The Giraffe Center, at a Glance
The African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Giraffe Center – locally referred to as The Giraffe Centre – plays a pivotal role in conserving the critically endangered Rothschild giraffe (which differ from other giraffe subspecies as they have no patterning below the knee).
Numbers were dwindling quickly due to habitat encroachment and mass hunting; before conservation initiatives began, approximately 100 Rothschild’s giraffes remained in the wild.
The fund was founded in 1979 by Betty and Jock Leslie Melville (a grandson of a Scottish earl) after raising a Rothschild giraffe, Daisy, in their Langata home. Today, due to their conservation efforts, the population has doubled to 300 across Kenya.
From the raised wooden structure (giraffe height), you can watch the giraffes up-close and hand-feed them. You may also observe warthogs snuffling at their hooves, scavenging on the fallen pellets.
Relax with a pot of tea in the tea house or pop into the Daisy Zoovenir Shop for some keepsakes on your way out. 90% of the funds for the giraffe center are derived from the entrance fee, curio shop, and tea house.
Once you have finished with the giraffes, you can head out on a self-guided forest walk in the adjacent Gogo river sanctuary, a 1.5 km trail with great views of Nairobi and the Ngong hills.
Where does The Giraffe Centre fit into your Adventure?
Set in Nairobi’s outskirts, in the suburb of Langata, the Giraffe Centre is just a short drive (depending on traffic) from the city center.
The giraffe center works well with an early morning game drive in the Nairobi National Park, the closest national park to any capital city and home to four out of the Big Five.
You can then head to the Nairobi Giraffe Centre, where you can interact with the endangered Rothschild giraffe, hand feeding them from a raised viewing deck.
The three excursions together make up a full day, and it is worthwhile planning an extra day in Nairobi to fit them in at the start or end of a wider safari in Kenya.
Where to stay Giraffe Center Manor
Built-in the 1930s, the Giraffe Manor is a boutique hotel characterized by large windows, sprawling green creepers, beautiful sunny terraces, and green courtyards.
However, what makes the Giraffe Manor special is the ever-present population of endangered Rothschild giraffes, who will often pop their heads through the open windows while you enjoy a continental breakfast.
Some rooms lead to private terraces, where you can sit and enjoy the afternoon sun and wait for giraffes to amble up in the hope of treats.
When should you go?
The best time to visit the Giraffe Centre is during the dry season from December to March and June to October to avoid rain ruining planned excursions. However, the center is open to visitors year-round.
The rainy seasons from March to May and late October to early December are still fantastic times to visit, the feeding deck is covered by a roof in case it rains, and it will be less busy.
Like everything in Kenya, if you’re traveling in peak season, you need to book well in advance.
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