About 10 years ago, while driving through the park on a Saturday afternoon, I suddenly noticed a lioness walking towards the lone tree. After arriving at the tree, she amazingly actually climbed up the small tree, and then proceeded to give low, roaring calls. Within minutes, two large cubs came running through the grass and stopped below the tree, as if to say, “Hi Mum, have you seen dinner yet?”
It is rare to see lions up trees, and especially up a tree like the lone tree, yet amazingly, over a period of many years, I have personally seen lions up this tree on two occasions. The other incident involved a young lion climbing up and then his mother standing on her hind legs, as if trying to get him to come down.
The history of the park and this particular tree is interesting. It is recorded that the area at one time was an open wild area, and during the 2nd World War, was used by the RAF for target bombing. Legend has it that a shell landed at the tree site and killed some lions, and it is strange that lions uded to frequent the area where the lone tree used to stand.
The tree that used to stand near no5 junction was a replacement of the original tree, which sadly died and fell down about two years ago.
We cannot bring back the past, but it is important that we remember and record the past. Amazingly, even though there are tremendous challenges, the Nairobi lions still continue to survive and even thrive in the Nairobi National Park. If you are looking for somewhere to go to “escape the maddening crowd”, then the Nairobi Park is such a place.
The park is open daily from 06h00 to 19h00.
For more information, visit www.kws.org or www.nairobigreenline.org or on Facebook.