Giraffe center in Nairobi
Giraffe Centre in nairobi is an amazing destination to visit while in Nairobi. Giraffe Centre started as a rehabilitation project to rescue the endangered Rothschild giraffe which are only found in the grasslands of Kenya and Murchison falls national park in Uganda. It is located in Langata and was founded in 1979 as a breeding Centre for the endangered Rothschild giraffe.
History of the giraffe Centre
The Giraffe Centre which is also known as the Africa Fund for Endagered Wildlife (AFEW) started as a breeding program for the Rothschild giraffes in 1979 and was funded by Jock Leslie-Melville and his wife Betty. The two were nature loving people and decided to take action on the decline of the giraffes which were becoming extinct due to the loss of their habitat in western Kenya because at that time the number of the Rothschild giraffes was estimated to be only 130 remaining in the wild.
Leslie Melville and the wife started with two young giraffes a male and a female which were reared at their home in Langata and then later started a breeding program. The two of them registered the organization with the US which opened up the Centre to donations from willing US citizens. The organization began at a time when there were only 130 Rothschild giraffes existing in western Kenya but now the number increased to about 1,500 giraffes. Over the years, the Giraffe Centre reintroduced breeding pairs of giraffe species in Kenya national park, Lake Nakuru national park and Ruma national park.
Leslie Melville’s completed the work on environmental education and opened the visitors Centre to the general public for the first time in 1983 mainly to spread awareness of the Rothschild giraffe’s plight to a wider audience.
Things to do at the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi
When you enter the Giraffe Centre you will walk through a series of information boards where you will be able to learn about the giraffes and other wildlife at the Centre before you get to meet or have a face to face interaction with them.
When you enter the Giraffe Centre you are given a small bag of pellets to feed the giraffes, there are two main feeding area at the Centre that is a low feeding area where the giraffes tower above you and a built platform where you will be at the same level with the giraffes therefore you can choose one or feed from both areas. The giraffes are friendly and the experience is extra ordinary. when feeding the giraffes give them one pellet at a time using your thumb and index finger to hold the pellet, do not tease the giraffes because it will make them upset and you are not allowed to make loud noises or sudden movements when feeding them.
When you want to kiss a giraffe, you will place a pellet in your mouth when feeding them and then the giraffes will come up and take it hence giving you a big sloppy kiss in the process which is known as kissing the giraffe.
The Giraffe Centre is also a home of various bird species therefore the bird lovers will get an opportunity of spotting various bird species and animals like the warthogs, hyenas, dik-dik, bushbucks, monkeys among others which are viewed at Gogo river on Ngong hill.
Evening relaxation, on your tour at the Giraffe Centre you can have an evening relation at the tea house where you will be able to watch the giraffes, warthogs playing in the mud, interact with new people and enjoy Kenyan cousins. The tea house was the original house of Leslie Melvile couple
When to visit the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi
The Giraffe Centre in Nairobi is an incredible place that can be visited any time throughout the year and the best time to visit is during the weekdays or morning hours because during the weekends the Centre gets over crowded by hundreds of visitors. The Giraffe Centre opens every day from 9:00am to 5:00pm including weekends and public holidays.
Cost of visiting the Giraffe Centre
Every visitor who wants to visit the giraffe Centre is required to pay entrance fees which cost $10 for foreign non-resident adults, $5 for foreign non-resident children, Ksh 250 Kenyan resident adults, Ksh 50 Kenyan resident children and school groups that book for a trip one week in advance enter freely. The giraffe Centre however only accepts M-Pesa or credit cards.
How to get to Giraffe Centre Nairobi
The giraffe Centre is located 5km away from Nairobi therefore when getting to the Centre, you will fly to Jomo Kenyatta international airport and then connect by road to giraffe Centre. When using road you can either use a tour company like Achieve Global safari where you will travel in a safari vehicle, hire a taxi, use uber or even drive yourself to the Centre and the journey from the airport takes about 40 minutes’ drive.
Giraffe Centre Nairobi is an amazing place to visit where you will have breathtaking and unforgettable experiences of feeding, kissing and having a face to face interaction with the giraffes. on your safari in Nairobi you shouldn’t miss out visiting the giraffe Centre.