November is bringing rain to Nairobi National Park, starting again the cycle of growth which makes life possible for newborns and nesting birds. A post from local experts at a conservation group is entitled: Water, Water Everywhere. We are watching closely, as Naturalist Journey’s Kenya wildlife and birding safari begins here February 5th – perfect timing to see the results of this abundance. We have space for three more persons!
With Nairobi National Park just 7km. from the city, we make the transition to safari life very quickly on arrival in Kenya. In fact from the porches of our lodge we can see wildlife in the classic, open savannah scenery. Once a great migration, rivaling that of the Serengeti Plains took place here, passing from Mount Kenya far to the south. Early settlers witnessed it, riding horses through herds of antelopes, wildebeest and other herbivores, always on the lookout for lions, cheetah, and leopards. A corridor still links wildlife of this park with the Athi-Kapiti Plains to the south, retaining a portion of that migration. The park is fenced on the north side by the city, but open on its southern side.
Nairobi National Park feels significant. Close to a population center and the protection of wardens, rare Black Rhinos can survive. White Rhinos were transferred here from Nakuru National Park, and this September a female gave birth to a calf that perhaps we’ll see! Thousands of Kenyan children come to learn about their heritage of wildlife; some will be inspired to work as wardens, or in safari tourism, so key to a continued legacy of conservation in this country. The Ivory Burning Site Memorial provides testimony to Kenya’s stand against a once-epic decline of African Elephants.
As a guide I like Nairobi National Park’s rest stops along permanent streams and the Hippo Pools, areas, where we can get out, stretch and walk, get a possible close up look at Crowned Cranes, and some of the small, colorful birds. The landscape is beautiful, with escarpments, large trees arching over the Athi River, and a grand sense of space. I’m fascinated by some of the research being conducted here, like a GPS tracking of Leopards, with insights into how this elusive predator exists close to a populated area. There are at least five different males, and likely 10 or more Leopards right in Nairobi National Park! What I like best is the sense of all we have ahead of us, on safari, in weeks to come.