You probably remember Giraffe Centre from your old school trips if you studied at any school in Kenya. It was some kind of pre-primary/ middle school domestic tourist destination. And we were hella excited to go there! You may not remember much about it from then so let’s take a small tour and see if you miss it.
The spot is one for nature lovers. It’s a place you just go and hang out, enjoy the view, learn about giraffe’s and feed them. It’s very chill and in case you’re going there with company make sure it’s the kind of place they would hang out.
Giraffe Centre is located in Langata (just before you get to the Karen). To get there, if using a private vehicle, use Langata Road it’s shorter than Ngong Road plus you avoid all the traffic. The map is very accurate as it is a well know destination. Link available here
While using public transport take a KBS or City Hoppa number 24 at Ambassador fare is usually 70-100 bob depending on when you go. Alight at Hardy just close to the police station. From there you can take a bike for 50 bob to the Centre located on Duma Road. In the event you chose to walk note it’s a bit of a distance. Once in you’ll pay a park entry fee of 400 bob for residents and 200 bob for children. It’s free for kids below three years. For non-residents in 750 for children and 1,500 for adults.
Upon entering you’ll be issued with some food pellets to feed the giraffe’s at a station in the middle of the centre. There are guides all over who you could ask questions on the giraffe’s and will guide you on when it’s appropriate to feed them.
For ladies please dress comfortably, there’s a lot of movement around and you don’t want to be in anything uncomfortable, men as well. It’s a very chill environment and from our experience the staff and people we met were very friendly. Do note however that it gets really packed over the weekends. If you’re not a social bird you may want to visit over the week or in the morning hours of the weekend.
The centre is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The park entry fees only covers the tickets to get in. In the event you need to eat there’s a restaurant within the premises but it isn’t cheap. There’s also a souvenir shop within for any collectors items you may want or gifts.
The giraffes are very friendly and enjoy being fed. Pictures are not restricted and every now and then you can move around to feed the different giraffes. Be sure not to finish your pellets before you’ve moved around and seen all of them. On this day we saw 4.
Occasionally, the giraffe’s will leave and move towards the Manor, (it’s also a very nice spot to visit but I haven’t been there yet. It costs about 795 dollars per person. Check their page Here for info if interested or search the term ‘giraffe manor’ on Instagram the pictures don’t disappoint) they eventually come back to the centre.
One of the things you’ll thoroughly enjoy is the view, the trees and greenery really give you a sense of calm in case you’ve had a long week. If you’re lucky you can catch a sunset and it’s beautiful.
To learn more on the giraffe’s there’s also a resource centre in the premises where you can watch videos or read on the subject and how much global warming is taking a toll on the species. You’ll see the different types of giraffes, their maturity ages and distinguishing features.
Once there look for Daisy, not a person, the Giraffe, she’s the eldest at 19 years and very feisty. The attendants will warm you of this so be on the lookout. Otherwise she’s all sweet and tender, once she likes you and you can feed her all you want.
Once done with the centre you can head on to The Hub in Karen for a snack or a drink it has a variety of places you can eat from and is about 10 minutes away. If you’re lucky you can get a matatu (matatus on that side of town aren’t as many in the evening) but a cab is fairly affordable and saves you a lot of walking.
We tried out Picazzo restaurant and lounge at the Hub. The ambiance is breathtaking and very well thought through. It overlooks the lake and is located on the upper ground floor of the mall. If you can head there at night or in the late afternoon you won’t regret it. A sunset would be golden to watch from there.
The restaurant can accommodate large groups, couples and has a huge bar in the middle. Check their Instagram page here and see if it tickles your fancy. Also their manager is very friendly and attentive to clients.
For the cocktails the bar tender makes a great passion martini if you’re a sweet tooth. In second place I’d recommend a whisky sour and finally a long island to complete for those who prefer stronger cocktails. Prices range from Ksh.600 to Ksh.900 depending on your choice.
I hope you get to try this experience. If you do let me know what it was like on any of my social media pages or drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org