The African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) in Kenya conducts conservation work throughout the country. But, by far, their most famous project is the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Kenya’s capital, the Giraffe Centre gives us the opportunity to come eye-to-eye with these gentle, graceful creatures.
As you mount the stairs, a ranger issues you with a handful of pellets. Now that you are at eye (and mouth) level with these giants, you can see up close their beautiful long eyelashes and long blue tongue. They hungrily eye off the pellets and if you are a bit slow in feeding them, you may receive a gently head-butt as a reminder. And if you are super-keen to get personal with them, simply pop a pellet between your teeth and get a big sloppy giraffe kiss!
The centre is home to Rothschild Giraffes and the AFEW has a breeding program to prevent this endangered species from becoming extinct. They also conduct conservation education for Kenyan youth and teachers. Your entry fee as a tourist goes towards this work and helps the AFEW offer free entry to Kenyan children. The staff also present information sessions at various times throughout the day for visitors, so while you are there be sure to ask them to let you know when the next session is.
The giraffes have a large acreage on which to roam and at the other end of the land is the Giraffe Manor. This high-end accommodation offers a unique experience for a city stay, with the Manor lawns extending out to the acreage. There are no fences, giving the giraffes free reign over the space. And they take advantage of it! It is not uncommon to have a giraffe pop its head through the window while you are enjoying breakfast or afternoon tea. You think that only happens for the promotional photos, but believe me, it happens when the camera isn’t there as well!
Do you fancy sharing afternoon tea with a giraffe, or perhaps getting a kiss from one? OTA can help you plan your Kenyan adventure, so contact us today: www.ota-responsibletravel.com.