Atop Kenya’s third-tallest building, we got a windy, 360-degree view of Nairobi and its skyscrapers from 28 stories up.
It’s a sprawling, bustling capital city of more than 3 million residents. Crowds of people filled the sidewalks and cars whizzed around roundabouts riddled with potholes. We held our breath as our driver wove in and out of dense traffic, few street signs or speed limits posted. At one point, traffic slowed to a standstill in the middle of the day and our driver put the car in park while men walked among the rows of halted cars to sell newspapers, candy or bananas.
Even in our short visit to Nairobi, we saw the dichotomy of the city, passing slums and gated mansions. And everywhere we went, security was ever-present. Guards with metal detectors stopped us at every grocery store and greeted us at the entrance of every building or mall.
But for all the chaos Nairobi displayed, we didn’t have to go far to see Kenya’s beauty and famous wildlife.
Within the green, lush Nairobi National Park, we marveled at baby elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an orphanage for black rhinos and elephants. The elephants paraded down a hill to the crowd of onlookers to feed on oversized bottles of milk and tree leaves. Many of them get trapped in wells, the guides told us, before being rescued, nursed and reintroduced into the wild.
A short distance away, we visited the Giraffe Centre, which protects endangered Rothschild’s giraffes and allows visitors to feed the impressive animals up close.
As we left, a sign warned drivers to slow down — giraffe crossing.