African Safari in Nairobi, Kenya

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there are a handful of experiences one has in a lifetime that will last a lifetime. our african safari in nairobi, kenya this past week was one of them! my husband and i were invited to kenya to deliver our keynote to entrepreneurs and their spouses (basically our favorite audience). it was recommended that we visit nairibi national park before our keynote.

going on safari in africa heading

it’s a short drive from the business area of nairobi and an incredibly unique backdrop of wild animals paired with the city! our hotel offered a car service so we hired a driver for the day. it was surprisingly more affordable than we mentally prepared for ($280 for him to drive us all over the place from 6am-3pm).

our guide’s name was nicholas and he was great!

it’s vital that you get to the park bright and early (even if you’ve only had 5 hours of sleep and a granola bar for breakfast). otherwise, it gets too hot and the animals laze around in the shade, not necessarily along the path for cars.

be sure to bring a credit card and your ID because that is the only way to pay the park entrance fee. it was $86USD for the both of us. worth every penny! there was lots of line cutting during this process so let your guide get the process started. apparently everyone wants to do an african safari and this one is great because it’s close in to nairobi!

we did see a few groups of people around the park in normal, four-door sedan cars. so not the way to experience the park! make sure you hire someone who is driving a poptop for the full experience. when ravery asked nicholas, “can i stand up while you drive?” he said “of course! it’s africa!”

bring a jacket with you as it’s chilly in the morning as the sun comes up!

get ready for a boatload of photos (we took over 500). before we left, we ordered this amazing camera lens and holy smokes – the shots we were able to get from it, damn.

african safari

the first animal we laid eyes upon was none other than PUMBA (the warthog). i need to rewatch the lion king asap, with atlas snuggled into me. of course the reality will be her sitting with me for three minutes before running away.

african safari

african safari

the golden morning light gave the whole experience a deeper feeling of ‘holy shit – we are on an african safari!”

we saw two lions about 10 minutes into our safari. look hard and then don’t have nightmares about how well hidden these predators are.

african safari

african safari

the moment i saw the first giraffe was almost spiritual for me. my heart was close to exploding with excitement. i loooove giraffes and have since i was a kid. to be able to see these majestic creatures roaming in kenya, i felt as though i needed 17 small children to pinch me because it didn’t seem real.

african safari

african safari

we were so close to them!!!! it still doesn’t quite feel real.

african safari

african safari

african safari

african safari

how insane is it that the city is right there?! i was talking with a person that said, “yeah, my drive home is a road along the park. it’s amazing to see giraffes as i drive home from work some days.” um, hell yes that is amazing.

african safari

what’s great about the nairobi national park is that it’s over 45 square miles big so we weren’t constantly seeing the city either. once we drove for about an hour, we were deep in the park and could no longer see the city. there is an electric fence around the property to keep the city and the animals separate.

we continued to see giraffes throughout our time in the park and each time i got more excited than when a kid gets an extra large ice cream cone.

vulture:

african safari

african safari

african safari

it is very bumpy in a lot of parts so if you’re prone to motion sickness, take some dramamine. our driver called this “an african massage!” the cars also kick up a lot of red dirt so be prepared for it to be on your skin, in your nose and to swallow a good portion of it. the taste of africa, if you will.

as we drove, we happened upon a white rhino and HER BABY! it made me miss atlas while also being very grateful she wasn’t born with a horn. also, ace ventura anyone? haha ravery and i had a good laugh remembering the scene when he comes out of the rhino.

african safari

african safari

african safari

the endangered black rhino also resides in this park but is very hostile, territorial and rarely seen. we were happy getting to see the white rhino and her baby!

as we continued to drive, our guide noticed a lion in the distance because apparently his eyes have animal detectors in them.

african safari

we continued to drive and saw a few vehicles parked along the road. nicholas knows what he’s doing because he went a back way and this is what we happened upon:

african safari

a pride of lions (that’s what a pack of lions is called). it was two female lions with their cubs and my heart pounded the entire time i was in their presence.

african safari

african safari

african safari

the mama with her son – see the longer mane growing in?

we saw her hunch down and everyone’s eyes followed. sure enough, there was a heard of zebras and gazelles nearby.

african safari

ravery gets full credit for these incredible shots of the lion. i was videotapping. we passed the nice camera back and forth throughout our journey but i know these ones were all him!

as i’m typing this and looking at these photos, my fight-or-flight response is totally kicking in!

african safari

african safari

african safari

african safari

we waited for a while for her to come back but apparently she was still on the chase. super intense and interesting to see the start of the chase!

buffalos were pretty common through the park.

african safari

seems like a lot of weight on that there head of hers.

african safari

we also got to see a baby african buffalo!

african safari

later in the day, we suddenly saw a heard of buffalos all line up very quickly and then our guide pointed out that two rangers were approaching them. they were getting ready to be on the defense should they get too close. let’s all take a moment to be grateful that is not our job (even while carrying guns).

african safari

african safari

african safari

ostriches are also a thing in this place!

we also saw two little monkeys on our way out!

african safari

“the big five” in africa is what they talk about when referring to the big animals to see while in africa. this includes the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and cape buffalo. in nairobi national park, you can see all of them except the elephant. the leopard is very elusive, our guide has been doing this for 11 years and has only seen a leopard one time!

that’s a hippo in there! we waited for it to pop its head out but unfortunately it sank deeper.

african safari

we saw one heard in a nice straight line of wildabeests too!

african safari

another circle of life shot…

african safari

african safari

african safari

these gorgeous cranes mate for life!

african safari

african safari

we spent 3.5 hours in the park and would highly recommend it! that being said, when we spoke with people at our keynote, there were very surprised at the amount of animals we were able to see. apparently it’s a toss up (obviously, they are wild animals) and not everyone gets as lucky as we did. we still love that this was our first african safari experience! we squeezed a lot in with nicholas that afternoon but that’s another post.

i also took the most attractive photo of ravery.

he posted this on his facebook with a few other photos from this day and people went gaga over him. to the point where i had to tell him, “look. you aren’t that good looking, okay? and you’re a bad speller.” so, that’s how i help keep him humble. (but he really is jaw-droppingly attractive here, but if you’re reading this ravery – don’t get a big head)!

he keeps me humble by saying “you look like you got electrocuted” when i wake up in the mornings. we keep each other grounded. ha!

we plan to come back with atlas (and probably the second kid we plan on having eventually) because it was an incredible experience! we are planning to do one in tanzania in the serengheti in a few years where you do an overnight too! however, you can only experience your first safari once and the african safari in nairobi, kenya was certainly an incredible adventure to have together!

these images are the property of chelsea and ryan avery. should you like to use them or get a print, please contact me at chelsea@thenewwifestyle.com for permission. thank you 🙂

6 Comments

  1. Audrey

    February 14, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Um. Hi. Did I hear you say you plan on going back for another safari with Atlas and also me in tow? Yes? That’s why I thought I heard.
    These pictures KILL me. I seriously gasped at the rhino and her babe, and then those lion cubs??? AH!
    I can’t wrap my head around people who actually HUNT the Big 5. Disgusting. Those who go to appreciate them in their natural habitat and do no harm are living my dreaaaaam.
    Also, hate to help increase his ego 😉 lol, but that picture of Mr. WS is flawless.

  2. Jo Burns

    February 14, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    WOW! what an amazing adventure and photos. They are really good. You two have photos to fill up websites, blogs and fb for a long time. What a phenomenal experience. Thanks for sharing it. I really want to go on photo safari, but my husband isn’t interested….guess I’ll need to take a friend. 🙂

  3. Lisa

    February 14, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    We didn’t get to see a cape buffalo in the Serengeti, but saw the other four! We also camped overnight there for a few nights… I have a LOT of opinions about that! Haha! I’m glad you had such a fun experience!

  4. Sheila

    February 14, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Wow! Just wow! Congrats to you two for dreaming big and following through!

  5. Elyse @ Just Murrayed

    February 16, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    What amazing photos you got! Seriously, jealous over here, Chelsea! Next time you go, I can easily stow away in your luggage!

  6. Vivien

    February 19, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    LOVE the pictures! Thanks for letting me live vicariously through them.
    And I find it great how you and Ryan keep each other grounded. (Pun kind of intended.)

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