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Easy Weekend

THE CAPITAL

This comes in late and hopefully fashionably late. Who would’ve thought touring Nairobi city would be this enjoyable. How do you tour a city you lived in or go to daily? You actually need more than a day or rather a week to be able to tour and take it all in, breath and consume it all. This city is such a gem if only we stopped to look around. Nairobae is bae and beautiful.

We started the day going to the Kenya National Archives and Documentation Services which is at the Center of the central business district (CBD) or what others call, downtown. It is situated along Moi Avenue next to the famous Ambassadeur Hotel. People travelling from Western Kenya know this building very well. I included. Haha. Like most of our government websites, there isn’t so much to see but here you go incase you need it, http://www.archives.go.ke

We went in at around 9 and shock on us, the place was still being cleaned, you can imagine what a mess that can be. Dusty feet, watery floors. It’s all about History and cultures. We got to learn so much about the collection. Apparently, it all belonged to Kenya’s 2nd Vice president the late Joseph Murumbi who would go around the world and get collectibles and since he didn’t have any kinship, all his collections were Archived. The Kenya Archives has two floors, and one is only allowed to take photos at the ground floor (Murumbi Gallery) as the items on the first floor are on sell which is set up as a photo gallery. The collection on Murumbi Gallery takes you on a cultural tour showcasing the traditional and intricate crafts and craftsmanship of our forefathers across the continent. The first-floor gallery highlights key figures in Kenya’s struggle for independence and various personalities that played a role in the shaping of our beautiful country – code 254. After about an hour we were done.

The Nairobi National Museum is situated at Museum Hill and was established in 1910 in Nairobi by the then East Africa and Uganda Natural History Society (currently the East African Natural History Society). There’s a shopping Centre and an eatery (I was hungry, so had to notice a food joint nearby) though didn’t get to try it as we were short of time. Lots of places to visit in just a day. The museum is open from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. When visiting, be ready to be bombarded by lots of school children as it looks like it’s part of the syllabus these days. There is an Art Gallery, temporary exhibitions (the marine park). You can get to experience the ocean life without stepping foot at the coast. Depending on how much you love history, an hour or two should take you through most part.

The Snake Park is also situated at the museum. I got to relive the story of Omweri the giant snake – Always thought it was mythical. Who remembers? If not, just pass by the snake park, lots of coily stuff there – can’t get these images out of my head. Scary. Didn’t get to see lots of snakes as I expected but it was quite interesting. I am half-Ophidiophobia. Google that. Take your fears by the horns? don’t know if fear has horns though.  The park also houses other reptiles like, tortoise and crocodiles.

Being the creative group that The Trek is, we decided to take an hour and experience the place that is Bao Box – You know, a soft touch to all the other activities. The only place in Nairobi set as a board game café. Quickly assigned new members to already established The TREK groups and the battle began. Describing stuff, a different kind of charades, ain’t as easy as I thought. Which car Brand starts with an ‘L’, then someone shout Lenovo. All laughs. Anyway, you have few seconds to quickly think through Jargons.  Team 1 took the day but with a 1 point margin and still gave themselves a 10…guess that’s how corruption starts…(light touch). Ohh, by the way the game is called 50 by 50. Two hours gone, done. I could do this all day long. 

We left for town to have lunch at a nice Somali menu place ‘Al Yusra’ right in the middle of town. It is all about touring the city today. Right? Because of time we opted for takeout. Told you, you’ll need more days for this city.

What better place to view Nairobi’s beautiful landscape other than KICC’s rooftop. It’s a haven for beautiful pictures and nice aerial view. This is Nairobi’s …. wait for it… sixth tallest building. Got it? You must have thought it was the tallest. Nairobi’s aerial view is beautiful from the KICC. which is strategically placed. It’s like the Epicenter of the city. A few tall building near by. But the vastness of the city is only better expressed at this summit point.  A panoramic view of the well planned leafy suburbs, the chaotic urban streets and the shanties within. I guess that’s what makes a City Capital. And as it is, friendships and memories are created and sealed through pictures. Pictures were ‘beaten’ and fried like eggs. We had our lunch in the bus and I must confess; their serving is quite a lot and tasty.

What better way to close the day than a visit to the only wildlife conservation in the world boasting ferocious animals next to a capital city, The Nairobi National Park. We got so unlucky on this particular day as we were unable to sight as many animals as we had wished to. I guess it was the weather. We got to visit the ivory burning site which I know not so many people are aware it exists. We got to see 2 rhinos, mother and child. Praying for their safety after losing 14 rhinos through an attempted relocation that went sour. LET OUR RHINOS BE HORNY, Only them allowed to wear horns – always wanted to say that out loud.

As we leave the park, it decides to surprise us with the majestic Cheru, The ultimate KING of the savanna. In front of us, standing in the middle of the road. Ohh Hi! we’ve been looking for you all day. Looking scared the lion rushes in the nearby bush…few seconds!!! He decides to put on a show. Emerges again and stands in the middle of the road with rebuilt courage as if stalking something, it listens, we are whispering, it stares, pauses, then walks away.  There is something about these cats that just ticks the bone. It’s the King, we have to wait for him to be done so that we proceed.

Sad thing about the park is that its landscape is changing, pillar by pillar. The government is building an elevated railway line through the park. Will it upset the delicate ecosystem? Time will tell. 

When you treat nature with respects it always pays back. As Trek, we believe that nature is the reason why Trek was formed hence we always treat it with respect, no littering, no plastic bottles and most of all, giving it the love and care by creating time every third weekend of the month to go and visit. Always carry a valid identification document.

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