Baboon Menace

Several weeks ago we were in Nairobi for a few days, doing passport stuff and trying to find the Burundian Embassy, among other things. We had some extra time and decided to try out some more Nairobi touristy stuff. Basically, this means animals. In Europe you visit museums and tour cathedrals. In Kenya, there's not so much of that. So we headed to check out the Nairobi Safari Walk. One of the benefits to being Kenyan residents (NOT citizens, it's like having a greencard in the US) is that all the game parks and attractions are steeply discounted. For example, we paid about $4 each to get into the Safari Walk, and non-residents pay $20.So, the Safari Walk sounds exotic, but in the end, it was just a zoo, and not really a great one. First stop, pygmy hippo. Cool! Except that it wasn't there. Second stop, crocs. There were 2, and neither moved for the 5 minutes we stood there. Third stop, cheetah. Also not there (or hiding). We finally did get to see an animal: the baboon. In fact, they should really name this park the Baboon Walk. There were probably over 50 of them, and none of them stayed in their enclosure. They were swinging around the trees, climbing on bridges, sitting on the boardwalk. It reminded me of a sign we saw recently (not at the zoo), referring to the Baboon Menace (which incidentally also reminds me of Star Wars I). Maggie was fascinated.

In the end, we also saw a white rhino, some gibbons, an albino zebra, a tightly caged female lion, and a cape buffalo. But a far cry from our safaris. Does this mean zoos are ruined for us henceforth? I don't think so...I mean, there are still pandas and polar bears, tigers, penguins, gorillas, etc that we don't get to see here. But Maggie might grow up wondering why all those animals just come in cages.


~sarah said...

My friends are leaving Nairobi today after 2 weeks doing camps with our ministry partners there. We always stop at the Safari Walk, and yeah, it's disappointing. Although, no free range baboons when I was there. THAT was at the National Park (where we got chased by one and I injured my ankle trying to run away...) We did get to pet the cheetah though, the poor, old, decrepit cheetah... And the lion was fed while we were there. It's roar was deafening! That was a cool experience. Did you see the rhino? Separated from us by a ditch and some barbed wire. He totally could've gotten loose if he wanted to! Have you been to the baby elephant preserve thing yet? I really want to go there! Hopefully I'll be in Nairobi with my church next year. I'll let you know. : )

The Drs. McLaughlin said...

it would be great to see you there, Sarah. we have been to the elephant orphanage (did we post on that?). Hakuna cheetah, and we had heard you might get to pet him. Alas. And no lion roar. Just a lioness in a tiny cage. Maybe the baboons teamed up and ate the cheetah.

Sandy said...

Maybe the baboons ate the cheetah. Ha ha ha!