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One Day safari - suitable for smaller children

 

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Is there a way to observe the savannah from above (fly safari), to come across every single animal in just one day; to give grass and biscuits to giraffes, bottle-feed elephants and stroke leopards, colobus and crocodiles without having to go through hours of stakeouts and travelling, without choking on red dust or camping in tents?

 

Yes, there is.

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Nairobi

Twenty minutes from the centre of Nairobi there is a vast green area, Karen-Langata that despite being situated within urban confines is home to the smallest national park in Africa. An animal nursery, a refuge for giraffes and another for elephants (listed below); it is the ideal destination for short escapes from the city traffic – full-immersion in nature, and closer contact with the wildlife.

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Nairobi National Park

 

117 square kilometres of tropical rainforest, savannah and expanses of acacia; the park is so close to the city of Nairobi - 7km - that it is technically possible to leave the house, navigate your way through the chaotic city traffic and reach the savannah within twenty minutes.

 

Unfortunately the increase in industrial activity and human settlements almost completely encirlcing the park has resulted in the progressive disappearance of the wildlife. The landscape, however; a mixture of savannah and swampland, is ideal for game drives (vehicle safaris) that enable an exploration of the territory with very little effort and which is particularly suited to families with small children: leaving early morning and returning late afternoon, it is almost like any other day trip… in the savannah!

 

 

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But for those who prefer a more exciting experience, flying over the park in a small tourist plane, our Cessna, is a very worthwhile experience.

The landscape when viewed from above, literally takes your breath away. Reaching places that are otherwise impenetrable is an affordable luxury, a luxury that can even be offered as a gift when the desire to amaze and to emotionally touch has no boundaries.

  

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Nairobi Safari Walk

 

A safari undertaken on foot, two hours in total, is not an everyday experience!

 

The starting point is thirty metres from the entrance to the National Park and could almost be just a natural continuation of the park itself. Instead it is a vast but delimited area that offers a guided trail through examples of the three main habitats – swamp, forest, and savannah.

 

Enormous wooden walkways guide you around the route, through habits and ecosystems created for the wildlife…and, as in the park; it is all there, even representatives from the Big Five! They are in enclosures, even if they appear to be roaming freely – perhaps because of the profusion of lush vegetation or the wide open spaces or the fact that it is even possible to get close enough to stroke them;

 

this leopard, for example, didn’t turn a whisker whilst being petted by my nieces and nephews!

 

It is a unique opportunity to allow the children closer proximity with the wildlife and its natural habitat in order to teach the little ones, the new generation, to have manners and respect towards nature and the environment in general.

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David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

 

Elephant calves orphanned by poaching are brought here from all over the country. They receive extremely specialized treatment here, and literally receive personal care 24 hours a day from highly dedicated staff who become surrogate mothers to the calves.

 

This orphanage, located near Nairobi National Park, was founded in 1977 and still managed by Daphne Sheldrick, the widow of one of Kenya's best known Game Wardens David Sheldrick.

 

Orphaned elephants have a hard time surviving without their mothers. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust however is managing to do what was once though impossible, hand raising young orphaned elephants and successfully returning them to the wild.


 

oraOpen to the public each morning 11am-12pm

 

Programm of the day: the baby elephants arrive in line, one after another, noisy and playful it is time to eat.

 

A large bottle each, and for the more nervous among them; a large muddy cover suspended from a rope mimics the presence of their mother to reassure them. This is the best moment for playing, but also for a lovely mud bath. The public is often called upon to help with the feeding, but also with the mud bath…

 

The milk fed to the baby elephants is a formula that, after in-depth study, was created by the American pharmaceutical company Wyeth Laboratories SMA - specialists in baby formula, and contains: vegetable oil, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, porridge oats and coconut.

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For an elephant, the family is all important; its very  existence dependent upon its mother's milk for the first two years of life.

 

Help an orphaned elephant by fostering one through the website

 

 

 

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Giraffe Centre The Rothschild giraffes are in danger of extinction.

 

This non-profit organisation (A.F.E.W) was founded in 1979 thanks to Leslie Melville and his wife Betty; after having raised a baby giraffe in their Langata garden, they decided to attempt to save the species from extinctionToday the stilt visitor house in the middle of the greenery is tall enough for the giraffes to stick their heads through the windows and eat grass and bran-coloured biscuits directly from our hands. The centre opened to the public in order to make the public aware of the animals’ plight and to educate them, but it is also a unique opportunity to get close to the giraffes, play with them and stroke them – the children go wild with excitement, and to be honest, so do we.

 

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On the coast

 

 

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Mamba Village Crocolife Farm

 

Nyali Beach - Mombasa

 

Nyali Beach can be found in the northern quarter of Mombasa, twenty minutes form the city, and is well worth a visit as seeing ten thousand crocodiles all together and close up is not something that can be experienced every day. Although it is exciting to see them so close up, it is better from behind some sort of protective screen. Mamba Village rears and looks after them. Observant and craft, the crocodiles show their true nature at feeding time, 5pm, when the meat that is thrown to them is caught in mid-air – mainly for show, but still very real.

 

The visitors, however, don’t have their lunch thrown at them, but are instead comfortably served in the restaurant next to the village!

ora8am-12pm

  

 

 

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Colobus Trust, Diani Beach

 

Look skywards and notice the monkeys clambering on rope ladders over Diani Beah road? That's normal: 26 metal boardwalks, strung from tree to tree along the road, allow the monkeys to cross undisturbed, without having to worry about the traffic and the risk of being run over.

 

In order to get a better acquainted with their habits, and see them close to, you must go to the ‘Colobus Trust’ on Diani Beach Road. The centre, as well as looking after and nursing these little creatures back to health – a cage in the trees serves as a veterinary laboratory where the animals are looked after by experts – also takes responsibility for insulating electric cable, a serious threat to the monkeys, and reducing poaching.

 

The Angola black-and-white colobus (Colobus angolensis palliatus) is a flagship species for Kenya's coastal forest, the Diani and Shimoni forests in particular.

 

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© Kenya non solo safari - Manuela Pox - 2012 -