The Langata Giraffe Centre Tour
Duration: Half Day
A great starting point for an African safari tour is Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. One of the first places travellers are often eager to visit whilst they are there is the Langata Giraffe Centre, a sanctuary that was set up to protect the endangered Rothschild's Giraffe, the rarest giraffe subspecies in Africa. This tour will enable you to get up close to these beautiful creatures during your holiday in Kenya, whilst learning all about the centre’s successful conservation efforts.
Founded by Betty and Jock Leslie-Melville in 1979, the Giraffe Centre is located in Langata on the edge of Nairobi National Park. The centre began after the couple rescued endangered Rothschild's giraffes and brought them to their private estate to start a breeding programme in captivity. At the time the giraffes had lost much of their natural habitat in western Kenya due to agriculture development, and they were also under threat from poachers. Because these rare animals were rapidly facing extinction, Betty and Jock decided to take action. They formed the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) and the breeding programme has been extremely successful.
Today there are over 400 Rothschild's Giraffes spread throughout four Kenyan national parks, and a small herd remains at the Giraffe Centre. Fortunately, the species is no longer endangered and now the purpose of the centre is to provide free environmental education for Kenyan school children and international visitors on the importance of appreciating and conserving Kenya’s rich biodiversity. You can learn all about the success of the programme on this tour, whilst getting to know the giraffes when you literally come face to face with them.
One of the highlights of the trip is being able to feed them from a raised wooden observation deck. Watch them munching away on specially-made pellets right in front of you. You would never be able to get this close to these beautiful creatures in the wild. You can even touch their enormous tongues − which feel like sandpaper – or give them a kiss! Get your camera ready to capture the images that you may not be lucky enough to get on safari. Hand-feeding the world’s tallest animal is a unique experience not to be missed.
After playing with the giraffes, visitors can enjoy a meal at Giraffe Manor. Surrounded by 140 acres of indigenous forest, this grand, red-brick colonial house is the former home of Jock and Betty Leslie-Melville. Built in the style of a Scottish hunting lodge, the house is now an exclusive guesthouse and restaurant, where travellers from all over the world stay as part of their East African safari experience.
You may be surprised to see some of the resident giraffes popping their heads through the window looking for food, which makes this unforgettable experience even more exciting. You can also get a great view of these elegant creatures as they roam freely through the grounds. This tour is a wonderful way to observe one of Africa’s most beautiful wildlife species in the great outdoors
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