Locusts and Ebola = time to go home.

Trip Start Dec 02, 2007
Trip End Dec 09, 2007

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Flag of Kenya  ,
Saturday, December 8, 2007

Listening to the news around here is starting to freak me out a
bit.  It turns out there's a locust cloud moving through Kenya at
the moment, eating everything in its path.  In Uganda, just across
the border, there's an outbreak of Ebola virus.  Sounds like time
for me to leave!

Today was an okay day.  I slept in abit (but not too late - I want
desperately to sleep tonight) andthen met up with Julien, my cab driver
for the day.  He took me around to the Nairobi Animal sanctuary,
where they rescue abandoned animals. Immediately upon entry there, I
was greeted by a volunteer guide.  He insisted on telling me every
detail about every animal.  Then, when we came to the lions,
another man showed up, and my guide motioned for me to join him. 
We went 'backstage', behind the cages, and into a small hut.  In
it were the abandoned baby animals - a tine cheetah and lion. 
Before I knew it, my guide had taken my camera away and I was holding a
baby lion in my arms.  They tried to get me to hold the cheetah,
but it was not having any of it, and I really wasn't into holding an
animal that didn't want to be held. 

Then things turned a little sour.  As we were leaving, it was
suggested that I 'appreciate' the experience appropriately.  Then
my guide told me to be sure not to tell anyone what I had done, and
certainly not to show them the pictures.  It was only then that I
really realized that that was not a normal part of the tour.  I
immediately felt unwell about the whole thing.  It's not permitted
for people to hold and pet the animals because it ruins their chances
of being able to be reintroduced to the wild.  It really made me
unhappy that I'd contributed to that, even though holding that little
Simba lion was great. 

Then my driver took me to the Giraffe centre.  Again, not a great
experience.  The giraffes are basically encouraged to stand around
all day waiting for tourists tocome and feed them.  I was
generally unhappy about the experience - I was expecting to see
something a little more 'natural' and a little less exploitative. 

Generally, not a great day. I'd not recommend those two places for
anyone who loves animals - it was a bit upsetting.  Instead, if I
could do it again and wanted to see animals, I would have booked myself
on a one-day safari and seen them in the wild.
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