Dreaming of visiting Kenya? There’s no place quite like it. Kenya is a beautify country which sparks the imagination of any traveller. For me, visiting Kenya was a dream come true. Lush landscapes and wonderful wildlife, is what I dreamed for a long time. This amazing country offer so much for the explorer, the adventure seeker, the animal lover.
GETTING AROUND NAIROBI
One thing you need to consider when planning your Nairobi itinerary is how you will get around. We arranged with the hotel for a driver to take us around the city and from the airport. But there are busses, private taxis or Uber.
If you think you need to get out of the city to view wildlife, you are quite wrong. You can enjoy amazing wildlife without leaving Nairobi! You can get very up close to a number of animals. We stayed in Kenya only 4 days so we couldn’t go too far from the city. I know many travellers spend little time in Nairobi so here I are a few recommendations.
- Giraffe Centre
- The Elephant Orphanage
- Nairobi Safari Park
I want to share with you a little history about the centre, because I care about animals and I always make a deep research before a visit to places with animals. The Giraffe Centre is legit and not the typical one disrespecting or torturing the animals. So you all animal lovers, this is safe to visit, even better, the money you pay is used to keep the giraffes happy, healthy and safe.
The Giraffe Centre was founded in 1979 by Jock Leslie Melville. Jock and his wife began the giraffe Centre after discovering the Rothschild giraffe were drastically depleting in numbers. Jock and Betty’s extraordinary project began with their first adopted giraffes, Daisy and Marlon. They raised them with a lot of care and love as a part of their family. The Giraffe Centre is the only wildlife sanctuary in the world within a capital city that enables you to come into very close contact with the world’s tallest yet endangered animal, the giraffe.
We knew about the Giraffe Centre a long time ago, so it was a must visit and it was the best decision ever. We visited the Centre two days in a row, this amazing was the experience here. Looking into the gorgeous deep brown eyes, framed by fluffy eyelashes is quite fascinating. Here you can pet, feed and even kiss the giraffes, this is the closest you will ever get to a giraffe!! And it’s awesome!!
When you arrive you will be given food pellets that you can offer to the giraffes by hand or mouth and they are always glad and ready for the pellets. As you walk in, you are greeted by the cute giraffes eating from the hands of the humans. If the giraffes like you, they might give you a kiss with their big purple tongues.
I give Betty a pellet and then another and another. And there is Eddy waiting calmly to give him a pellet too and there is a baby giraffe. I fed as many giraffes as I could. After the bag is empty, they still hadn’t had enough. Oh my..they are so sweet and gentle and I think to myself, this experience couldn’t be more magical!
Here the giraffes are able to wander free and safe. They are wild, but they know that visitors mean food, so they got used with people. They spend the night in the bush, but every morning at sunrise you will find them line up at the sanctuary gate to cross the road into the Giraffe Centre.
The Centre it is also home to many different species of birds and warthogs. You will spot the warthogs playing around in the mud in the same area, but they are a little bit shy and cute at the same time.
Here you’ll also find a gift shop where they sell great souvenirs that you can take back home, a café-restaurant and information centre. We had our lunch here watching the giraffes, I mean you don’t get the chance everyday to have lunch with giraffes around. We watched them while eating, making the visitors laugh and we could’t stop thinking how lucky we are to live such an experience.
THE ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE
The Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi is the leading conservation organisation in East Africa and is a must visit. In an effort to save the baby elephants that are orphaned due to poacher’s attacks, the orphanage takes charge of being their “adoptive mother” and taking care of them, feeding them, playing with them and giving them the love they deserve!
There is a donation fee, or entrance ticket for 5 euros. The only time that is possible to see the elephants is from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm. This is the time when the keepers bring the elephants to a play area, where they feed and to show the public how well they are doing.
You can also adopt an elephant (the adoption is 40 euros for a baby elephant per year), when you adopted the elephant you receive an adoption certificate and they keep you up to date with its status. And if you have adopted one or more you can visit by appointment at 5:00 pm. The evening visit is strictly for adopters only.
The babies are between 2 months to 3 year old. They are super playful, splashing themselves with mud found at the playing area. Like any baby, they love to tackle each other and have fun. I mean, how cute is that! If you are lucky enough they might get close to you, you can touch and pet them. But I was just happy with being there, seeing them happy and safe and it was quite an amazing experience.
NAIROBI SAFARI PARK
You already know that Kenya is a wildlife paradise, an amazing opportunity to gaze upon free roaming lions, leopards, cheetahs, rhinos, buffalo, hippos and zebras drinking by the waterside. Here even a day out in the bush is special. Only minutes after leaving the hotel we are in a deep dramatic savannah. Here we are in the wild!
The Nairobi Safari Park is home to the highest number of black rhinos, 30 lions and many endangered species making it some of the best safari park in the world. This park offer some incredible adventures with the world’s most impressive animals. And while many people head straight to the Masai Mara for its comprehensive range of big game, you should know that this safari has a lot to offer too.
Total cost for the day for two persons was 200 euros, which got us park entry, our own 4×4 safari van with an open top roof and a driver/guide. Park officials were professional and well organised and there are restaurant facilities available, including a gift shop. The driver was well educated, he made our safari especially enjoyable as he always had some stories and facts to share about the animals, birds and surroundings.
We were on the lookout for buffalo, zebra, giraffe, ostrich, hyena and of course the big cats and after only minutes from our start, there they are.. great herds of giraffes walking gracefully around. I could feel goosebumps. This was an absolutely thrilling experience. Fortunately, we’ve seen many animals! We spot zebras, warthogs, monkeys, crocodiles and buffalos. When we thought this can’t get any better we see a young male lion, a few meters from our car. I couldn’t take my eyes of him. His beautiful brown eyes were hypnotising.
A special day indeed. We saw many lions, ostriches, hippos bathe in the river along with a few crocodiles and dozens of deer, impalas and gazelles. Things just get better from here,as we turn around … a beautiful herd of zebras, standing in the middle of the road, eating some grass and on the other side of the road, another a few zebras drinking water from a pond surrounded by dozens of crowned lapwing, saddle billed stork and bubulcus birds . We are both shocked and delighted. The moment is magical.
Our stay in Kenya was magical, definitely one of my favourite country. We saw this sunrise on our way back to the airport and it felt like a beautiful good bye, see you soon. But you know what, actually you can never truly say good bye to Kenya because even when you are miles and miles away, the memories made there are still alive!