to a city centre – so close in fact that in parts you can see the skyscrapers of the city clearly, as the opposite photo shows. A great deal of big game can be seen there, including the big cats, giraffes, buffalo and protected rhinos. Even if you have only half-a-day to spare, it is well worth going. Because the KWS is accustomed to these flying visits, they are usually content to let your taxi driver through the gates.
As readers of my other hubs will know, I have travelled on safaris in the more famous Kenyan reserves. But I have also visited Nairobi National Park and taken some nice wildlife photos there.
Don't Want To Drive On Your Kenyan Safari ? Go On Foot!
If don't fancy the drive, you can always head for the Safari Walk and the Animal Orphanage associated with the park. This allows you to view animals at close quarters and much of the walk is on raised platforms.
The Animal Orphanage
Your Safari Walk will include seeing the animals raised in the orphanage.
The pygmy hippo is cuddly - oh yes it is - and I would love one as a pet. Alas (or luckily) my concern for conservation, animal welfare and sheer practicalities have stymied this notion!
My separate hub on the subject details the crisis facing the rhinoceros because of demand for its horn. Sadly it may come to pass that the only ones we are able to see are those kept under close protection.
An albino zebra is still able to keep its stripes and becomes a stunning redhead.
My other choice of fantasy pet, the cheetah. I've said it before and I'll say it again, up close they are just big lanky pussycats.
And if your walk has tired you out, you can retreat to the adjoining Rangers Restaurant. With its comfortable interior and good eating, this provides an excellent finish to your day. You can enjoy your meal looking out onto the park and viewing the animals that visit the waterhole.
It is worth mentioning that the facilities mentioned above - the Safari Walk and Ranger's - can, either separately or in combination, be hired out for private functions, both corporate and personal. Indeed, my wife and I held our own wedding reception at the restaurant.
Of course nothing can compare to travelling to the Maasai Mara and experiencing the Great Migration. But there should always be time in your itinerary for a visit, even by taxi, to Nairobi National Park.