This past spring break, 32 Kellogg students traveled to Kenya as part of the Global Immersion in Management (GIM) class and the Global Heath Initiative (GHI) at the Kellogg School of Management. During this two week trip, me and my classmates traveled to Nairobi, Masai Mara and Kisumu. We studied the economy and learned how health care is delivered in Kenya. And we also had the once in a lifetime opportunity to go on a Safari over the weekend..
Before making it to Kenya, we all wondered what it would be like to see a safari, as the vast majority of us had never had the experience before. Prior to arriving, most of us didn’t really have a clue that it would be so much fun, not to mention turn out to be one of the best parts of the GIM trip.
The safari began in from the very minute we landed in Masai Mara, about half way through the trip. And because we took private planes right to the middle of the safari land, upon our arrival, we were immediately excited to see everything the safari had to offer, especially consider the warm weather, which was a stark contrast to the Chicago weather.
On our trip we saw a variety of animals and wildlife. Among others, animals such as giraffes, monkeys, cheetahs, and elephants. But from the first day, the lions stole the show. Not just because they were the most interesting animals but also because they were literally just a few feet from the vans. Further, because they had just had new baby cubs, we saw families sitting together just feet away from the driving path.
On the second day, we saw lions that had just made a kill. While generally this might sound a bit gruesome, it’s not necessarily a unique circumstance, as the animals have to find food in the wild. However, it is unique to see on a safari, so to actually see the kill and feasting first hand was great.
We also saw lots of elephants on the trip. On one of the earlier days we saw elephants close up as they were crossing the street. This scene was great, because we were so close to them, maybe 20 feet away. And it was especially interesting to watch, because the mother elephant crossed first in order to protect the baby elephant. As she crossed, I remember precisely the moment that she looked at the van, where we could tell that she was thinking about protecting her newborn, especially as her ears looked like they had begun to flap. And for just a minute we didn’t know if we were in trouble or not. But fortunately, she continued back to cross the road, while we continued to watch.
Toward the end of the trip, we also went to an elephant nursery, where we learned so much more about the elephants in Kenya and specifically about elephants that had been injured or abandoned and how they were brought to the nursery. It was fun to watch all of them play together in front of the larger crowd of people, and while the attendees at the nursery (in green above) taught us more about the elephants.
What I found most interesting about the safari was that each day we went out we saw lots of animals. Contrary to the popular belief that most trips have one good outing, maybe two, for us all the trips were all full of fun and lively animals. And as a result, the safari was a lot of fun.
Thanks Kellogg, and thanks student organizers for the cool opportunity! Hopefully we’ll have the chance to do it again in the near future.