One thing we are notorious for in this country, is sticking to what we know – deliberately and religiously. Kenyans don’t seem to like change, nor do we particularly enjoy leaving our comfort zones with regards to the manner in which we socialize.
Or perhaps I should just speak for myself and my small circle of friends – we do what we do every weekend because it is familiar and safe.
Which is why the Nairobae IG Tour is such a stand out project in my eyes. The brainchild of Turn Up Travel’s Muthuri Kinyamu, Brian Gatimu and Mike Njeru, it’s now completed its third cycle, and is only growing stronger as a brand.
This month’s edition was centered around 25 participants, each paying about 8000 shillings (slightly more than that for non-residents, to cater for park fees).
We kicked off a rainy Saturday morning at the Nairobi National Park in vehicles provided by Avis Kenya – and thank God they came through, because the mud was a challenge that could only be navigated through, by 4x4s.
One thing to note about the Nairobae IG Tour – it’s full of photo fanatics with some of the most expensive pieces of equipment that put my camera phone to shame! But that’s OK – whether you are a photo buff or an amateur, the name of the game is to take in the city from a perspective that you perhaps hadn’t had before.
After two hours of chasing lions and buffalo, we headed to the picnic spot. That’s where we received more breakfast than anyone on earth could possibly need to eat – courtesy of Jumia Food. Never used it before? Download the app HERE.
They deliver across Nairobi, to your house or your office – or if you’re lucky, a viewpoint as spectacular as we were on.
Yes, I know. Tough life.
The rain had delayed our start a little bit, so we hightailed it to the Elephant Orphanage at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. I was surprised to hear that some from our team had never visited it before – but again, we tend to take for granted the fact that we have such an amazing wildlife ecosystem right within our Capital City. Baby Elephants are things you need to see, and possibly adopt. They are spunky, vivacious and the Trust makes sure that the orphans are taken care of and ready to be rehabilitated into the wild. It’s a powerful experience, but you are only able to catch them between 11 and 12pm, so you’d better not be on African time!
After a short break that gave us a few minutes to socialize with members of the crew, we hit up the famous Giraffe Center. You get to feed these magnificent creatures and take pictures for as long as you want – but I was honestly more interested in the impromptu lesson that one of the minders at the Center gave me – fun facts such as Giraffes don’t sleep more than 30 minutes a day. They are constantly on the look out, because their height makes them a target in the wild. They also take power naps of just a couple of minutes at a time. With their eyes open. Not weird at all.
The Giraffe Center is a place you should definitely visit – especially if you have young kids. Get them away from the ipads or phones and get them interacting with nature. It’s important!
At around 2pm, it was time to eat – onward to Carnivore for our Beast of a Feast – Carnivore’s all you can eat meat buffet. I’m more than a little squeamish, and only really eat chicken – but the rest of the crew dug IN!
I had to leave the group at 6pm – but the party continued, with a tour of the Big Five Breweries and Happy Hour at Brew Bistro. I know this because Insta – Stories do not lie!
Special shout out to Peperuka for my fabulous new Africa Rising tee – visit their Instagram and check out some of the Distinctly Kenyan gear they have. Mad love also, to Urban Bites, who kept our hunger pangs at bay throughout the day.
It’s such a testament to the passion and input of Muthuri, Mike, Brian and the rest of their partners, that I walked away from the long day feeling super renewed. There is joy, passion and tons of hard work that goes into putting an event like this together – and they made it look so easy. I doubt I’ve laughed that much this year. Kudos to the team, and hit them up for their expertise in curating your own local travel adventure.
My photography skills beyond my kick-ass selfies are seriously lacking, so all credit to Turn Up Travel. Follow them on Instagram to learn more about fantastic package deals, and see you at the next #NairobaeIGTour!