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nguuni nature sanctuary

A tale of elands and pizza

· Landed ·

We were supposed to get there, lay out our pizza and drinks, and just chill as we awaited the sunset. It’s our favorite thing to do. Here, you get to see giraffes, with the setting sun as a perfect back drop. It never disappoints, it’s like clockwork.

Sometimes we make changes. Like, say, the kind of drink we will use. Or even what we get to snack on. The constant is, that we never over think our trip and we always have the best time. We were not going to overthink it this time, either.

Most of the preparation involves what one is gonna wear for that perfect shot, and depending on the weather, to make sure one is not over/under dressed.

When we set out that day, no one would have expected what awaited us. One never does. The process is straightforward: get to the gate, pay, then proceed to our sunset spot. Only, this time we decided to walk through the park and listen to the chirping birds and all that. We had time.

We took hundreds of pictures. You know how it is? Most of them that will probably never see the light of day. It’s also a really dope place to have nice conversations. The air is fresh, the only “noise” is that from hundreds of species of birds. It really is the perfect place.

I’ve talked about Nguuni Nature Sanctuary at least twice on this blog. BTW I’m elated any time you write to me and say you went somewhere cuz you read it on the blog. That is a really cool thing. Haven’t visited the nature sanctuary yet? You should. It’s in Kiembeni, in Mombasa, and you never find crowds there. It is one of my favorite place to spend my afternoons. The guides there are friendly, there’s lots to do, plus you pay an entrance fee of only 350 kes. Oh, and they have a community center where they help the locals.

Must be the pizza  😋 

So anyway, here’s a bunch of 4 girls walking towards our spot. Armed with pizza, cameras, phones, drinks, and a few other stuff that one would ordinarily bring. Now, the thing with most of my friends is that they demand lots of pictures. The thing with me, is that I like taking hundreds of pictures of animals. What I learned that day, is that such a combination could be a certain recipe for disaster.

By now you must know that I respect animals and my hope is that they do the same. I enjoy game rides. I love watching buffaloes, elephants… my god, I adore elephants. But there has to be boundaries. I know where mine are drawn, and it’s always (mostly) been reciprocated. Writing this, I now realize I’ve had quite the adventure with animals.

Today’s story, however, is about elands in the beautiful Nguuni Nature Sanctuary. Them and my friends. Back to our walk. We are almost at our spot when we see a group of elands. There is a really young one who seems to be suckling off their mother. It’s not every day that you see such a perfect family picture. I take lots of pictures. They are all very calm, clearly oblivious of our presence. Or so we thought.

All this time, one of my friends want to be in the family shot. Others, I think two of them, are taking pictures behind us. I’m behind the camera (as always?). Everything changes in a matter of seconds. I shout “this thing is about to attack”. One second I was directing K on how to pose so we get the best shot, the other I’m seeing R sprinting with the pizza above her shoulders. For some reason R chose to run straight ahead. The rest of us took a detour to the left, and into the bushes. So unlike us cuz the only time we’re running is away from bad vibes and poverty.

The huge male eland was headed right towards us. Phones were dropped. Hearts dropped even lower, but we all kept running even though I could hear C in the distance saying that animals don’t like when you run. Is this factual? What I know is that running saved our lives that day.

Elands attack and strike really close to your heart. Their horns are so crazy, they’d protrude right to the other side. There is no way anyone can survive such an attack.

We survived, and like the fools we are, started laughing almost immediately. We hid behind a huge tree where we thought we were safe and where we felt we could easily spot the eland, if it came back. It lingered for a bit then went away. We tried to go up a tree. Again, is this the right thing to do? Three of us couldn’t make it up, mostly because we’re very silly people.

When I took this picture I was dying of laughter 🤣🤣🤣🤣 

Help came after a few calls. We were hysterical from a combination of fear and laughter. Finally at our spot, everything went like we had imagined.

Leave tall things wild

The craziest thing about all this is I don’t have ANY image of the family of elands. Let’s not make this a post of whether it was worth it or nah 😭😭😭 

Here’s a poor-quality pic of the attacker

I guess what I’m saying is visit Nguuni nature sanctuary. I’m also saying that you should be very careful when it comes to animals with young ones – they get very protective. I also need to say that you should get friends who don’t drop the pizza when shit hits the fan. Cuz otherwise what would we have eaten?

Watch the videos: https://vm.tiktok.com/JY8JP8m/ and https://vm.tiktok.com/JYR3qEx/

Cheers to real friends!

BTW, head to the shop and see if any of the games interest you. At least one should 😉