Saturday, 31 July 2010

Holding Baby Crocs and Riding Camels! Sat 31st July

We left the orphanage at 9.30am for our 'orientation day', run by the company we booked through! Alex, their driver picked us up and drove us into the centre of Nairobi where we picked Patrick up, one of the owners of the company (Gracepatt Ecotours). Patrick is a lovely man and went to a lot of effort to make the day fantastic! We briefly went into a supermarket where I bought a HUGE avocado, bigger than Alex's hand, for 20Ksh, about 15p!

We then drove around Nairobi city centre and Patrick pointed out the main buildings including the British Embassy and I managed to take quite a few photographs which will be put up on facebook when I get back! We stopped at the top of a hill overlooking the centre and I have a few nice photographs of Alex, Patrick and I which I will share with you soon!

We then drove out of the city center, past the KWS centre where Alex is working and arrived at the giraffe centre! It was erally good and there were even a few warthogs snuffling around! There was a fantastic viewing platform where you could get up to the height of the giraffe's heads and feed them pellets, they started to eat my hand after a bit though...

We then drove off to find Mamba Village. Mamba means crocodile in Kiswahili. When we got there we were greeted by some Massai and got a couple of photographs with them :). When then had a lovely lunch of chicken and chips! After that we went to see the crocodiles and we got to hold one which was around 1-2 years old!! It was an interesting experience, the guide told us to make sure we held the head so it didn't bite us!

We then saw the much older crocs! They were huge and the guide kept poking them with sticks to make them snap which made me jump quite a bit! They seemed so fast and deadly! The guide explained to us that the larger, fatter bellied and tailed ones were the females. They lay their eggs in september but the temperature in Nairobi isn't hot enough for enough of the year so if hey wanted another crocodile they would send the egg to Mombasa. Excitingly, we were told that the temperature an egg is kept at decides the sex of the baby!

When we had another look at the babies, I noticed one had a gaping hole where it's forearm should have been! Apparently it had escaped into the pen where the 5-10yrs are and because crocodiles are cannibals (and eat their young), they had bitten the little croc before anyone could rescue it! Apparently is should make a full recovery and be fine as the most important limbs are the hind legs and the tail.

Next Alex and I got to ride a camel together! it was hilarious and Patrick took lots of photos of us! Standing up and sitting down was an interesting experience! I nearly went flying!

Mamba village also keeps Ostriches and an orphan giraffe they had been given to raise as it lost it's mum when it was tiny! And apparently it gets on well with the ostriches as they often share territories in the wild!

Once we had seen all of the animals we went for a lovely boat ride on the man made lake in the middle of the village! It had been made into the shape of Africa! The scenary was lovely and it was so peaceful, the weather had also turned very hot so I could have stayed on the boat for hours!

On the way out of the village I spotted a tiny chameleon which I just had to pick up!!

When we got back to the orphange we played and spoke with the children and that evening they were allowed to watch a tv for a bit! They were even watching music videos WWE!!

Well, I think that's one of the best days I've had in a long time! So much exitement!

Lottie x

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