Museums are home to millions of works of art. However, that doesn’t prevent them from being works of art themselves. This sentiment is more evident as I feast my eyes to the National Museums of Kenya.
Located a few minutes from the CBD, you can spend hours in this gem right in the heart of the city at only a cover charge of Sh200 for adults and Sh100 for children. As soon as you walk in, the film Night At The Museum comes to mind. Every minute, you’re at the museum, you expect, just like in the film, it will come alive.
Wouldn’t that be both thrilling and terrifying? The king of the dinosaurs would be a sight to behold, that’s for sure. In the mammals’ den, where the king of the jungle and all the other animals stand, we spot a squirrel that hangs alongside the bats. We move on to the evolution of man’s den. You get a sense of nostalgia.
It’s like being back in an evolution class with life size figures of cave men. It’s pretty cool. Charles Darwin would be proud. And with that, we make an entry into the Aga Khan Hall, under construction.
Adjacent to it is where the story of Kenya is told. Once again, you relive your history and social studies or GHC lessons. Freedom fighters’ stories are well documented, and can be time-consuming as you go through the many accounts as videos are played narrating the independence and pre-independence stories.
We also came across a movie theatre sort-of-room complete with seats and the old fashioned movie-reel that serve clips in black and white. This was my favourite bit of the tour.
One the walls, pictures of our leaders dating back to pre-colonial times are displayed. You get a feel Kenya’s heritage whilst understanding slavery and colonialism.
This leads us to the birds hall, where are all sorts of birds are displayed. We then made our way to the Snake Park or should I say the reptiles’ park.
We were welcomed by tortoises walking around in their sunken park. Beside it, all around us were glass cages hosting snakes. If you scare easy, you may want to stay far away.
However, the snakes are well enclosed behind protective glass. The puff adder particularly doesn’t like people getting too close thus, move along swiftly and over to the crocodiles.
They laze around, some in their ponds and others outside with their eyes half-open behind the barbed wire. Don’t let that fool you though. They are wide awake. We also got to hang out with the fishes (and no, we didn’t find Nemo).
Next time. After exiting the Snake Park, we took a stroll around the serene garden, before finding ourselves on a caffeine hunt at Vogue Café, within the facility. PS, catch a chocolate muffin. You’ll thank me!