Hello Wanderlusters! I recently went to the Giraffe Centre with my good friend Veronica and we had a lovely day full of giraffes, tortoises, nature walks and nice views! Grab your coffee and enjoy!
The Giraffe Centre situated in Karen, Nairobi was established in 1983 as an educational institution that also rescues endangered Rothschild Giraffes, breeds them and returns them back to the wild after 2 years. They also educate young children on environmental conservation having essay competitions that i proudly participated in as a youngster. This saintly act that Jock Leslie- Melville, a Kenyan citizen of British descent and his wife the late Betty Leslie Melville an American citizen took , intrigued me and made me take a visit to the Giraffe Centre one beautiful Saturday Afternoon. I also wanted to relive old memories of feeding giraffes and them licking my face clean. I could even say my first kiss was with a giraffe…yes people, A GIRAFFE!!
My friend and I went by Matatu and it took us around 1 hour due to terrible Nairobi traffic. Then we had to take a motorcycle (my favourite means of transport) from the bus stop to the gates of the centre. We paid for our tickets and asked the kind guards where everything was, and they were more then willing to help.
Once you enter, the first thing you see are the majestic giraffes. That thing is TALL! WHAT! Visitors need to climb stairs where they will be greeted by a guide who will give you giraffe pellets to feed the giraffes. Once you get your pellets, you walk up to the giraffe to feed it one pellet at a time. This was scary! I thought the giraffes will bite my hand off but thankfully i don’t think they have teeth. Giraffes also have the sloppiest tongues but it was all worth it cause they made Veronica and I laugh! We attempted a selfie with the giraffe but he was known for head-butting unsuspecting victims. There are also warthogs! They are simple creatures that really did not do much during my entire experience but i was assured that they are dangerous animals.
After that great time with the giraffes, we went to the exhibition space nearby where you are educated on the different types of Giraffes. From the Rothschild to the Reticulated and finally the Maasai giraffe.
We soon went down to the tortoises. At first we had a hard time finding them cause they hid at a corner but we finally got sight of them. Veronica, the heroine she is, opted to carry a baby tortoise (which im sure is around 20 Years). A nearby vendor told us that tortoises aren’t meant to be carried because they have a pee-defense mechanism that can really damage your skin. We did not know that!
We let the baby tortoise down and proceeded to the souvenir shops that has a lot of giraffe trinkets that you can take home. My favourite has a giraffe snow globe! (Full of confetti)
We then proceeded to the nature walk that has two trails; ndege and jocks trail. We took the ndege trail that led us to Gogo River (more of a stream) and proceeded with the trail to where it will finally take us. We took in the beautiful greenery as we walked and found a little waterfall that clumsy Christine fell in. 😀
We also spotted some weird looking mushrooms and caterpillars. I felt like i was Lara Croft. Someone might jump at us and i will have to use my POOR tae-kwon-do skills. But finally we arrived at the final view point where ,sorry to say, i was disappointed. They view was not grand but it was nice. It was already time to head back for lunch.
All in all, the Giraffe Centre is a must stop for anyone whilst in Nairobi. Though the activities are not that many, you will enjoy the few hours you will spend there! Have a lovely day! 🙂