Nguuni Nature Sanctuary: Mombasa, Kenya
January 1, 1970
by Sofia Salim
Just by the mention of Mombasa City in Kenya, all that clicks in your mind immediately is the white sandy beaches and the luxurious hotels. A lot of activities that most people engage in always revolve around the waters: snorkeling, surfing, dhow races, scuba diving or actually a visit to the historical sites such as the Fort Jesus, Gedi ruins and the Museums. But there is actually more to the usual swims, sun baths and strolls at the sea shore.
If you are looking for a change of adventure, how about a visit to an animal sanctuary? Yes, and i don’t mean visit the famous Haller Park, am talking about a little discovery i made. A location that has been lying under my nose all this while, but i had not yet taken notice of it. I love adventure and an additional activity checked in my bucket list is always what i look forward to.
Location & Accommodation
So the little discovery is the Nguuni Nature Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is part of the Baobab Farm. It is located along Nguu Tatu Hills in Kiembeni area Mombasa. I live in Bamburi, along the Old Malindi Road and this is just approximately a 20 minutes drive to the sanctuary. For the non-residents who are there to tour the city there are several awesome hotels to stay in. The Sarova Whitesands, Kenya Bay Beach Hotel or the Severin Sea Lodge and many others. All these are located along the Mombasa Malindi Highway hence close to Bamburi.
I cannot finally wait to finally explore this reserve. It is unbelievable that wildlife is being hosted right next to my neighborhood.
The sanctuary is open everyday from 8 am to 6 pm. We decide to set off one Saturday mid-morning. Who else to bring if not from my sister, niece and friend who all are fanatics of get-ways. These are just the right motivation and perfect people for exploration. I know deep down this is going to be an awesome experience and the beginning to many more several trips there.
Nguuni Nature Sanctuary
After a few kilometers we arrive at our destination. It is a whole new world. The air is totally different. The surrounding feels like that of the Tsavo or the Mara Game Reserves. Believe you me it feels like a teleportation to another environment. I myself was finding it hard to believe that my home was a stone throw away. So this is all i had been missing out on. From my background research, the sanctuary is home to Ostriches (i have spent time with ostriches before but that’s a story for another day), Elands, Oryx, Giraffes and several bird species. My fascination was the giraffes. I mean who wouldn’t want to spend time with the animal that towers highest above the ground.
One thing i loved about this place is that it is pocket friendly. As residents, we paid 300 Kenya shillings for adults. For those who are willing to book a table as a group just to chill out,no worries the charges are only 2000 Kenya shillings.
There are a lot of activities one can engage in at the sanctuary. They range from game drives, a visit to the ostrich farm, elands & oryx farm, feed the giraffes, take a bird walk, bird watching, sit by the campfire and get to catch a glimpse of the exquisite sunset behind the Nguu Tatu Hills. I know by now you already feel like packing up and taking a trip to the sanctuary 😀
So we get a chance to take the game drive along the sanctuary. I couldn’t help but fall in love with mother nature and drool over the scenic and epic terrains and surrounding.
Our first stop is the ostrich farm. We encounter another nature’s wonder. Small head, long necks attached to the large feathered bodies, winged but cannot fly. We walk across the ostrich pens as the guide gives us all the fascinating information about this flightless bird:how they are bred, fed and reared. It is amazing how every part of it is useful; the eggs, egg-shells, meat, feathers and leather. I have had a taste of ostrich egg and meat before and it is definitely a menu you should try. The ostrich egg is approximately 24 chicken eggs and they hatch after 42 days. My niece is definitely intrigued by the size of the egg. It something out of the ordinary for her.
The clock ticks afternoon and it’s time for the kids to have a lunch break. We carried with us snacks and drinks. Its a precaution to always have munchies when you carry children with you. Its no big deal though for those who do not have food. there are restaurants near the sanctuary. These include Turkey Base, Tangerine Cafe, Sensera Pub and Restaurant, The Dotcom Restaurant and New Dark Room Cafe. Within the sanctuary there are several picnic areas. We have Turkana, Birder’s Banda, Mbuni and Acada Picnic Sites. So we sit, feed and relax as we wait for our next expedition.
My anticipation is soon becoming a reality. We are now at the giraffe farm. It is amazing how you get to feel like dwarfs standing next to them. The long necks, long legs and the beautiful patterns are features i kept my eyes glued to. It was interesting to learn that the patterns may look similar but are not exactly the same for all giraffes. I also fell in love with the fact that they are not enclosed. They wander close to you and are super friendly. They even seemed to pose for selfies. We were handed with pellets and actually fed them! It was just magical.
Unfortunately time went by fast and we had to start leaving. We did not want to keep the kids out late for long so this meant i had to miss the sunset. All is not lost anyways i know i will be back soon. And this time i will be there seated at the campfire, waiting to experience the enchanting sunset behind the Nguu Tatu hills.
So folks i just gave you a tip. Next time you are down the coast, don’t only fall in love with the white sandy beaches but also get a chance to explore the green and serene Nguuni Nature Sanctuary. It’s an experience to live for.
Thank me later 🙂
#Mombasa #Adventure #NguuniNatureSanctuary