Kalson's Kona

Let me share with you a little known story about an elephant named Ahmed. His is a story of love and leadership.

Ahmed was born in 1919 or thereabouts and lived in Marsabit National Park, in the former North Eastern Province of Kenya. Ahmed's tusks were so big, they almost touched the ground. He was a shy and elusive animal but his legend surpassed him, earning him the nickname 'King of Marsabit'.

Sadly that which made him so great (his mighty tusks), also made him vulnerable to poachers. The release of three films featuring Ahmed in the 1970's and the increased threat of poaching, lead to a letter-writing campaign by Kenyan schoolchildren to the first president of Kenya, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, asking him to protect the elephant. The campaign lead to an exceptional decree by the president to make Ahmed a "Living National Treasure" and five armed rangers were assigned to protect him, day and night.

Ahmed died of natural causes in January of 1974 and he is immortalized with a monument of his likeness at the Nairobi National Museum.

The museum is a great place to find out about Kenyan art and history. It also hosts a permanent collection of Louis Leakey's early human fossils.  Leakey's work was important in demonstrating that humans evolved from more primitive life forms right here in Africa... cool eh!

Adjacent to the museum is the Nairobi Snake Park where you get a chance to see a sample of some of Kenya's reptiles. The museum is located in a spacious property with ample green space to relax and get away from the energy and excitement of the Nairobi hustle.

It's a wonderful place to take your kids—you can pack a lunch or enjoy the offerings at Vogue Cafe on the premises.

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