Saturday, July 24, 2010
Nairobi July 24, 2010 Elephant Orphanage and Nairobi National Museum
We overslept! We had to jump up to meet our driver. We got up and ready in 40 minutes and met our driver, Simon, in the lobby. He drove us to the Daphne Sheldrich Elephant Orphanage. When we arrived we lined up along a rope and waited for the baby elephants. Soon they came running out to the keepers who had giant bottles of milk formula to feed them. They were darling! After eating, they rompered and played with each other in the dirt, water, and mud. They each had their own personality and name. I had never seen so many baby elephants in one place. One of the keepers gave a talk on the rescue and raising of the elephants. Eventually they would be returned to the wild.
The second group of elephants was a little older and played roughly with each other. Some of us got to touch them - very rough and muddy.
After the orphanage, Simon took us to the Nairobi National Museum. We had a grilled chicken lunch at a small restaurant there along with two begging cats. (Kathy couldn't resist feeding them some chicken.)
It was very exciting to visit the museum. We went straight to the "Cradle of Mankind" wing and saw a very good exhibit of skulls and early hominids along with a timeline of their evolution. But the real highlight was the back room where they kept the original skulls of early humans which had added the most to our understanding of human evolution. The skulls were kept in temperature and motion sensitive cases. They even had the almost-complete skeleton of Turkana boy - what a thrill!
The museum also contains African artifacts from many different Kenyan tribes and an enormous stuffed bird collection.
I bought several posters at the gift shop. Kathy bought a beautiful ruby and emerald (the Kenyan colors) necklace at another shop.
We took a cab ride back to the hotel and sat around the pool and talked through