Friday, July 6, 2012

Impala Sanctuary...with the AFC Leopards

Impala Sanctuary

On Sunday, after I had "recovered" from my fauxlaria, I just happened to have lunch with the AFC Leopards at the Impala Sanctuary in Kisumu.

Hmm...let me explain.

The AFC Leopards are a professional football team here in Kenya (that's soccer to you Americans). They just so happen to be sponsored by Mumias Sugar and Pam is sort of the team mom. The team was in Mumias for a couple of weeks for training and a game. Pam wanted to take them on a field trip, so she had arranged a bus to Kisumu and a lunch at the Impala Sanctuary. Pam was kind enough to invite the ACCT International participants who were in Mumias along for the field trip. Most of the students rode on the bus with the team. However, due to my still delicate intestinal situation, Cale and I rode with Dani in the truck with Kwena and Athman.

From my experience, the Impala Sanctuary is a zoo in Kisumu. And a sort of sad zoo at that. Granted there are impalas and zebras wandering the grounds uncaged. Leslie and Meredith survived a zebra stampede of sorts. I did not see any zebras myself.

Impala Sanctuary

However, what little else I saw were large animals in small cages looking sad. There was a white rhino missing its horn in a tiny enclosure and a cheetah looking like it desperately wanted out to eat the people staring at it from the other side of a chain link fence. In general, these sorts of zoos make me sad, so I decided not to continue exploring.

However, according to the Kenya Wildlife Service web site, there may be more to the sanctuary than I saw:

"The Sanctuary, grassland and woodlands ecosystem is located about 3km from Kisumu city. The ecosystem hosts leopards, hyena, olive baboons and vervet monkeys. It also provides grazing lands for Hippos, habitat for numerous small mammals including the threatened Sitatunga, and supports a variety of reptiles and birds species."

After lunch, Cale and I went in search of a guesthouse for the night. The plan was for us to spend the night and for Dr. W to come back the next morning so we could continue on together to another town about two hours away where two of our interns would be staying the last three weeks of their internships. Due to extenuating circumstances the next morning, that I cannot remember now, Dr. W. was not able to meet us. Instead, Cale and I rented a taxi (with the assistance of Leslie's host mom) and made the journey ourselves. We took a look at the homestay house, gave it our seal of approval, turned around and headed back to Kisumu.

It was a long day and we stayed in Kisumu once again. We had dinner at Haandi, which I highly recommend, and drinks at Green Garden, which I also highly recommend. The next day we caught a matatu back to Mumias. We made the mistake of getting on one that went to Kakamega first, so a journey we thought might take two hours took four. In addition, during one point when the matatu stopped to pick up an additional passenger, the conductor added a box to the trunk and failed to latch it properly. After we had continued down a road just a bit, we stopped suddenly and the conductor ran out. Cale and I looked back to see that the trunk had swung open and our bag had fallen out on the side of the road. The conductor was running back to pick it up. We appreciated him.

More later.

— Sara

1 comment:

Jordan said...

I concur. This was a really sad little zoo. There were a smattering of caged baboons when we were there which seemed silly- there are baboons every where in Kenya, why cage them? And a couple scary African buffalo in a tiny enclosure. Why?! It was interesting to walk around and see zebra and impala close up. And, theoretically, it hopefully let to a greater appreciation of their wildlife on the part of the Kenyans who live in that area, but overall, it was mostly just kind of sad.