||Giraffe Center - Nairobi
The giraffe center is a wonderful and refreshing experience undertaken during AfricanMecca's Out Of Africa excursion starting in Nairobi. The tour gives a completely up close and personal interaction where guests have the opportunity to view giraffes as well as feed them.
The African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Kenya (A.F.E.W. Kenya) also known as the Giraffe Center is a non-governmental, non-profit making organization, which was founded by Betty and Jock Leslie-Melville in 1979. This was in a bid to save the endangered Rothschild Giraffe, which had lost its natural habitat in Western Kenya to agriculture and there were only 130 left in the wild. Funds were raised and four herds were moved to four parks namely Lake Nakuru National Park, Mwea Game Reserve, Ruma National Park and Nasalot Game Reserve. Today the Rothschild Giraffe population in Kenya is about 500.
The Objectives Of The Giraffe Center Are:
• To provide free environmental education to the Kenyan youth
• Conservation of endangered species
• Support of other conservation projects all over Kenya.
The Complete Giraffe Center Experience
Indigenous Forest: The indigenous forest is a remnant of the natural forest that once surrounded Nairobi. It comprises of over 100 acres of dry upland forest that is part of the larger ecosystem that originally comprised of the current Ngong Forest and Ololua Forest hence all these have similar vegetation species.
The forest also has an impressive variety of bird species, which can be viewed throughout the year. The most common trees are the Croton megalocarpus, Olea africana, Albizzia gummefera, Ficus Thonningii. Species of these trees grow larger along the seasonal Gogo River, which cuts across, forming cathedrals with spreading canopy.
The Forest Nature Trail: Giraffe Center invite you to explore the unique ecosystem of the Center's dry upland forest, which is one of the remaining segmented natural forests outside Nairobi city. You will have the option of guiding yourself or taking a guide. This leisurely stroll begins directly in front of the parking lot at Giraffe Center. Using interpretative brochure and walk way stations, you will acquaint yourself with the most common vegetation in the forest sanctuary. The trail gradually descends to the Gogo River then turns rightwards back to the start point.
Across the River Trail to Ngong View Point: This is a continuation of the forest nature trail. When you gradually descend to the river, cross to the other side of the river. Here you will acquaint yourself with local plants, birds and rocks. The trail ascends gradually for 100m to rocky and open bushed glades bringing you close to the highest point to the trail, which can give you a view of the Ngong Hills. Turn right and descend back into the forest down to the Gogo River under a beautiful forest canopy. Here look for some wonderful parasitic plants. Cross the river and descend gradually back to the start point at Giraffe Center.