Kenya: Here I Come To Explore And Create Memories!
Thank you for all the love! I’m currently sitting in an internet cafe in Kisumu, Kenya. The day started with an eight hour BUMPY bus ride from Nairobi this morning. They call it the ‘African massage’ – lol! I arrived safely in Nairobi on the 3rd, but the internet wasn’t exactly cheap, so I passed. I am alive and well. I had a lot of fun in Nairobi. I met and fed giraffes and visited some elephant orphans. That has definitely been the highlight so far. Giraffes are such divine animals.
Bus ticket – Nairobi To Kisumu
Rewind. I arrived in Nairobi at 6:30am, local time. The journey felt like forever. I just wanted to get there. As the sun rose and painted the sky a fiery red, the flight attendant asked passengers to prepare for landing. Finally, after so many hours and miles, I made it to Africa.
It took forever for my pack to make its way down the belt, which sort of freaked me out. You always hear horror stories of people losing their bags. I collected my belongings and made my way to the exit where I was greeted by that typical overwhelming crowd, searching for their arriving friends or relatives. However, unlike any other receiving party I’ve experienced, there were a handful of Maasai people. Incredible. “I finally made it to Africa.”
Suddenly a random man, Johnson, grabbed my pack and told me to follow him. I probably shouldn’t have, but I did. I assumed he was a cab driver. “I’m staying at Hotel Boulevard.” Conveniently, he knew where that was. However, I wasn’t meeting Gap Adventures until the early evening, so I was hoping to visit the Giraffe Centre and David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. Apparently they were ‘on the way’ to the hotel so Johnson offered to take me there.
As we made our way past a slum and to our first destination, I started to question whether the giraffe centre and elephant orphanage were actually ‘on the way’. Johnson kept reassuring me that we were almost there. After what seemed like three quarters of an hour later, we arrived at the Giraffe Centre. It was definitely worth the trek.
I never thought I’d get the opportunity to kiss a giraffe. Boy did I get a mouthful. They’re really into ‘tongue’ – lol!
After the giraffes, we made our way to the elephant orphanage.
It was time to head to the hotel. I wasn’t sure how much the entire ride would cost and asked Johnson to take me to a bank to withdraw some local currency. “12,000 shillings.” I had to take out my calculator. $150 CAD!!! Clearly I was being ripped off. Unfortunately I, believe it or not, wasn’t exactly comfortable with the whole idea of bargaining at that point. However, I did manage to talk him down to 7,000 shillings. Still, $88 CAD??? I later learned from a local I sat beside on the bus journey from Nairobi to Kisumu that I was definitely ripped off. Apparently cab drivers don’t even make that much in a week. Oh well, it’s all part of the adventure. I paid Johnson, gave him one of my Canadian flag pins and carried on.
The driving is insane here. There are these things called matatus – a form of public transport or shared taxi, popular in Kenya and Uganda. Scary. They’re usually rammed with passengers to the point where one would question the safety. I’m tempted to try it though. And the exhaust is pretty awful. It’ll be hard to forget that distinct smell.