Nairobi, Kenya. 2

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Last summer, I had the privilege of visiting probably the best animal orphanage in the world. 🙂

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program based in Nairobi, Kenya. The baby elephants, who range from about 1 month to 2 years old, get rescued by this lovely team after their mothers have been killed by poachers or died of natural causes.

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Since the babies no longer have access to their mothers’ milk, they feed on formula.
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They are all given unique names that tell of their rescue stories. Like there’s a calf called Suswa because he was found on Mt. Suswa.
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This baby can do the feeding all by herself! 🙂
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Visiting hours are  between 11-12 noon daily.DSC01585There’s a KSh. 500 entrance fee. That’s about 5 USD.
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Playtime! 🙂
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Some of the calves still have bruises from traps and weapons. Bruises which are being treated  by qualified veterinarians.
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Their keepers are the most caring bunch ever!DSC01542

There is a fostering program that you can participate in where you get to foster a calf for a minimum of 50 USD a year.20150727_115328After a couple of years, when the elephants are strong enough to survive on their own, they are released back into the wild and are monitored as they integrate into new families and adjust to their new homes.
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PS: these babies love to roll in the mud hence their brown/red shades.
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Hope you enjoyed reading! 🙂
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Always be kind.

Dee.

❤

Kisumu, Kenya. 2

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While in Impala Park, Kisumu, I decided to take a break from walking because it was scorching hot outside. The guard at the gate had mentioned that there was a hotel within the park so I decided to go check it out.

It’s called Impala Eco Lodge. I ordered some traditional cuisine (fried fish, mashed potatoes and kale) for lunch. The service was pretty amazing I must say. I’d give it a 10 out of 10. Just as I was about to finish my lunch, the chef came to find out if I’d enjoyed my meal! Well, that’s never happened to me before so I felt pretty special! 🙂

I also took a private boat ride courtesy of the hotel. The gentleman operating the speed boat noticed that I had a camera around my neck and was kind enough to offer to ask his friend to tag along so that he could take pictures of me. How amazing was that!?!

Needless to say, I had the most breathtaking time out there!

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Always be kind.

Dee.

❤

Kisumu, Kenya. 1

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I’d been waiting all week for a friend’s friend to confirm a possible trip to Maasai Mara. He’s an organiser. Gets you the best rates and all. I’ve never been to Maasai Mara before so I was pretty excited about this “possible” trip. Well, it never happened. The group I was to join postponed the trip.

So, when it got to Friday, I decided to take a trip to Kisumu instead. And I wasn’t disappointed.

It’s an hour and a half away by road from my hometown and I’ve been there a number of times. I had never been to Impala Park before though. Situated by the lakeside, it’s home to a number of wild animals. I’m AGAINST caging animals so I only took pictures of those that were allowed to roam freely. They have cheetahs, giraffes and white rhinos, all of which are restricted in not-so-big fenced areas. Big cages if you may.

I got there around noon. Paid roughly 3 USD to enter the park. It was scorching hot that day and the guard at the gate told me that the animals in the park were probably seeking shade at that moment. Therefore, it would be hard to spot them. Not until later in the afternoon.

He also let me know that there’s an amazing hotel within the park where I could relax for a while as I wait for the heat to cool down. It’s called Impala Eco Lodge. Very nice place. Amazing service.

I’ll write all about it in the next post! 🙂

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Always be kind.

Dee.

❤

Nairobi, Kenya. 4

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Y’all have heard of Maasai Market, right? Nah? Ok, lemme explain. 🙂

A long, long time ago, a group of Maasai women thought it would be a great idea to sell their art at the country’s business hub, Nairobi. So they set off with their hand-made artifacts, made their way to the city and started selling their items there.

Fast-forward to today. Maasai Market has grown enormously. It’s now a huge open air market that is held at different locations around the city. All depending on which day of the week it is.

Monday – There’s no market on Mondays.

TuesdayKijabe Street Park & Prestige Plaza.

WednesdayCapital Center.

ThursdayThe Junction Mall.

FridayThe Village Market.

SaturdayThe High Court parking.

SundayYaya Center.

Although the goods are no longer predominantly sold by the Maasai, there are still a wide variety of very beautiful, colourful, hand-made cultural arts and crafts to choose from. These include jewelery, paintings, clothes, textiles, shoes, sculptures, bags and a whole lot of other things.

Tip: These markets always target tourists therefore their prices are normally doubled or tripled. So you gotta haggle like a pro to avoid getting ripped off. Hear their price. Offer half of it. And then work on from there until both you and the seller settle on a price you are comfortable with.

Also, it’s always nice to engage them in conversations. You know, listen to their stories, find out if they actually made what they are selling…compliment their work. Just be nice. 🙂

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Always be kind,

Dee.

❤

How To Take: Stunning Pictures Of Wildlife.

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Hey there! 🙂

Hope you are all doing great.

Today, I’m gonna share a few tips with you on how to take amazing pictures of wildlife.

1. Blend In.

Make an effort to blend in with the environment. It will increase the chances of you getting a more natural shot. You know. Since you are not sticking out like a sore thumb in the wilderness.

2. Angle and Lighting.

Most animals love seeking shade under trees and all. This makes it hard to take pictures of them since they may appear darker than they should. So you need to work your way around those shadows. Go to the other side of the animal maybe. Very smoothly though. Then take your shot.

3. Composition tells The Story.

Get as much of the natural habitat as the animals you are capturing into your frame. This lets viewers have an idea of what’s going on without having to say a word.

4. Steady Hands.

Wildlife can be unpredictable. One minute they’re “posing” for a shot and the next they are running away from you. As much as you would love to run after them and shoot, you’re much better off standing still and zooming in. While keeping the camera very steady so as to avoid blurry images.

5. Timing and Persistence.

Those “Magic Shots” don’t just happen. You have to be really patient. Observe the wildlife. Admire them. Enjoy the moment. Take it all in. And take a couple of pictures as you do so. Your “Magic Shot” will be in there somewhere when you finally relax and go through the photos you took.

Always be kind.

Dee.

❤

What To Wear: On Safari.

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I love safaris. I love adventure. But most of all, I love nature. Just the other day, while studying for my pediatrics class, I drifted off and started daydreaming about the gorgeous mountains in Canada surrounding pretty little lakes, the amazing landscapes in Iceland filled with breathtaking waterfalls, the beautifully sculptured canyons in the USA…

I’d love to see all these places one day.

Ok, now back to this post. There are a couple of things to note when it comes to dressing right for a safari. One: You need to be comfortable. Like very comfortable. Two: You need to blend in with the environment (think browns and greens) to avoid disrupting wild animals. It’s for your safety as well. Three: You need to be well fed and hydrated because safaris are exhausting.

Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need to wear:

1. Hats & sunglasses

To protect yourself from the sun.

2. Tops

If you’re planning a morning or evening trip, you’ll need to layer up since it’s most probably going to be chilly. Otherwise, a t-shirt will do for the day.

3. Bottoms

Keep these long to avoid scratches and bites.

4. Shoes

Sneakers are the best option.

5. Bags

Just a small backpack to hold your essentials like water and cameras.

Always be kind.

Dee.

❤

5 Of The Best Kinds Of Souvenirs.

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The best kinds of souvenirs are those that you can use on a daily basis once you get back home. Below are a few of my favorite kinds:

1. Carvings and paintings.

I love art. Especially the 3D kind. Hence the cover photo. 🙂

2. Fridge magnets.

They make a beautiful collage full of memories as they sit pretty and colourful on your fridge.

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3. Jewellery.

There’s this amazing vintage pendant watch that I bought while in St. Petersburg a few months ago. And it’s now my favourite necklace! 🙂

4. T-shirts and jumpers.

In the picture above is a t-shirt I bought during my trip to Dombay. I had the most adventurous time out there: learnt how to ski, rode horses, saw bears for the first time in real life and so much more. And this t-shirt serves as a reminder of all that.

5. Cups and mugs.

That you’ll actually take your coffee or tea in. Don’t just buy them and throw them in the attic.

Always be kind.

Dee.

❤

Nairobi, Kenya. 1

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During my summer holiday, I, for the first time, visited the Giraffe Center in Nairobi. I took a bus there from the CBD and after alighting at my stop, I asked a lady who had also just alighted from the same bus for the directions to the Giraffe Center. Apparently she worked almost next door to the place. During the short walk there, we engaged in simple conversation and then she said to me, “Don’t tell me you’re going to Giraffe Center to see giraffes!”

What else would I be going there for, ma’am? 😮

See, the reason she said that is, most of the people who’ve been brought up in the city, like her I presume, have taken numerous trips to the place ever since they were in pre-school. Well, I wasn’t brought up in the city and was super excited about the idea of getting up close with these beautiful creatures! 🙂

That aside, I did enjoy my time there. Paid about 3 USD to get in, fed the giraffes, kissed a couple. I’d advise you to get there early morning though, since it gets kinda crowded later on.

Also, there are only about 8 giraffes, and only 4 were present during my visit. I wish there were more.

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Always be kind.

Dee.

❤

Naivasha, Kenya. 4

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On the last week of August, I took a solo day trip to Naivasha. Yes, a solo day trip.

I woke up at around 7 in the morning, on a Tuesday, with no agenda. So I lay in bed thinking of how I should spend the rest of the day. Then it hit me. A day trip! 🙂

I needed to find an interesting place to visit that wouldn’t take me more than 2 hours to get to. Also, I wanted to get sorta physical. Sporty, if you will. It had been a while since I’d gotten a good workout in so I had to include something challenging in this trip.

And that’s how I decided to take a solo day trip to Hell’s Gate National Park!

I was so unsure of the whole idea since I’d never been to Naivasha by public means. Google came in handy though. I left the house at 11, four whole hours later, because I was still trying to convince myself that taking that trip would probably be one of the best things I would’ve done during my summer holiday.

It took about 2 hours to get there, rented a bike for 5 USD at the gate, paid another 3 USD because I was getting in with a bike, and another 7 USD (I don’t remember the exact figure but it was around that much) for my entry to the park. Non-citizens are charged way more by the way.

There are a couple of local tour guides who’ll want to rip you off, but thanks to TripAdvisor, I was already aware of that. The park has road signs inside so getting lost is not an issue.

It was a downhill ride from the gate with the most amazing and peaceful scenery. I saw a whole lot of zebras, warthogs and antelopes on the way.

Once at the gorge, you might want to ask for a little help from the rangers and guides at that post. It’s pretty twisted in there. But boy is it beautiful!

Everyone I ran into was surprised that I was travelling alone and kept asking if I’d left “my group” somewhere along the way. Haha! 😀 They were all super nice to me though.

I got really tired after all the hiking that I hitched a ride from the gorge back to Naivasha town. That was at 6 in the evening. It goes without saying really, that the trip was totally worth it! 🙂

Oh, and by the way, according to Wikipedia, the setting of the animated film, The Lion King, is “heavily modelled after this park”.

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Always be kind.

Dee.

❤