I have travelled to Nairobi on several occasions with work, however we don’t get long there as it’s only a 24 hour layover. The airline I work for also advise us not to leave the hotel as Nairobi is not always the safest of places.
I have only ventured out of the hotel on one occasion where I went with another colleague, and we went to visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for orphaned elephants and The Giraffe Centre – both were amazing.
In this short and sweet blog I wanted to write about my experience of Nairobi and what I have done there.
Sights & Activities
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust also known as DSWT for short, is one of the best rehabilitation centres for orphaned elephants and rhinos in the world. The foundation was started in 1977 and has done some amazing work to help orphaned wildlife, and to preserve their habitat. The trust is a registered charity and donations are accepted when visiting. The entrance is really reasonable at 500 Kenyan Shillings which equates to roughly £4.
The DSWT opens for 1 hour daily between 11am – noon, during this time the elephants enjoy their mud bath and feed and visitors can learn about each orphan and their story. Each elephant has their own keeper which watches over them 24 hours a day to ensure their safety and to give them their feeds. The keepers rotate themselves and work shifts to ensure the elephants are always watched over and to make sure the elephants do not become too attached to one person, so that when they are released back into the wild that they’re not too dependant on humans.
When I visited I couldn’t wait to see the baby elephants – being the wildlife fanatic I am, however it’s a very emotional and moving place to visit, it’s really heartbreaking to hear what these young elephants have been through, it really will make you sick to your stomach when you hear how cruelly they have been treated by humans. I loved seeing the elephants and how well they are looked after here but at the same time I did have a cry as it was so sad to hear how they had ended up there.
If your going on a safari or visiting Kenya this is a must do when in Nairobi, it’s affordable and the entrance fees goes to a great cause. If you wanted to stay for longer you can also organise eco lodges through the trust.
Nairobi Giraffe Centre
After we had visited the DSWT we went on to visit the Nairobi Giraffe Centre which is also a sanctuary which allows you to get up close to these tall beautiful creatures. The centre is home to Rothschild Giraffe. A subspecies of the giraffe found only in the grasslands of East Africa. The Giraffe Centre is also nature education centre, which educates thousands of Kenyan school children every year.
The sanctuary began in 1979 and at the time Rothschild Giraffes were on a decline in the wild in Kenya due to loss of habitat.
The centre began with just 2 young giraffe calves which they raised, and began a breeding programme. The visitor centre opened to educate people on the wildlife, and the giraffes habitat and conservation.
It’s a great place to visit to learn about giraffes and you can get up close and feed them. There is a tower which you can walk up and feed the giraffe pellets. If you want a giraffe kiss you can hold one in your lips for the giraffe to take which is obviously very slobbery, but all good fun and a laugh.
This is a great place to visit and would recommend coming here after visiting the DSWT and both can be done in half a day.
I would always recommend booking a tour to visit these attractions or requesting the hotel or your accommodation provider to organise it for you. I would also recommend not taking too many valuables and ensure you have your wits about you, as much as seeing these elephants and giraffes is an amazing experience and set in beautiful settings, Nairobi itself can be very dangerous so please always take care.
Important Information & Links
• Currency: Kenya Shilling
• Language: Swahili, English