The Wildest Holiday!!!- Article by Gareth Jones
The Wildest Holiday In The Nairobi National Park
The alarm clock buzzed at 04h30 as we awoke to a new day! We packed the car and arrived at the gate just after 06H10, excited to be able to visit the park during the year-end holidays. Yes! We have the most incredible wildlife experience virtually on our doorstep in Nairobi. The Nairobi National Park is unique in that there is so much incredibly created diversity in such a small area, therefore persons who visit the park and take the time to drive slowly and enjoy observing nature around them will always have a wonderful experience.
I would also advise taking a few practical items with you in your vehicle 1) enough liquids in the form of water, cool drinks, coffee etc 2) some prepacked food or plan to eat outside the park 3) some games or colouring-in books for children to do while in the car 4) binoculars 5) a reasonable camera to capture your moments together and wildlife sightings 6) early mornings and late afternoons are normally the most rewarding for wildlife sightings, however, sometimes unpredictable special sightings can also happen in the middle of the day. 7) for those with small children, it is best not to make them have long drives in a car, about 2-3 hours is normally the maximum time they can stay focused.
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.
Some of the roads were a bit rough and damaged due to the previous rains, so we mostly stayed on the main roads. As we drove along very slowly there were many wildlife rewards, a spotted hyena, followed by many zebra and eland, coke’s hartebeest, gazelles and wildebeest mixed amongst them. Herds of giraffe walked in the road, as well as large herds of buffalo. There were also other sightings of Bohor reedbuck and a special sighting of the tiny Suni. We saw 11 different rhino including a calf. The bird sightings were numerous from Ostrich to Eagles, Vultures, water birds and many “LBJ’s” – little brown jobs (a name we give to the many small birds that we could not identify), sunbirds, bee-eaters and many others (it is estimated that up to 500 species of birds can be observed in the park at various times). We had numerous sightings of lions as well, including two lionesses with cubs, and a young male lion with a wildebeest kill.
As we watched the sunset over the Ngong hills, the tranquil peace over the park was tangible and very real. Indeed the day in the park was a real “soul tonic” medicine for the inner being, an escape from the fast-paced world around us. This holiday season between Christmas and New Year’s is a specially good time for families to experience the Nairobi National Park and have a “wild holiday” as you enjoy the moments together.