For an animal lover, one of the great things about Nairobi, Kenya is the fact that you can get up close and personal with your favourite animals, just a few minutes from the city centre!
During my last stop over in Nairobi, I visited the Nairobi Animal Orphanage and the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. This time, I couldn’t leave without visiting my absolute favourite animals (Giraffes) at the Giraffe Centre.
I’d visited the Giraffe Centre before however, it was a long time ago and my memory of the place was distant. I was excited to go back, and I was looking forward to feeding the Giraffes.
About Giraffe Centre
The Giraffe Centre was founded in 1979 to look after, protect and breed the endangered Rothschild’s Giraffe, a species of Giraffes found only in East Africa. The Rothschild’s Giraffe can be identified from its lower legs which are plain white, without any markings. The Giraffe Centre is currently looking after and breeding 12 Giraffes with baby Giraffes released into the wild at the age of 2-3 years.
I discovered that the Giraffe Centre is right next to Giraffe Manor, a beautiful boutique hotel that I’ve been eyeing on Instagram for its stunning imagery! The same Giraffes at the Giraffe Centre visit the Giraffe Manor in the mornings and evenings and often share breakfast with hotel guests. It’s a very exclusive hotel though and one has to book their stay months in advance.
Back at the Giraffe Centre, the Giraffes coexist with a few Warthogs as they usually do in the wild. Giraffes and Warthogs have an interesting relationship. Warthogs rely on Giraffes for their good eyesight and ability to spot danger from afar due to their height, while Giraffes keep Warthogs around because the Warthogs’ poor memory makes them an easy target for predators, thus allowing the Giraffes to get away, when faced with danger.
Feeding the Giraffes
The centre has two main feeding stations where we patiently waited as one of the guides lured the Giraffes towards us. When the Giraffes were finally close, I couldn’t help but marvel at how graceful, gentle and beautiful they are, to every detail, my favourite being their eyes. Giraffes look like they wear permanent eyeliner and mascara. The staff at the centre are extremely helpful and they made sure everyone got to feed and take a picture with a Giraffe. Thanks Newton, Maurice and Nicholas – you really made the trip worthwhile!
The Nature Trail
I got to go on a nature trail as well during my visit to the Giraffe Centre. If you know me, you know I love some greenery and the trail was a calm stroll through the forest sanctuary where the Giraffes feed. I learnt more about the centre, how the Giraffes are looked after and what exactly they feed on. Again, my guide was very knowledgeable which made the stroll that much better. At the end of the walk, we came to a beautiful view point of the lustrous Ngong Hills.