As the novel begins, "I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the hills of Ngongo ..." The home of Baroness Karen Blixen, the author of Memoirs of Africa, which led to the unforgettable film, lies on the outskirts of Nairobi. It doesn't have a large coffee plantation, or a Kikuyu native village, but the whole environment has remnants of the Baroness, even the neighbouring shopping centre is called Karen. But the house is still there, with its porch, giant trees, and antique coffee machines, and in the distance you can see the silhouette of the Ngongo hills, which at the beginning of the 20th century, was still full of wildlife and where, with wonderful views, they buried their beloved Dennis. This was the scene in the movie, but the interiors have been adapted and reproduced. The interior is a museum, with guided tours (no photography allowed). Some of the furnishings are original, or from the time, but there are also replicas that were built for the film and offered to the museum by Universal Studios, like the cuckoo clock. Overall, it's very accomplished and it like the characters might appear at any time. The walls are decorated with photos of Karen, pictures from the movie and also her paintings of some characters she had met that are really very nice. On the porch, there are coffee bushes growing in honour of the plantation and there's also a craft store, but we didn't have time to go in.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is center which cares for orphaned elephants whose parents were killed by poachers. Once the elephants are old enough to care for themselves and form a social group, they're released again into the wild. It was fun to see how the caregivers gave the baby elephants these giant bottles of milk! Really great work!
Outside of Nairobi a littl ways and on the way to the various National Parks in Kenya is where you'll find a Kikuyu Town. It's the largest ethnic group in Kenya and the people live in the area of Mount Kenya and the Great Rift Valley. The people live in huts made of reeds and they mix cow dung and surrounded by a circle of thorn branches to protect themselves and livestock from wild animals.
We visited the Karuzi bead workshop where the women showed us every step of the ceramic jewelry manufacturing process: melting the raw material, molding, painting, cooking. Each bead is shaped and glazed by hand and you can find their creations in major retailers in Paris.
In this park you can appreciate the flora and fauna indigenous to the country and the continent. You can see the animals such as the black rhino, large predators such as lions, cheetahs, leopards and hyenas, hippos, buffalo and zebra. There is also very comfortable space for picnics and relaxing. It's a place to go to spend the entire day.
In the hands of a Masai guide, we made this journey, through animals at their watering holes. The most interesting thing is being able to walk through the area, which is quite safe, rather than by vehicle. This is not a natural park, but there are a lot of herds of zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, and antelope in the distance. A recommended activity if you stop and stay at the hotel.
The railway station is part of the Nairobi route of the Uganda railway, and only goes to Mombasa twice a week (Monday and Friday), then to Kisumo, bordering Lake Victoria. The station is close to the centre, so you can easily walk there. The staff are kind and friendly, and you can leave your luggage for 80 Kenyan shillings (70c) a day. The waiting room was falling apart and the bathroom wasn't that great. There's a small store selling essentials like milk, but they don't have batteries, so remember to buy those in the city, and be sure to pick up toilet paper, too... 14 hours on the train is a long time...
Here you can practice some trekking. There is no need to be an expert trekker because it is pretty easy to do. Here there are 5 major peaks. Its highest peak reaches about 2500 meters. Remain near Nairobi