For as long as I can remember, there has been a terror threat and travel warnings about Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. But I do not think more dangerous things or simply more things happen there than in any other capital. I am not sure why not all other towns then also receive these travel warnings against them but that’s a whole other discussion…
When I first moved to Tanzania, Nairobi is where we went for shopping. It was the shopping mall Walhalla, where imported products and nice restaurants awaited us when we went for a weekend of spending. When I was pregnant, I actually had to go there to find things we needed for a newborn that Tanzania did not have. But those days are long gone and I hardly ever go to Nairobi anymore..
But there are definitely things I recommend you do when you do visit Nairobi, we did them and we had fun!
The Giraffe Manor is a hotel in the middle of town, with rooms in old English style and giraffes roaming the garden. But even if you do not stay in the hotel, you can visit the giraffes, feed them and pet them at the visitor’s center. I can imagine that is not the same as having a giraffe stick their head through the window to say good morning when you have breakfast, but still… The girls were about 4 years younger than now but they still remember our visit, especially that the giraffes had slimey tongues :-)
The Giraffe Manor is described in Wikipedia as follows: Giraffe Manor is a small hotel in the Karen suburb of Nairobi, Kenya which, together with its associated Giraffe Centre, serves as a home to a number of endangered Rothschild giraffes, and operates a breeding programme to reintroduce breeding pairs back into the wild to secure the future of the subspecies.
So there you go..
Pictures below: The girls in 2011..
I can’t believe it took us 4 years to go back to Nairobi.. and I still had the Sheldrick Center on my wishlist. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust does a lot for conservation but at the heart of it all is it’s elephant orphanage, which is hugely successful in saving orphaned calves and re-introducing them into the wild about 3 years later. You can go and visit and see the orphans up close when they get fed in the morning. This alone is a very special experience. But you can also foster one of the babies, and then you get emails with pictures and entries of the diary of the care giver and so on. We were also allowed to go back at 5pm to have a private visit with our orphan.
Axelle had developed a soft spot for Murit. A little elephant that was just over 1 year old. Celeste on the other hand adopted the only rhino they have. After all, they are endangered and Celeste always protects the underdog. And on top of that, Maxwell the rhino is blind so they will never be able to re-introduce him into the wild. Celeste very responsibly said she was ready to commit to fostering him for the rest of his life.
But if I am making this out to seem like an experience for children only, that is not the case. Seeing the little ellies run for the bottle, seeing the littlest one get a bit lost and run straight towards the crowd who fondly started hugging and petting the 500 kg of cuteness, seeing them have a loving and teasing relationship with their caregivers, seeing how the babies are still a bit confused as to how they need to lay down to sleep, and yes, being able to touch them and feel how surprisingly hard the head is when the fuzzy hair looks so fluffy, and feel how hard the skin and the horn of a rhino.. it is truly amazing.
And if you cannot visit them any day soon, you can always adopt online here, or give a foster baby certificate to someone else as a gift