THE GIRAFFE CENTRE
With just over 1600 left in the world, the Rothschild Giraffe is one of the most endangered subspecies of giraffe. In 1979 there were only 180 left in Kenya, realizing the dire situation these giraffes were facing, The Giraffe Centre was started by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife, a non-profit Kenyan organization. Since then, the centre has become a breeding program for giraffes and has successfully released 40 individuals back into the wild. The centre has also assisted with relocating breeding herds in the wild into safer environments when their groups are threatened. Thanks to the efforts of the Giraffe Centre, in collaboration with many other agencies, the numbers of wild Rothschild Giraffes has been increasing in recent years.
A visit to the giraffe centre will give you a better understanding about giraffes and what makes the Rothschild subspecies different, and will give you the opportunity to get up close with these animals, perhaps even close enough for a kiss. Through the entrance fees collected, the centre is able to allow local schools to visit free of charge. They not only educate school children about giraffes and giraffe conservation, but also about forest and wetland conservation and protection, waste management, and sustainable development.
The Giraffe Centre has become a very popular tourist destination, especially since it is located right in Nairobi. As such, the centre came be very busy, especially on weekends, so make sure you plan accordingly if you are hoping to beat the crowds. They have an education centre on site, so while the encounters with the Giraffes offers a unique experience, it is just as important to learn more about the subspecies, as well as efforts that are going on to help protect their wild counterparts. If you are interested in a splurge, people can stay in their Giraffe manor where giraffes may just poke their head in to say hello during breakfast. A visit to the giraffe centre is the perfect addition to a visit to Nairobi, make sure you get a slobbery ‘kiss’ from the giraffes when you go!