Visit to Nairobi (3)

For the first time in my three visits to Kenya to see the family, I spent sometime outside Nairobi when I took my granddaughter (soon to be six) Catrin to a place called Sanctuary Farm about two hours drive north-west of the capital (there is a wonderful view over the Rift Valley about half way there). It is the first time that Catrin and have been away together and it was a great success. She knows the place well, having visited on three previous occasions with parents and other grandparents, and she absolutely loves it.

Sanctuary Farm is located at the southern end of Lake Naivasha and covers some 400 acres.  The accommodation is just 14 units which are converted stables sitting around a courtyard. Food is served in a separate building and is delicious.  Also there is a small swimming pool which Catrin visited twice.

The wildlife wandering freely includes giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, waterbacks, wildebeests, impalas and monkeys. There are many varieties of birds too, including the brilliantly colourful glossy starlings and Egyptian geese. At night, hippos come up from the lake. A special feature of the place is the opportunity to go horse riding and and see the other animals close up and Catrin had two such sessions, one with me walking by her side and the other with her mummy who joined us with the rest of the family for our final afternoon of the two day visit.

While Catrin was on her second horse riding trip, I took the opportunity to have a one-hour boat ride on the lake.  The water was at its highest with the tops of trees sprouting up all along the shore. We saw lots of hippos and birds and our boatman brought along a fish which he used to demonstration the diving and catching skills of a fish eagle.

Catrin was great company: well-behaved, lots of fun, and chatting to everyone.  She pointed out a hippo to me outside the cook house and, only when we approached it, did I find – which she knew all along –   that it was a life-size model . One of her jokes was to warn me, when walking by wildebeest, “Don’t use the ‘r’ word!” When I asked what she meant, she replied “Don’t say ‘run’ or you’ll cause a stampede.” Another of her jokes was: “What do you call an alligator wearing a vest?” When I confessed that I had no idea, she responded: “An investigator”.


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