A Stimulating Safari

Newtown Waterford

Hi Mum and Dad, Jambo!

I honestly can’t believe you never told me how beautiful Kenya is. It’s absolutely incredible here, I have only been here a week and I have already fallen in love with the simple pleasure of safaris. It was a long day travelling but the Aer Lingus staff were so helpful and made me feel relaxed during the short flight to Amsterdam and the eight-hour flight to Nairobi. My friends and I are having an amazing time with Uncle Joe, his house is so extravagant. We stayed around Nairobi for three marvellous days visiting the Masai market which was breath-taking, the giraffe centre and the elephant orphanage. When we visited, the baby elephants were playing with their keepers and we also saw the keepers feeding them with huge bottles of baby formula and even putting sunscreen on them.  With no mothers to shade them with their bodies, the baby elephants could easily become badly sunburnt. The giraffe centre is a darling place where rescued giraffes are homed.  You can climb up an enormous platform to feed them. It was both enjoyable and strange at the same time. A giraffe’s tongue is like sandpaper and it is a weird sensation when a giraffe eats from the palm of your hand. On the fourth day, we travelled to Samburu and stayed in ‘Elephant Bedroom’ a campsite with ridiculously fancy tents where you can see the elephants passing through the campsite several times a day. It really is magnificent.  The campsite only opened recently and if you were here, I know you would love it. On the fifth day, we went on a safari (which means journey in Swahili) and saw so many animals up close. We could hardly believe our eyes when we saw three of the ‘big five’. You were right, you don’t truly believe how stunning the African savannah is until you see it for yourself. The tour guide, Mulwa, even taught us some Swahili.  He was so helpful and explained something unique and interesting about every animal we saw.  When we came across zebra, he told us the Swahili name for zebra is ‘Punda Milaya’ and having researched it, I can confirm the direct translation is ‘Striped Donkey’. How appropriate!  We also saw elephants, ‘Tuskar’ in Swahili, giraffe ‘Twiga’ and Hippo ‘Kiboko’. We were so lucky to see a lion ‘Simba’, it was the most stunning sight of all time with its silky golden coat and tousled mane. (The fact that it was in the middle of devouring a gazelle took away from our enjoyment slightly but I guess it’s the circle of life, right?) How is everything at home?  How is my gorgeous dog?  All is well, I hope.

I really can’t wait to see you all.  I have so much to tell you I can’t fit it all in one letter as there are so many amazing things to do here.

See you soon and sending you love,

Yours truly

Maebh