Always on the look out for colour inspiration, I was excited when a friend invited me to Nairobi for a few days. With just a short amount of time I never realized there was so much to do and see in Nairobi and what an effect it would have on me. Here are the highlights of my trip.
The Hotel Villa Rosa Kempinski
We stayed in the beautiful Villa Rosa Kempinski hotel located in the Westlands area, just a few kilometers from the commercial centre. Painted in a beautiful dusty pink, the Villa Rosa Keminski is one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in and it came as no surprise when my taxi driver told me Barak Obama had stayed there when he visited.
Instinctively I was drawn to the decor and colours of the hotel. A focal point in the lounge, located in the reception area, is a colourful hanging sculpture which complemented the jewel coloured carpet, in an otherwise neutral colour palette.
Nairobi National Museum
Very close to the hotel is the Nairobi National Museum and I was glad to make it my first stop. Once you pay to enter, a knowledgeable guide takes you through the sections you are interested in. It was fascinating to learn the history of Kenya right up to the present day.
Karen Blixen Museum
Around 30 minutes from the museum (depending on the traffic) is another must see when visiting Nairobi – the Karen Blixen Museum. Karen wrote the book Out of Africa on which the movie with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford is based. The Museum is the house and property where she lived and on which the book is based, with many original items belonging to the farm still there – like this rusty tractor. Again very informative guides give you the history of the house and the story of her life. I had not realised what an amazing artist she was. After visiting I definitely plan to read Out of Africa again.
A short drive from the Karen Blixen Museum is Giraffe Manor. Getting this close to giraffes is incredible, in an instant material things become insignificant as you realise the true magnificence and importance of nature. It was great to see school buses arriving and that Kenyans realise educating the youth is essential to sustain nature conservation. Tourism is one of the most important forms of revenue for Kenya.
The David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage
The best birthday present I received was from my daughter last year. She adopted this adorable little elephant Esampu as a gift for me. It was so special to visit the orphanage and get to see Esampu as well as all of the 26 orphans. It is so sad that poaching is threatening the very existence of elephants and rhinos. Thank goodness for the rangers and people like the Sheldricks that risk their lives to save these wonderful animals.
More information on the orphans and the foster program can be learned on the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust website. It is a wonderful gift for the person you don’t know what to get. If you are looking for a good book to read I can highly recommend Daphne Sheldricks book – Love, Life and Elephants.
When you witness the plight of the wildlife in Africa, you realize how important it is to protect them. I went to Nairobi with the goal to get some colour inspiration, the closeness to nature turned out to be colour for my soul. I look forward to going back to Kenya as I would love to go to the Masai Mara to see the wildlife and Watamu on the coast to see the turtles.
I hope you manage to connect with nature this week and get some colour for your soul.