Karen Blixen and Giraffe Centre
Duration: Half Day
Kenya is a startling beautiful country, boasting some of the most breathtaking scenery and diverse wildlife in the continent. This fascinating tour will take you to the Giraffe Centre to see the once endangered Rothschild’s giraffe, and also to the Karen Blixen Museum where you can learn about this woman’s fascinating life as a coffee farmer in Africa, and later as a writer.
Your tour begins by driving through some of Nairobi’s scenic countryside, through small villages and past Ngong Hills. The word "Ngong" means "knuckles” in Swahili, and refers to the four hill peaks that rise up from the plain around Nairobi and overlook the Rift Valley. From a distance they look like the knuckles of a giant’s clenched fist. During the years of British colonial rule, the area around the Ngong Hills was a major farming region for early white settlers, and many traditional colonial houses with their picturesque gardens can still be seen today. You are also likely to see wildlife in the hills during your journey, including antelope, buffalo, gazelles, bushbuck, giraffes and baboons.
We drive onwards through small African villages to the Karen Blixen Museum, located at the foot of the Ngong Hills. Dating back to 1914, this museum is dedicated to the internationally renowned author of “Out of Africa”, who first established herself as a coffee farmer in Africa after moving from Denmark during the First World War. After Karen’s departure, her beautiful colonial house was restored by the Danish government and later used during the filming of "Out of Africa", which finally brought Karen’s book to life. In 1986 the house was opened to the public as a museum. Much of the original furniture is still displayed inside, as well as photos and other personal items. You can also see a reconstruction of the coffee factory and old farming machinery from the coffee plantation, giving you an insight into the life of an early settler in Kenya.
The tour continues as we drive through the residential area of Langata to the Giraffe Centre. Founded by Betty and Jock Leslie-Melville in 1979, the sanctuary was set up to protect the endangered Rothschild's Giraffe, which is now thriving as a result of their successful conservation efforts. Today the purpose of the centre is to educate Kenyan school children and international visitors about the importance of appreciating and conserving Kenya’s wildlife.
One of the highlights of the trip is being able to hand-feed the giraffes from a raised wooden platform. Coming face to face with the world’s tallest animal is a unique experienced not to be missed.
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