Hunting For Treasure- Article by Gareth Jones
Hunting For Treasure In The Nairobi National Park
On Sunday 30th of August 2020, a number of people participated in a “treasure hunt” organized by the Friends of Nairobi National Park ( FoNNaP). For those who might not be aware, this is a very different kind of treasure hunt. The “treasure” is actually the various species of animals seen within the park. Participants had pre-registered during the previous week and assembled at the main gate by 07h00 in the morning. All participants were given a list of selected species as “treasure”, with rarer or more special species getting more treasure points if sighted. For example a leopard sighting – 100 points and a lion sighting – 50 points etc including a list of birds for those with sharp eyes. Participants were given 5 hours to find as many “treasure” species as possible, with a compulsory time dated photo of each sighting and having submitted their form for judging by 12h30. Feedback from the various participants was, that while they found the treasure hunt interestingly challenging. Because the park is a wild open space, it is not possible to know exactly what will be seen, especially since the grass is currently long in many places due to the heavy rains a few months ago. Those who participated really had a great time and enjoyed this fun outing. A special thanks to the FoNNaP board members for planning and making the event happen.
Gaye D’Costa & team also prepared a delicious Korogo meal for lunch. After a slight delay, the guest of honour – Mr Reinhard Bonke arrived in time to give out the prizes. It was great to see that a junior member outdid all the senior members, 11-year-old Adarsh Nagdawon won the treasure hunt with 970 points in total assisted by Tanuj Shah who was driving.
Why can’t every visit to the Nairobi National Park be a time when people have fun as they hunt for “treasure”? Yes! …finding the living “treasure”, the wonderful variety of splendid creatures that live within the park. I remember many years ago my father used to have a packet of sweets in the car. He made it fun for us children to find animals as we were rewarded with sweets according to how special a particular sighting was. My brother used to enjoy opening the mammal book and would then begin asking us all a continuous series of questions on random mammals, like how long do lions live? What do rhinos weigh? How tall can giraffes get? etc…etc…etc …. Yes! it is always fun to turn to look for wildlife “treasure” into an interesting occasion that results in fond memories with family or friends. God has created so many treasured wonders for us to discover during our lives, there is so much to experience and so little time.
The FoNNaP treasure hunt was a very successful day that was greatly enjoyed by those who attended the event, definitely an event that needs to be repeated more often. Please join FoNNaP to enjoy participating in a treasure hunt next time!