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Sheba the Cheetah

East Africa is a glorious destination where a tapestry of cultures merge to overwhelm the senses. In this particular area, the smiles of the Maasai greeted me and a young Samburu boy took me on a walking safari. Luckily, the sun was at its peak and wild animals were too hot and lazy to even sniff in my direction.

On the other hand, animals were very keen to approach me back at the lodge. Nestled into a couch in an open living area at the Sirikoi House (at Lewa Conservancy) I sipped a cup of tea, in my own world as I relished the beauty. The owner of the lodge is a conservationist and has adopted a number of wild animals, rearing them from infancy. Earlier that day I delighted in feeding a baby giraffe milk from an over-sized bottle, and giggled as wild birds chased me around the property in hopes of getting my last morsel of bread. This, for a New York City girl, was already quite wild.

Wild. Until a cheetah pounced onto the couch where I was quietly enjoying a cup of tea. I sat frozen as he began to nuzzle me, pleading for some attention. I did what any obliging and terrified person would do and scratched him behind his ears.

Sirikoi House (at Lewa Conservancy) is a piece of heaven where the human and animal worlds reside peacefully.

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