Kissing and feeding Giraffes at the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi, Kenya

| June 13, 2013 | 21 Comments

Getting up close and personal with the local residents at the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi, on the outskirts of Kenya’s capital city, is highly encouraged. And if you are willing to resist the urge to gag on their stinky breath then the African guides even encourage you to give them a big smooch too.

Feeding the Giraffes in Nairobi

Visiting the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi, Kenya

Travelling through Africa on my 75 Day tour from Nairobi to Cape Town with Oasis Overland has gotten me alongside some of the most amazing animals in the world. But nothing has so far compared to how close I got when I visited the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi.

Giraffe Centre Sanctuary in Nairobi

In 1979 by Jock and Betty Leslie-Melville began raising a baby Rothschild Giraffe in their home. They quickly realised that they needed to do more to protect this highly endangered species of Giraffe, of which there were only 120 Giraffes in the world at the time.

With their efforts in establishing the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi, along with other conservationists, there are now over 300 Rothschild Giraffes roaming throughout several of the African Game Parks including Lake Nakuru National Park, Mwea National Park and Ruma National Park.

Giraffe Centre in Nairobi

The Giraffe Centre in Nairobi combines conservation, education as well as a very hands-on experience for visitors. Not only can you observe the Giraffes in their natural habitat (we spotted two Giraffes fighting with their swinging necks and horns) but you can also get up close and personal.

From a raised wooden platform you can observe, hand-feed and pat the Giraffes.

Giraffe Sanctuary in Kenya

Staring into a 4m high Giraffes eyes is a beautiful thing.

Getting covered in juicy Giraffe saliva as they use their gigantic tongues to lick tasty treats from your mouth is another experience altogether.

Cole feeding the Giraffes in Nairobi

Down at ground level the Giraffes stretch their flexible necks across the barriers to wrap their tongues around your fingers to pull the small snacks from outstretched fingers.

Giraffe Sanctuary feeding in Nairobi, KenyaHand feeding Giraffes in Nairobi

While I do prefer seeing them in the wild, watching, feeding, kissing, and interacting with some of the most majestic creatures that walk this earth is a memory that I will hang onto for a long, long, long time.

About the Author ()

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

Comments (21)

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  1. Beth says:

    Amazing! I am super jealous, this sounds like it was an incredible experience.
    I would love to get up close and personal with such a beautiful animal!
    Beth recently posted..Should I Learn Japanese if I Want to Move to Japan?My Profile

  2. Toni says:

    I missed out on the chance to do this when I was in Kenya and now I’m even more sorry I didn’t do it because it looks like a giggle and you’re helping keep their species going with donations etc. Great photos Cole (though you can’t really go wrong when the subject of your photos looks so gorgeous!) :)
    Toni recently posted..Reasons NOT to travel the worldMy Profile

  3. ashree says:

    Super cute! Wonder how we could do the same thing here in Indonesia. Good post!

    Regards.
    http://www.jakpost.travel/

  4. I’m so jealous, I’ve had a thing for giraffes since I was a little girl. I was bullied at school for being much taller than my class mates and one day my mum said to me that they were just jealous because I was unique just like a giraffe. The addition of a stuffed giraffe may heav sealed the deal re my love for these animals. Your account of your journey has got me so excited to visit Africa.
    Charli | Wanderlusters recently posted..Crossing The Cook Strait | Pelorus JackMy Profile

  5. Wow, I also don’t mind if I will get stinks if the giraffe will lick the food on my hand just to grab it. Haha.

  6. Giraffe is one of the endangered species today and it is good to know that there is a country that save and care for their welfare. I hope to see this animal in person soon.
    Preston McGee recently posted..Huawei Ascend Y201 Pro GPS for Outdoor Adventure TravelMy Profile

  7. Lucy says:

    Wow that giraffe has one hell of a tongue! Loving the wildlife posts, very inspiring to see such good conservation work going on.
    Lucy recently posted..The Bay of Kotor: Where the fjords meet the MediterraneanMy Profile

  8. Katie D. says:

    So beautiful! I love the shots were you can see those gorgeous eyelashes. And- who knew?- their tongues are black! Getting giraffe kisses is definitely on my travel bucket list now.

  9. Arti says:

    That must be such a wonderful experience, to feed them with your own hands! Beautiful photos, I felt like I was standing besides you whilst you were busy feeding them :)
    Arti recently posted..Winners of the ‘One Picture from My Photo Album’ Contest… Announced!My Profile

  10. Tina says:

    That was amazing experienced.. Giraffes and Zebra’s are two animals that I love to meet someday…

  11. Alex says:

    Amazing pictures of this beautiful, docile and huge animal. Never saw the photos of Giraffe this close, never expected the tongue to be so long.

  12. Salika Jay says:

    The first picture of the giraffe is so cute. They’re such innocent animals. Nice photos!
    Salika Jay recently posted..3 Hawaiian Islands For 3 Different ExperiencesMy Profile

  13. Wow! Definitely looks like an awesome experience. Must have been really awesome. This is not something that people get to do everyday!

  14. What an amazing photo of the giraffe’s tongue, Cole!
    Christine (Food Wine Travel) recently posted..Top 5 Streets For Korean FoodMy Profile

  15. Amanda says:

    Mmmm slobbery giraffe kisses! ;)

    Looks like lots of fun, as well as a cool learning experience.
    Amanda recently posted..Charleston by CarriageMy Profile

  16. Ismail N says:

    What a wonderful post to remind us about the giraffes and their fragility. The first photo is an awesome shot of a giraffe! Thanks for sharing. :D
    Ismail N recently posted..Salam Ramadhan 1434H: Taraweeh Prayers And Things To Do During Fasting MonthMy Profile

  17. Ariana says:

    I can feel the love and excitement of these gigantic creatures when people are feeding them. Thanks for sharing this post, definitely a great help opening awareness of this wonderful creatures.
    Ariana recently posted..OLD FAITHFULMy Profile

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