A Valentine in the wild

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February 16, 2011 – The Valentine weekend was fun packed and adventurous thanks to KWS, Amarula and Capital FM – not forgetting Bush and Events for putting the whole thing together and making it a success.

A couple of Capital FM die hard fans and I spent the Valentine’s eve weekend in the wild right here in Nairobi – about 7km away from the city center at the Nairobi National Park to be precise. For the first ever “Valentine in the wild!”

From the word go, all we had to do was quietly pay attention to our guides and take in the thrills. I mean, it had been ages since some of us took time to go and see animals in their natural habitat (I blame it on daily busy schedules) and for sure it brought back those good old memories.

From herbivores, to carnivores, to an array of bird’s species, to several types of trees and shrubs…you could feel the love in creation.

Since we had an itinerary to keep up with, first things went first. As we headed to the camping site (which we’d call home for the night) we were allowed a sneak preview of what to expect.

We took the long way there to see as many animals as possible. We stopped over at the Ivory burning site, rich with history, before moving on.

At the camping site we freshened up and then headed on to the Kingfisher picnic site for a “lunch in the wild” – a journey not devoid of nature’s most sought after wild animals.

I couldn’t help but notice other random couples who had come to the park to enjoy the beautiful scenery the best way they knew how ( “jivuniaring” with resources available to them without having to travel far).

Later on, a trip to the Impala picnic site saw us get a treat from Amarula as we mingled and relaxed while watching the sun set and the park slowly go to sleep.

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When darkness set in we headed back to the camp for dinner and we got a chance to see a lion heading on home as well. (They can only usually be spotted very early in the morning or when darkness falls).

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Dave, our guide, whom I must say is a pundit on everything wildlife, fed us facts on creatures of the wild,
their subsistence and behaviour in the most intriguing way possible.

The Nairobi National Park is a unique ecosystem as it is the world’s only wildlife near a Capital city. It is home to over 100 mammal species, including four of the Big Five (lion, buffalo, leopard and rhino). It also has a spectacular wildebeest and zebra migration. It houses more than 400 bird species (20 of which are seasonal European migrants).

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The evening’s dinner consisted of a sumptuous meal of nyama and kuku choma, which gave us energy to party all night long courtesy of Capital FM’s DJ Leo-yes, the park is that secure.

Besides the trip being full of wild adventure, we were able to cover the entire 117km2 park as the guides made sure they didn’t leave anything out. They were so keen to answer every question we had for them concerning life within the park. We saw black rhinoceros (which by the way is an endangered species)

The national park is available for quite a number of activities from corporate events, bush dinners, weddings, picnics, team building sessions, to video and film production – you name it!

To make your trip even more enjoyable it would be prudent to carry some drinking water, picnic items and for a better view and for memories’ sake: binoculars and a camera. If you are a wise traveler, carry a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses please!

The adventurous yet educative trip concluded with lunch at the warden’s mess the day after. I left there a more knowledgeable and satisfied woman and in love with the wild all over again.

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MAUREEN OJUNGA

Maureen Ojunga is the newest Health enthusiast in town. She is also a gadget freak and a lover of all things WINE! Besides being a lover of life, she enjoys writing Relationships and Sex pieces and is also an Interior design junkie.

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