The World’s Wildlife Capital: My Journey (Part I)

It was a beautiful early spring day when I left on my latest trip. Tampa Bay was shimmering in the sun.

leaving from Tampa ud48My first flight was short, a climb up to 25,000 feet and down again in Miami. But from there to Nairobi, Kenya, it would take two 8.5 hour flights, with a stopover in London. I was excited as it’d been just over 10 years since I last visited Kenya.

leaving for Africa ud48It would be a work trip of course, with a heavy meeting schedule, but I would be in the wildlife capital of the world! I was hoping for a small break to go for a short game drive in the Nairobi National Park.

sunrise over Nairobi ud48The first morning when I woke up to sunrise over the city, I felt I was back in Africa. I watched some big birds circling in the skies and spotted a Bateleur, an eagle-like raptor, in the distance. He was scanning the cityscape for breakfast. Much in the same way Papa Osprey scans the bay here at home.

Bateleur at sunset ud47And so the days went, I was hurrying from one meeting venue to another. Working. Walking 2-3 miles during each working day.

one of the meeting venues ud48

UN park ud48And seeing much vibrant beauty on the way in this green city. Snapping iPhone photos from the car window, whenever natural or manmade sights that caught my eye.

green Nairobi ud48

elephant statue ud48

flower bed nairobi ud48

flowers 2 Nairobi ud48

flowers in Nairobi ud48After long days I would come back to my hotel to eat, work some more and to rest. The locals were jokingly calling it the “Obama Hotel”.  The President had stayed there during his recent visit. Not in the cheapest single room, but in the presidential suite.

kempinski nairobi ud48It is a fresh hotel with wonderful gardens and great security. I had to walk down to the gates and snap a picture of its beautiful entrance garden. The back garden didn’t disappoint either. It was a tranquil oasis for a late afternoon tea or a pre-dinner drink.

kempinski garden ud48

statue in kempinski garden ud48On Valentine’s Day the staff spread some cheer to us who had to spend the day away from our loved ones. I received a nice vase of miniature roses. That was a wonderful gesture, much appreciated, and those roses lasted for the duration of my trip.

valentines day roses at the hotel ud48And I got my break last Wednesday. A free afternoon! Every minute of it, until sunset, was spent on a four hour game drive in the National Park that is only a short 40-minute drive from the city center. This 117 sq km (45 sq miles) park has a dry climate at an altitude ranging from 1,533 metres (5,030 ft) to 1,760 metres (5,774 ft). It houses a diverse range of habitats and a wide variety of wildlife, including over 400 species of birds. Yay!

giraffe walks the trail ud48I will leave you with this small “teaser” for now. A young giraffe we met on our trail. More posts to come about my mini adventure in the wild. Once I sort out my photos and identify every bird I spotted 🙂

And yes, everything seems to be fine at the salt marsh. Mama Osprey is incubating now. Papa is shuttling fish for her, and taking turns sitting on the egg(s) so she can get a break. But more on that as soon as I have an opportunity to go out and greet my feathered friends. Have a great week everyone, I will try my best to catch up on your blogs in the next few days.


77 thoughts on “The World’s Wildlife Capital: My Journey (Part I)”

  1. Hello Helen,
    So glad to have you back 🙂 Hopefully you’re not too jet lagged 😉
    What a beautiful city Nairobi is. And the “teaser” really has me looking forward to the continuation of this series. One of my friends in my photography club is also in Kenya. I am envious (in a good way) but keep hope that my time will come someday. Take care, and best wishes to the Marsh friends!

    Best wishes,

    1. Nairobi is a bustling city with quite a bit of traffic but also so much beauty. The suburbs are like tropical gardens. I had a great little adventure at the NNP, spotted so many birds I’ve never seen before, and a great number of other wildlife as well. Will try to do the next post soon 🙂 I hope you will get an opportunity to visit some of the larger national parks in Kenya! Thank you dear Takami. Warm regards

    1. I was so happy I got to do my mini safari. Pics to come soon 🙂 I hope you’ll get to go on a real long safari in a large national park – it’ll be an experience of a lifetime.

    1. Thanks Eric. The hotel & surroundings were a positive surprise. Really enjoyed my stay. MO & PO are doing well, last year they had three wonderful young ones, two girls and a boy 🙂 We’ll see what happens this year.

    1. Thanks Kathy! It was a busy and interesting trip on all counts , but the highlight was definitely the short game drive 🙂 I hope you’ll like the photos to come soon.

    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Karen. It is true that nowadays I actively seek to connect to nature wherever I go. It gives me peace amongst all the hustle and bustle.

    1. I’ve been in Africa a lot, we lived in different countries there for almost 8 years. But it’s been a while. It’s amazing to find wildlife right next to a bustling large city. Thank you, Indah, I hope you’ll like what I spotted.

    1. Thanks Jackie! I will make another couple of posts soon as nobody wants to see 100 pictures or even 50 in one post 😉 I am happy to be back home too. (Thanks for msg too!) Hugs

    1. The wildlife is just fantastic in Kenya. I know you’d enjoy a real god safari, Nancy. I hope you’ll start making plans when you see the rest of the photos 😀

    1. Thank you Val for your kind comment! Of course the city center in Nairobi is dusty and congested with so much traffic, but many suburbs are like gigantic gardens. Unfortunately I could not take pictures of the most beautiful place I visited for meetings…because the road was too bumpy and full of potholes that I had to hold on 🙂 More giraffes to come…they are the most beautiful creatures ❤

  2. Welcome back! Love the teaser young giraffe and sight-seeing photos. I will probably never get the chance to go to Africa, so I am very excited to see your Africa photo posts!. Glad to hear you’ve connected with Mama & Papa Osprey, and all is okay with them. So exciting, little chicks will be here before you know it! 🙂

    1. Thanks Donna! There were so many beautiful giraffes around, and birds!! Many were “lifers” as I had not seen them even when we lived in Africa years ago. The challenge in photographing them was the very tall grass and the big, leafy trees, but I hope you’ll like what I managed to capture…coming soon 🙂

    1. Of course there are “many faces” to Nairobi, like most places. The city center is quite congested with traffic, but the burbs are green with vibrant flora – some are like giant gardens. And it’s amazing how close to the big city the wildlife is 🙂

  3. What wonderful ‘work’ you have, Helen!
    Who wouldn’t want to travel to Kenya, stay at a most charming hotel, have the opportunity to experience African nature; to say nothing of pre-dinner drinks and vases of roses. I’m dripping with envy. Well, just a little! 🙂

    1. Oh, but the best part of it was definitely the 4 hours I spent in the National Park. Planning a couple of posts about that once I get a little bit back to normal after losing my dear dog, Bumble, just 3 days after I came home.

      1. Oh, so sad to hear. 😦
        What a gorgeous name ‘Bumble’. They can be such a joy, and such a heartache. I’m sure you will be looking for him for a while, expecting him to bounce around a corner…!

        I’ll look forward to reading your posts; I know they will be fascinating.
        In the meantime; take care… xoxoxo

  4. Welcome back dear Tiny!Fascinating photo series with your travel experiences and your impressions of life in a big city,in a hotel with a very special character and of course,of life in the wild.Your first aerial images happily landed me on lovely sites with flowers and animals.The great observer,the eagle, was there to remind you that you had left a feathered-family behind.Can’t wait to see your wonderful photos.
    Btw,thank you so much for all your reply-comments while being there.Wishing you a wonderful and creative week ahead 🙂 xxx

    1. Thank you dear Doda. I am back home from a wonderful trip, but very sad right now as my faithful friend is gone. I will prepare a couple of posts from my mini-safari soon.

      1. A great loss,one of the most stressful situations we experience in our lives.I’m deeply sad,dear Tiny.You have my sympathy,but nothing can console you at this moment,only time will help … I’ve also left one more comment to express my real sympathy.Take care ~ * ~

        1. It’s really hard to believe he’s gone. I still “see” him everywhere and feel him. I know time will help, and I will smile at the wonderful memories of all the fun we had together. Thank you for your comforting words, my friend. XXX

          1. Yes,I know,he is there everywhere at the moment,it’s so hard on you.So many thanks for reading my Edward post and that you left your Like,dear friend.Your like means Bumble to me ~ xxx

  5. Sounds like a perfect trip, you are so blessed to be able to travel as you do…I’ve never left the country or been to the west coast😕 I look forward to more of your gorgeous shots!

  6. I am delighted by every post of yours. You show me all the beauty I can’t see first hand on my own. Thank you so much! What wonderful adventures you have. I am so lucky. Have a wonderful time! Koko:)

    1. Thank you dear Koko for your kind comment. I will do more posts on my mini-safari once I get a bit back to normal after losing Bumble three days after I cam home.

  7. Thanks so much for taking us along, Tiny! What a marvelous adventure – despite the fact that it appears to be a work-related trip. Your photos are terrific…and the play-by-play account is a treat to read. Glad all is well back home on the Marsh, but I’m sure they miss you!

    1. I am grateful for this adventure, and will share much more a bit later. I lost my dear dog yesterday, just three days after coming back home.

  8. Hi Tiny, so lovely to have a little taste of Nairobi again. Just seen the news about Bumble. So sad. Sending you love and hugs from me and Jack. We so enjoyed our brief acquaintance with dear Bumble.

    1. Thank you Gallivanta. I am incredibly sad now that Bumble is gone, but have to remember how wonderful time we had for over 10 years together. And I am very grateful for that. Hugs to you and Jack.

    1. I only had a few hours in the park one afternoon, but saw many new birds and other wildlife. I will post more soon, once I get a bit over the sadness of losing my dear Bumble yesterday, just few days after coming back home.

    1. It was quite a unique destination. I’ve been working on the pictures I took at the National Park as I’ve not been able to focus on work since the weekend…so there will be a second post soon.

  9. I would definitely enjoy tea in the back garden. And what lovely people to treat you to the beautiful roses for Valentine’s Day! I enjoyed this sightseeing, and I didn’t even have to do a lick of work! 😉

    1. The garden was really lovely, a peaceful oasis in the middle of the bustling city! I was childishly happy for the roses. I had to do work, even in the evenings, but still enjoyed the sights 😉

  10. What fabulous pictures of amazing beauty. I am just in awe of the beauty you capture in pictures sweet Tiny. Beautiful roses that the staff gave you. Over 400 species of birds, wow how I would love to be able to be there and see them. Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures. Hugs

    1. Dear Mags, Thank you for coming along on my journey! I enjoyed my work trip very much, the work part went well, but the trip to the National Park was like icing on the cake 🙂 Many hugs!

    1. Thank you for your beautiful comment, Jet! I noticed how I have changed after getting so much closer to nature through my photography. I “saw” so much more beauty than I used to.

  11. What a colorful, exotic place! I love the expression on the young giraffe’s face. Once I took a safari ride at Disney’s Animal World. A giraffe was resting on the ground on the inside of a curve in the road so our vehicle went around him. He turned his head and watched us as we drove around him. It took my breath away to see him up so close. I’m so glad you got your chance to go on the game drive!

    1. Yes, it was wonderful I got a small break from work before I had to head back home. The African landscape is vibrant after the rains, and Nairobi apparently had heavy rains just week before my visit – everything was blooming 🙂 Thank you for coming along, Barbara.

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