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Good morning Africa!

sunny 20 °C

1.12. Friday

Usually we just get bus from the airport but this time I had anticipated that we might be quite knackered after our flights so I opted the easy way and while booking our safari I got transportation from the airport to our hotel too.

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Welcome to Kenya

The plane landing we had been travelling over 24 hours so finding our guide-to-be waiting for us at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi was definitely relief. Albeit Toni almost got himself in to a trouble immediately after walking out of the terminal.
Silly me for stressing about the Visas (this being first time I needed to apply a Visa...), I should have stressed about my travelling-partners bad habit of smoking! But to his credit, he did ask our guide where it was okay to smoke. Apparently beside our car wasn't, even if our driver told so. The police came to reprimand him. And our guide too. Situation was sorted with speaking, albeit our guide was nonplussed why he have been allowed to smoke there but others weren’t.

When we finally got to our room, it was spacious and had huge windows which added to the roomy-feeling. So ,fourth thing on our agenda (first being finding our driver and getting to the hotel, second having something to eat and third shower) was to get some sleep. After couple hours of that, we were much refreshed and ready to check out our rooftop bar/restaurant! Restaurant was nice and had tables indoors and out, and a pool. Our first night in Kenya contained couple of beers, playing Yatzy, burger at the restaurant and returning to bed early. If not counting the long travelling time and Tonis issues with the law (the smoking incident),a perfect start for the holiday!

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Our room

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Hotel Sky Bar

2.12. Saturday

After goodnight sleep I was more than ready to do some sightseeing! After breakfast we ordered a Über which took us to Giraffe Center. Drive wasn’t very long, just 16 kilometers, but as we had noticed yesterday, to our western minds, the traffic was insane! Cars and people everywhere. Another thing we noticed were that the drivers lock the doors during the drive. Something I haven’t felt the need to do anywhere else I have been to.

Besides the crazy traffic, drive to our destination were uneventful and the center itself well worth visiting.

This Giraffe Center was founded by The African Fund for Endangered Wildlife, they focus on protecting Rothchilds Giraffe and educating children and other visitors about nature. Thanks to their work, number of this subspecies of giraffe has increased from 130 to 300 in Kenya.
In the center you are handed a cup full of pellets and you are allowed to feed the giraffes, who obviously are used to this. They wait beside the path and will headbutt you if you get too near without food! You get a pellet between your fingers and reach out of the path and those hungry fellah’s will stick their tongues out for you to drop the morsel in to.

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Beware of headbutting giraffes!

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Hungry Hungry Hippo! Oh wait...

Having left early enough, instead going back to our hotel we ordered another Über and continued exploring (not having the local SIM card we had to ask the center would they let us use their internet connection to get a drive).

From the Giraffe Center it was appr. 25 kilometers to Karura Forest Park. They had a entering fee and Toni needed to left his lighter at the gate (he would have been able to get it back but we exited the park from another gate..). The route we chose went by a little waterfall where groups were taking photographs. Whole park seemed to be quite popular yet still it didn’t feel crowded and we had a nice walk. I did see one little girl looking at me with interest so I asked her "How are you?" and she, very politely told me that "I am fine, thank you".

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Beautiful red forest path

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Roots at Karura Forest

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Me looking at the roots

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Karura Forest Waterfall

Inside the park were also a cafeteria, were we had lunch. I thought that I would get something little to eat (sandwich) and that we could share a dessert (pancakes), but both portions were huge! Didn’t need anything big to eat at dinner this night!

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Karura Forest Cafe

3.12. Sunday

Even when Toni isn’t huge fan of museums, I got him persuaded to visit with me at National Museum of Kenya. Even when the distance between our hotel and the museum weren’t longer than 4,5 kilometers we took a Über again. Yesterday we noticed that it might be a safer option than walking, the traffic being “slightly” heavier than back home.

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Entrance to National Museum of Kenya

At the entrance it was a bit of an hassle before we got our tickets. They didn’t accept cash. Long story short, in the end we entered the museum. They had a lots of information about Kenyan history (tribal times, Indian and Eastern trade time, colonial times and from Independence time), history of money, about animals and also they had some art too. Museum was well kept and I enjoyed walking and reading about this and that.
We also opted to include in to our ticket a visit in their aquarium and snake house, but that left me little bit regretful, the animals weren’t kept in ideal conditions. Particularly I felt sorry for the small crocodiles and tiny chameleons that were hauled around and put in to people hands. I told the guy coming to me with the crocodile that I wouldn’t take him, so next he was next to me with a chameleon. The tiny fellow were absolutely terrified. When I got him I tried to sneak him in to the bushes to his home but the guy saw it and came to take him away..

After not so successful rescue operation we ordered a Über to our next destination, Thorn Three Café which were 2,5 kilometers away.
There we were told that the café was closed. They had electrical problems on that side of the building but the café would open, maybe at 4PM.
Clock being 2.30 PM we thought to go to the roof top bar at the same building to enjoy some beers and if after that the café weren’t open, we would make a next plan. The Plan B wasn't necessary though, it was well past 4PM when we left the roof top and find Thorn Tree Café open. I had used the time to just relax and wrote some postcards.

In this place, in 1902, was a tree that was used as the first post office of Nairobi. Location being ideal because there were, also the first hotel of Nairobi. People used to pin letters to the tree and the recipient would get it when he would come by the tree. The tree that exists here now, is not the original tree, and there is message board where you can attach your note to (so that the tree wouldn’t suffer) but still the idea got me intrigued and I wanted to see it myself.

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Tree at the Thorn three cafe

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Copy of the First post office of Nairobi

Our visit to Nairobi was short, just a weekend and tomorrow we would head to next part of our journey. Even being short visit, it left a positive vibe with me. I wouldn’t mind coming back!

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Nairobi Skyline

Posted by hennaonthetrek 15:17 Archived in Kenya Tagged #sun #city #kenya #traffic #africa #sighseeing #aimlesswonderings #nairobi

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Comments

Certainly looks like a great start to your holiday.

by irenevt

It was, and there would have been so much more to explore too. :)

by hennaonthetrek

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