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Keepers of the wild

Lauren Jarvis visits Kenya’s Nairobi National Park, the Masai Mara, Amboseli and Shimba Hills, and discovers the crucial role the nation’s people are playing in protecting its animals
Credit: William Davies, iStock

We bump our way through Nairobi National Park as the sun sinks behind the acacias, painting a golden wash over the distinctive greens and ochres of the African bush.

It’s my last day of a week-long trip to Kenya, during which four of the country’s fantastic five have stood up to be counted: elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard (yes, I’m including the fleeting view of a tail as it vanished into the night: I definitely saw spots…). I’ve been lucky, and as I head back to camp for my last sundowner, I’m happily resigned to leave the last biggie — the elusive rhino — for next time.

But Africa is a land of surprises. From the corner of my eye I catch some movement and turn to see a tonne of most likely surprised and defi nitely disgruntled black rhino storming from the bush for an 11th-hour farewell — an over-zealous guest who doesn’t want to miss the party. Before gatecrashing into our Land Cruiser the bluffing diva thankfully slows, stops and raises its huge horn, outlined and echoed by a distant glassy skyscraper that rises from Nairobi’s hazy urban sprawl, reflecting the last light of the Kenyan day.

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About Travel Africa

Transfixed by Ethiopia • Lake Kariba • Kolmanskop, Namibia's ghost town • South Africa on a shoestring • Looking for lemurs in Madagascar • Kenya's keepers of the wild • Why Bengweulu is so bewitching • Remote Ruaha • Sail away to St Helena • Chimps in Uganda • Picture-perfect Tuli... and much more!
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