The middle of the month for most of us is characterized by a tightening of the grip on the wallet, not because someone is about to pickpocket us, but because we’ve probably spent more than we should have, and are starting to wonder if we’ll get to the end of the month with any cents(and sense) left.
This then calls for cheaper options to hang out without having to break the bank. Nairobi is abundant with places galore to hang out in, but the gem we sit on is one Nairobi National Park. Touted as the only park within a city, it’s a convenient place to get your weekend on.
Thanks to KWS Kenya, we got a chance to tour the national park and in particular the spectacular picnic sites within the area, as well as plant trees around the Kingfisher Picnic site. Oh, and a sumptuous lunch was thrown in too, thanks to our gracious host, Kevin.
Stretching over 117 KM2, the NNP hosts a club house as well as several picnic sites, Mokoiyet, Kingfisher and Impala being the most popular.
The club house, newly renovated, allows visitors to hold parties and events under one roof, enjoying the ambience of the wild outdoors.
Driving out into the park, you find several picnic spots that overlook amazing views of the vast plains, with the city of Nairobi shimmering in the background. Well equipped with a cooking area, benches and wash-rooms, the picnic sites offer a quiet alternative to relax outdoors. While most might be worried that there could be animals lurking in the vicinity, there are KWS rangers who patrol the areas ensuring that visitors to the park are safe.
We had a grand time out in the park, and even managed to spot several of the big five: buffalo, rhino and a lion – despite Mufasa’s cousin promptly hiding in the shrubbery and going back to sleep as soon as he spotted our vehicle. As they say, cats have servants, and we left him to catch his much needed sleep.
It was a delight spotting a mother rhino (black) and her calf. The species are greatly endangered, and it was a special thrill for me to see a little one trotting after her mom. Other species abundant and easy to spot in the park are eland, antelopes, dik-dik, buffalo, giraffe, baboon, vervet monkeys and zebra amongst others.
It was a bitter sweet moment enjoying this park while a fire raged in the Mt. Kenya area, threatening not just the lives of animals that reside in the area, but posing a disruption in the essence of life that is water. Mt. Kenya area is one of the water towers of the country, and destruction of the forested areas poses a threat to the source of water for the nation. We need to act as Kenyans to conserve these areas that are a gem that is irretrievable if lost. (Help the teams putting out the fire by donating food and rations. Contact Mountain Club of Kenya and/or KWS Kenya)
While most of us might be constrained by the lack of a vehicle, NNP offers a tour on every weekend and public holiday that is affordable. By boarding the KWS bus from the city center, you can have a fun-filled day that with a drive to, through and from the park back to the CBD (Charges: Kes. 500/- for adults and Kes. 200/- for kids).
So no more bored weekends while on a cheap budget. Sawa?
For more details, visit the NNP offices at KWS Headquarters, Lang’ata road, Nairobi.
More on NNP on the KWS Website
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