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29 Sep, 2023
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Nairobi City Escape- Article by Gareth Jones

Nairobi City Escape- Article by Gareth Jones


In this fast and often crazy world we live in ,many people like to “escape from the city” and spend time in a natural environment. Well, the Nairobi National Park is one of those “escape to the wild” places.

However over many years I have noted that most of us are still in “City mode” when we enter a national park , and would like to see as much of the created wonders as possible. But our challenge is to quickly snap out of “City mode” into “Bush mode” .

I thought it would be helpful to raise a few points that work for me, and will hopefully ensure maximum satisfaction and relaxation for others.

1) Pray for God to show you the glory of creation.
2) Slow down when driving – a speed of less than 30km/h is advised.
3) Don’t just look at the grass and trees, look through the grass and trees.
4) Watch the reactions of different herbivores and birds, I have often seen lions in this way, as their heads all look in one direction.
5) Go with the attitude of “birdwatching”, if  you show interest in the smaller creatures, sooner or later other large creatures, like lions could “get in the way!”
6) Don’t drive too far, stop often at waterholes and wait.
7) Stop often in places with a good view and scan the horizon with binoculars.
8) Go with the attitude of “let nature come to me” rather than us trying to “catch a bit of nature”.

In the bustling busy madness of a large mega city like Nairobi, it is so easy to become over-burdened with some of the multiple issues and events that happen constantly, to the point where overload happens and people behave in ways that are definitely not normal, I call this “busy buzz” syndrome. We all get infected with “Busy Buzz” syndrome at times, the cure, remedy I often take is not ingested through the mouth, but rather through the eyes, nose, ears and touch as our natural senses are influenced by experiencing the created wonders of nature. I then choose to let go and experience the flora and fauna around me, so that my innermost being is touched supernaturally, especially when I ask God for peace, joy and love. I call the cure, remedy my “ Bush Buzz”. The Nairobi National Park is situated near the city, allowing people to “escape” quite easily to this living green cathedral. There are times when I slow down to look for the really small things, or just sitting quietly at a place of beauty, I am often rewarded with unusual and special sightings. A while ago I sat quietly at the East gate and watched as sunbirds and bees gathered nectar from aloe flowers right next to me, it was fascinating to watch how bees can control flight with such tiny wings.

The alarm clock buzzed at 05H00 as we awoke to a new day and arrived at the gate just after 06H00. The master plan was to spend the entire day in the park, and just enjoy all of creation, from the smallest to the largest creatures. Well I have to say it was an amazing day, as our plan manifested into a wonderful reality. As we drove along very slowly there were many natural rewards, with wonderful observations of the many different species that occur in the park.

If you are planning a family day in the park, I believe the following basic tips could make your day really fantastic.

1) Try to pre-plan your food and drinks in advance.
2) Use a cooler box with ice packs to keep food and drinks fresh and cold.
3) It’s worth waking up very early for a game drive.
4) Stop at a picnic site for a meal together.
5) Pack a good set of binoculars.
6) A map and some basic ID books are useful when seeing various species.
7) Having a decent camera helps to enhance the experience as you are able to capture some of your sightings in the form of photos.
8) Don’t travel too much, take time to sit and relax at various dams and treed areas.
9) Don’t worry about finding lions first, rather focus on enjoying every species and then if a lion sighting happens it will be a special bonus.
10) Slow down to the pace of nature, and relax!!

Remember this “when we look for the smallest we also see the largest”, from bees to buffalos..etc, bring your family and come explore the wonders of the Nairobi National Park. There is so much to observe and see, from the wonderful trees and shrubs, to the many species of birds, to the larger species like reptiles and mammals. No visit to this incredible national park is ever the same, each visit is always unique. It is so special when you come to the park with a serious case of “ Busy Buzz”, and return home with the warm healing feeling of the “Bush Buzz”, it’s definitely a “power dawa” or a Soul Tonic to restore and refresh those that are weary and tired. Maybe it’s time for you to escape the city?

The park is open daily from 06h00 to 19h00.



Gareth JonesGareth Jones – Nairobi Park Dairy – A passionate writer & photographer
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