Hey everyone, your best friend Sara here! Welcome to my ‘Places with Sara‘ section
I can’t wait to pack my bags and head out. Until then let’s read through these wonderful travel memories from kids. Let’s keep our wish lists ready!
So excited to bring to you, a travelogue of a Kenyan Safari by a 7 year old Bookosmian Ananya Vengurlekar from Mumbai. Rich wildlife, a rhino attack, tent stay.. this is a must-read!
Ananya is a student of Parle Tilak Vidyalaya .
Due to covid 19, there was a ban introduced on air travel. Unfortunately, my father got stuck in Kenya where he works and we got stuck in Mumbai, where I study. When the travel ban got lifted, due to online school, we got a chance to go to Kenya and stay with him for 6 months.
Kenya is a beautiful country with a lot of national parks having wild animals, mountains and valleys, dense forest, lakes and white sand beaches. My father took us to several such places. While studying “animals around us” in my online classroom during the week, I got to see real animals like lions, cheetahs, leopards, rhinos, giraffes, zebras and elephants roaming freely in the grass during a safari on the weekends.
My favourite place in Kenya is Ol Pajeta national park because it is the only place in Kenya that offers a night safari, is located on the equator, has the tallest mountain in Kenya –Mount Kenya in the background and is home to many rare animals like white rhino and chimpanzees.
After attending my online school in the morning, we set off on our journey from our house in Nairobi to Ol Pajeta national park. Our driver Antony uncle was driving our big car. The journey was beautiful. On the way to Ol Pajeta, we saw the rainy mountains of Aberdere and the tallest mountain in Kenya-Mount Kenya, the peak of which is covered with snow. I slept a bit because I wanted to stay awake for the night safari. We completed the 4 hour journey and reached Ol Pajeta at 4 pm.
Our first safari-the rhino attack
After paying the park fees, we started our first safari in our own car. We saw some deers and zebras crossing the kutcha road. We went further inside the park to see many more animals. While going towards elephant dam our car got stuck in the mud. Antony uncle pushed the car out of the mud with great strength. I was scared a bit but we continued the safari.
I saw a huge animal at a distance. We went closer to see who it is. When we went closer, guess what it was? A huge rhino with her baby. They were eating grass. We decided to park our vehicle and observe them. They kept coming close to our car and we couldn’t move.
But when they came at a touching distance to the car, we had to drive away. But while we were driving away, the Mumma rhino felt that we would attack the baby rhino and she came charging at our car.
Thanks to Antony uncle, we just managed to escape the rhino charge by a whisker. I was very scared and told my parents to go to the resort.
I learnt that every mom cares about her baby. I hugged my mom and we went to our resort within the national park. While going back, we saw a fox killing a rabbit. This was a rare experience.
Back to our tent
We reached back to our resort – Sweet Waters Serena camp. The hotel staff welcomed us, checked our body temperature and checked us in. The resort was very beautiful with a garden having trees with a lot of flowers.
There were many animals coming to drink water at the water hole. We saw deers, sambars and zebras near our tent.
The night safari
At 9 pm we reached the resort gate. It was very cold at night. I was wearing thermal, sweater and muffler. For the night safari, we had to take a safari vehicle as our car is not allowed in the night.
Animal eyes shine in the night and that is how our driver was spotting a lot of animals. She spotted giraffes, zebras and deers. I waited for the African big 5 (lions, buffalos, leopards, rhinos and elephants). I was a little scared because the animals were very active. My father spotted a group of buffalos. I was surprised to see the buffalos were still eating in the night as well.
Good Morning – At the equator
We woke up early in the morning at 6 am to see the sunrise. The sunrise was very beautiful with the sky having many colours. I was brushing my teeth just outside our tent, while the Sambars were grazing around. I walked on the equator line and joined my class and showed the equator to my friends and teacher on the video call.
My teacher told me that we will learn more about the equator in the 3rd standard. We saw Mount Kenya from the equator point as the clouds had completely cleared.
An afternoon with endangered animals – white rhinos and chimpanzees
Then we visited a part of the park endangered animals are protected. First, we visited the blind rhino – Baraka. Sadly he could not see with both eyes. It was a rare experience to feed Baraka. My father fed him but I was scared.
Then we left for Nairobi as I had to attend online school. It was a lovely trip to Ol Pajeta as I liked the animals in their home. I will never forget the trip and tell my friends in India and Kenya to visit Ol Pajeta.