20 mins after exiting the traffic on Langata road, we spotted a pair of dik diks, then another pair of black backed jackals. Our guide continued to spot other birds and beasts that are always in pairs and it seemed as if romance was in the air! We were driving in the Nairobi National Park through lush green Savannah and riverine forests for a weekend getaway from the city madness and as we delved deeper into the forest even the city sky scrapers seemed to be flirting with the national park.
After driving 20 mins from the main gate, we arrived at the ONLY tented camps in the national parks – Nairobi Tented Camp, popularly known as “NTC” – http://www.nairobitentedcamp.com/. Tucked away from the main park roads in a lush landscape are 9 beautifully appointed tents. We were met by the staff with hot towels to wipe away the dust and handed a cool drink to combat the afternoon heat and shown to our tent. The tents are not fenced and even walking from the mass tent to our tent felt like an adventure. The tents are well appointed to cater to all your modern needs and yet rustic and authentic enough to make you want to get into your safari clothes!
After relaxing for an hour, we headed for an evening game drive. We were astonished with the amount of game and we spotted 3 white rhinos, 3 female lions basking in the sun and plenty of antelope and buffaloes.
After the game drive we came back to the camp and were treated to some sun downers by the fire and engaged in some lively conversation with our fellow campers recounting our safari adventures. Then it was on to dinner – a 3 course meal to rival any restaurant in Nairobi! By the end of the meal we had completely forgotten that we were in Nairobi and went to bed with sounds of wild animals (the tree hyrax especially!) playing their nightly orchestra.
We started the next morning with an early morning game drive and were delighted to see a Serval cat, 3 black rhinos (one a young calf) feeding away lazily and then a pride of 5 lions who had killed an Eland and were feasting upon it! After viewing these animals in their majesty, it is quite sad knowing the black rhino is endangered and from a population of 65,000 in the 1970’s to less than 2500 today with 50 in the Nairobi National Park.
As I stood in our safari car watching the male lion Sam, taking a bite of the carcass and then turned 180 degrees, I could see the faint outline of the Nairobi skyline. This juxtaposition of the city growing upwards and of the wildlife it still harbors, was absolutely surreal!
Back at the camp we had a sumptuous breakfast, following which we were driven back to the main gate. I realized that in the 24 hours that I was at Nairobi Tented Camp, I only used my phone to take photos, promptly ignoring the texts, emails and Whats App messages. This was the perfect getaway to take the mind away from the daily humdrum of city life and see the amazing natural beauty our city holds within it. And the best part – yes there is something better – NTC is easy on the pocket! Staying overnight on a half board basis costs KES 9,500 per person (plus park entrance fees/camping fees which are KES 800 p.p. for citizens) which also includes soft drinks.
So go ahead and take your valentine to this gem within Nairobi (You can easily book online – http://www.nightsbridge.co.za/bridge/Search?bbid=14079) and after you have visited, of course do let Nairobi Tented Camp know what you thought by leaving a review here on www.yululate.com