I was a volunteer in the National Park of Nairobi, working at the animal orphanage in the park
Highs & Lows
An experience that everyone should have
Nairobi is not that cheap
I flew to Kenya from the United States. I had to take two flights, the first one from Chicago-Amsterdam (7 hours) and the second one from Amsterdam to Nairobi (8 hours). I arrived at night so I had to take a cab to the place I was going to stay at - the Glam Hotel. I was exhausted after the trip so jet lag was not a problem and I slept very well. The next day my sister also arrived to Kenya. I planned to stay in Nairobi for a long time so it gave me an opportunity to try various activities like volunteering. One of these activities for working with some wild animals like lions, monkeys, giraffes, buffaloes, iraxes, duikers, cheetahs, wild pigs and various birds.
It's Africa so going on a safari is a big thing over there. My last safari was in Samburu. It's a place that you can reach by airplane. On the way there, we had some wonderful views from the plane, we saw one of the largest valleys in the world, it extends from Kenya all the way to Egypt. There's a variety of lodges you can choose from when you decide to go on a safari. We stayed at the Elephant Watch Camp.
I also went to Diani, it's a place on the coast. I stayed in a huge house that me and my friends rented together. It ended up being very cheap because we were splitting all the costs. There's a low tide in the morning so the beach is very wide. But in the event during the high tide, there's almost no beach left. The water has a beautiful colour, it's so clear that you can see a lot of beautiful fish, star fish and various sea creatures. You should definitely do some snorkeling there. If you don't have fear of heights you can ride a camel there. But think twice before you decide to do it because those animals are enormous.
I took an Uber from my hotel to the National Park of Nairobi. Once I got there, I did all the paperwork needed to start my job there as a volunteer. In order to start helping out you need a letter stating the reason why you want to be a volunteer, the time frame when you're available, medial insurance and a letter from your college if you want to receive a discount. After completing all the paperwork and your training, you're ready to start working with animals.
In my opinion working with animals is the coolest, most beautiful and rewarding experiences that I have ever had. If you show that you're really engaged and interested, people who manage the orphanage will let you do even more responsible tasks.
Samburu is a national reserve of Kenya in which you can have a great safari. Kenya is a great place for safaris because there's a good diversity of animals there. I arrived by plane and the trip from Nairobi is like 30 minutes to 1 hour. You can get picked from the airport and taken to the lodge. I stayed in the Elephant Watch Camp and I think it was the best lodge because elephants are so close to you. They can walk nearby your tent while you are having a breakfast. The only thing is that you always have to be with a local guide because elephants can be a bit dangerous sometimes. If you arrive in the morning as I did, your safari starts in the afternoon and they are like 2 or 4 hours long.
The Indian Ocean is insanely beautiful. The water is transparent, blue, green and sometimes yellow. There are many places where you can stay in Diani, you can choose between a hotel and guest house or rent an entire house. I stayed at a rented house which was huge and beautiful. It was very affordable and ideal for traveling with a big group of people. I did some snorkeling, rode a camel, walked down the beach, observed how the fishermen caught some fish and swam to a little island nearby. Diani is a destination to relax, have a peaceful time in nature and try some amazing sea food.
Q & A
What would you have changed?Spend more time volunteering
Anything go wrong during the trip?Stay in a nearest hotel, sometimes the traffic in Nairobi is terrible and it takes more time arriving in the afternoon at the hotel
Restaurant recommendations?SANKARA: one of the best restaurants in Nairobi, meet or sea food. (a little expensive)
Tips you would give a friend?Don't be afraid of taking risk or of knowing people
Booking details?There was a girl from Denmark and she told me that Be Global was the company who brought her to Kenya.