I have recently returned from a trip back home to Kenya where I was able to spend time with the love of my life, my darling baby niece Ayzah. Of course the days of my brief sojourn there flew by all too fast.
I shan’t bore readers of this blog with pictures of Kenyan safaris, Mombasa beach holidays and ‘nyama choma‘ (the most delectable food in the whole wide world!) gatherings with family and friends, however, there is one particular picture of a lone ‘zebra crossing’ whilst my brother was driving that I cannot resist sharing.
The picture on the right was taken during a drive through Nairobi National Park one weekend. It is literally an example of some of the incredible experiences that are common place whilst living in Nairobi. Some true past examples of daily life in Nairobi of incidents that have actually happened to myself and my family include:
- Having to stop the car as we waited patiently for a herd of giraffes to cross the Airport Road after my dad had picked me up from the airport when I was back home for the Easter holidays one year (side note: baby giraffes have the cutest ears!).
- A pride of four lions causing mayhem in people’s gardens – this 2016 occurrence caused my brother to be stuck in traffic for five hours on the way back from work one day! The south side of Nairobi National park which is bordered by a tributary of Nairobi’s famous and gorgeous Athi River still remains unfenced, hence why we have frequent animal wanderings into residential areas.
- An Aunt who ran over a (suicidal) monkey that leapt out onto the road as she had just left the house. She heard and felt a bump against the car as it hit the monkey, but then looked in her rearview mirror and didn’t see any dead monkey, so she assumed that it had managed to scamper away. Only when she got to school to pick up my cousin did they realise the now-dead monkey was caught in between the car wheel and the chassis! Only its tail could be seen dangling by the side – my poor cousin was mortified, and the episode was the subject of school chatter for quite some time.
- Our pet dogs killing a spitting cobra (they usually used to kill porcupines that ventured into our property from the neighbouring forest). We didn’t know the snake’s species at the time, but as per law, my dad took the lifeless reptile over for identification to the Nairobi National Snake Park, where it was found to have been a female. My brother and I were immediately forbidden from venturing anywhere into the lush one-acre gardens of our house. Within hours, we had the Snake Park rangers over and they used some strange smoke-emitting machine and burning rubber that they poked all around various areas of the garden to kill any other spitting cobras or their potential babies that were lurking around the foliage.
- Baboons almost-stealing my aunt’s handbag as we sat down to tea one weekend at a restaurant by the Thika Falls. These famous sugar-loving mischievous baboons are the bane of adults and children alike, but no visit to the Falls is complete without some sort of light-hearted encounter with them.
There are countless other wonderful memories that I have of my country, Kenya. It is truly a land that one must visit in person to fully realise its awe-inspiring experiences. For now, if you don’t have the opportunity to plan a visit in the near future, and if you fancy bits of some touristy snapshots, the video below captures the vast and varied nuances of this unique country that I am proud to call my own:
Happy Watching and I wish you a siku njema (‘Good Day’ in Swahili!)
Saneeya Qureshi © 2018