Stanley Wing Safari
Our first day in Nairobi, we gathered for a sumptuous breakfast on the expansive veranda of Fairmont Norfolk Hotel. Then about 10:00 we met our Safari Director, soon to be new best friend, George K. We were just waking up in our dream that was to be East Africa. Looking back, our expectations were only a glimmer of what we were about to experience!
The first stop was a visit to Gemini Desai, also known as “the bead lady”. She opened on a Sunday just for our group. Her story of collecting the antique glass beads brought by early European explorers for trade, designing, and making these unique pieces is worthy of a whole other story. Suffice here to say that we were all impressed and many purchases were made.
Next on the agenda was a comfortable lunch at Osteria Nanna. We enjoyed the time outside under a tented patio and accompanied by the signature local beer, Tusker, or wine. Now George prepared us for the true purpose of our coming to Nairobi a day early, the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage! We were treated to a private visit including watching the babies come in from their day out in the preserve, suck down their evening bottles of milk and bed down for the night. These orphans range from months old to three years of age. Rescued from the bush, each baby has its own story. We all chose a baby elephant to adopt. You can too while on their site, if you want to!
We received a very special invitation to join Jane and Felix Pinto, founders of Micato Safaris, for dinner at a favorite restaurant of theirs-Carnivore! We sampled great meats from crocodile to ostrich to lamb, not to mention beef, pork, and chicken! Great food and great fun were shared with a very special couple!
Up early the next day, we started with a briefing about our day and how to prepare to leave on Safari the next day. Then first up for the day was a visit to Karen Blixen’s home. You will probably recognize the name as author of “Out of Africa”. Next on the agenda was the The Giraffe Center. The Rothschild Giraffes here are the most endangered species of giraffe. We were able to feed and photograph them while learning much about these gentle giants. Did you know that a resting group of giraffe is called a tower of giraffes while a group on the move is called a journey?
The day’s outing was topped off with a lunch hosted by Jane Pinto in her lovely home in Nairobi. In addition to a delightful meal and Jane’s lively and perceptive conversation, we were treated to pictures of herself with Mother Teresa and the Bush family. Jane’s personal favorite was a photo of she and Felix in private audience with the Pope! We all left feeling like long lost family returning to the Pinto fold.
After packing and re-packing to be certain no Safari bag weighed over 33 pounds, we drifted off to sleep with visions of safaris to come dancing in our heads!