Kenya Trip Report Part 7 – Our Exhausted But Fun Day in Nairobi

One of the many baby elephants we saw in Nairobi

After our ride from the airport, we checked in to the Sankara Narobi hotel. I’ll have a full review of our rooms and the hotel in the next segment.

Around 10am, we met Imraan, the owner of Best Camping Tours and Safaris, in the lobby. I had been corresponding with him for three years so it was like finally meeting an old friend. He offered to exchange my US dollars for Kenyan shillings at the current rate. This saved me from going to an ATM although I did need to replenish my cash later on.

We were then driven to the elephant orphanage in the Karen neighborhood (named for Karen Blixen, the famous Out of Africa naturalist).  I had pre-reserved tickets as they only release about 100 spots per day for the 11-12 elephant feeding time. I paid cash in Kenyan shillings for the entrance fee. It was either $60 or 60,000 shillings for the four of us. Note that 60,000 shillings are equivalent to approximately $48, so it’s definitely cheaper to pay with shillings if you can get some before you go.

We really enjoyed the baby elephants marching in and getting fed by the workers with giant milk bottles. They then ate some of the vegetation scattered around and walked past us so we could touch them.

There was also a fairly long introduction and explanation from one of the workers about how the elephants came to be orphans and how they eventually introduce them back to their natural environments in the national parks around Kenya.

We were of course fairly tired so around 11:45 we went back to our driver and headed to the giraffe center. On the way, we saw some wild baboons on the side of the road. At the Giraffe Center, I was able to pay the entrance fee there with a credit card (also US$15 per person).

We walked along a walkway that was set at the height of the giraffe necks and were given some food pellets. The giraffes ate the pellets from our hands.

We could see the famous Giraffe Manor in the distance as it’s all part of the same property.

Giraffe Manor in the distance
There were also some warthogs scrounging for giraffe food

On the way back to our hotel, we stopped at a pharmacy to pick up deodorant for me, some sunscreen and some bug spray.

We met Imraan and his family at a local restaurant for a late lunch. He treated us to some great Kenyan-style Indian food. We enjoyed meeting his wife and kids as well. It was interesting to hear about their upbringing in Nairobi.

We were all ready for a nap at this point so Imraan dropped us back at the hotel, gave us a quick briefing on what to expect when we headed out on safari and left us to sleep off some jetlag.

That evening, after trying the club lounge and room service, everyone just went back to sleep early, so I watched the Premier League match on TV. We all looked forward to our safari adventure beginning the next day.

Up Next: Sankara Nairobi, Marriot Autograph Collection Review.

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