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

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.



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.

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  1. Beth

    June 13, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    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!

  2. Toni

    June 13, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    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!) 🙂

  3. ashree

    June 14, 2013 at 4:22 PM

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


  4. Charli | Wanderlusters

    June 16, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    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.

  5. Kristy of Family Visa

    June 18, 2013 at 5:35 AM

    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. Preston McGee

    June 21, 2013 at 3:30 AM

    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.

  7. Lucy

    June 21, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Wow that giraffe has one hell of a tongue! Loving the wildlife posts, very inspiring to see such good conservation work going on.

  8. Katie D.

    June 21, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    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

    June 22, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    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 🙂

  10. Tina

    June 24, 2013 at 5:47 AM

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

  11. Alex

    June 25, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    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

    June 27, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    The first picture of the giraffe is so cute. They’re such innocent animals. Nice photos!

  13. TryTheWorld

    June 27, 2013 at 9:17 PM

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

  14. Christine (Food Wine Travel)

    July 2, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    What an amazing photo of the giraffe’s tongue, Cole!

  15. Amanda

    July 3, 2013 at 4:21 AM

    Mmmm slobbery giraffe kisses! 😉

    Looks like lots of fun, as well as a cool learning experience.

  16. Ismail N

    July 10, 2013 at 6:04 AM

    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. 😀

  17. Ariana

    August 1, 2013 at 3:57 AM

    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.

    • Cole Burmester

      August 1, 2013 at 4:33 AM

      So cool being up this close and personal with them. Just wish their breaths didn’t stink so much haha.

      • Ariana

        August 1, 2013 at 6:24 AM

        Hahaha this gorgeous creatures makes me want to explore the world. I wanted to have memories with them too. By the way you got me in these words…”the most majestic creatures that walk this earth is a memory that I will hang onto for a long, long, long time.” It really hit me.

        • Cole Burmester

          August 3, 2013 at 3:01 AM

          Hope you get to kiss the giraffes in Nairobi soon then 🙂

          • Ariana

            August 5, 2013 at 2:22 AM

            Yep, i would love that…

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Packing and Route Tips for Climbing Kilimanjaro



East Africa is renowned for boasting many breath-taking attractions, from the beauty of the Serengeti to stunning Tanzania beaches like Kendwa and Nungwi. However, there’s one thing that undoubtedly attracts adventure lovers more than most, Mount Kilimanjaro.

Mounting climbing can be a daunting experience, especially when you’re stood at the foot of Africa’s highest peak. However, there are a series of routes available to anyone who takes on the challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro.

Naturally, some routes are more treacherous than others, and are approached from different points, so this article offer some insight what you can expect from each one and what you’ll need to take with you.

The Marangu Route

Departing from the Moshi Hotel and into the Kilimanjaro National Park via the Marangu Gate, this stunning route allows you to experience The Saddle – a high altitude desert which can be found part way up the mountain.

This route is said to be the most straightforward in terms of its physical demands, however it has a notoriously steep incline which climbers must overcome in order to reach the summit.

The Machame Route

This route also passes through the Marangu Gate, and leads through picturesque ice fields as you reach the Shira Plateau.

This route takes a day longer than the Marangu Route to complete, although this can be advantageous to climbers as it allows for better acclimatisation.

The Rongai Route

This route enters the national park via the northern entrance of Rongai Gate, and is considered to be the second easiest route to the summit of Kilimanjaro.

The route begins at a fairly high altitude and involves a relatively gradual incline to the summit.

The Lemosha Route

Entering via the Londorossi Park Gate, the Lemosha Route is the toughest and most remote route to the summit of Kilimanjaro, and crosses the Shira Plateau where its paths meet the Machame Route.

Despite its challenges, the route has a high success rate, and involves spending a couple of nights at various altitudes.

What to pack?

Packing for a mountain climb in Africa can often be a difficult thing to get right. Pack too lightly and you run the risk of running out of essentials – but pack too much and you’ll end up wasting your energy lugging around stuff you don’t need.

Your clothing should include the following items for travel:

  • Sunglasses (polarized)
  • Gloves (thick waterproof for trekking + thick pair for evenings)
  • Balaclava
  • Shorts
  • Pants (for hiking and relaxing in the evenings)
  • Short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirts or t-shirts (for hiking and relaxing in evenings)
  • Underwear (sports bras for ladies)
  • Thermal underwear
  • Fleece jacket
  • Down jacket or ski parka (for temperatures below freezing plus wind-chill)
  • Rain jacket + pants (for the humid rainforest and cold snow)
  • Travel towel
  • Swimwear (for first and last day swimming – can be left at your hotel during your trek)
  • Ski or trekking poles
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Hiking boots
  • Gaiters
  • Socks – hiking socks + wool socks

Other essential kit includes:

  • Water bottles and Camelback (2-3)
  • Sleeping bag (rated -25 degrees)
  • Get 3 litres of bottled water before the trip (available at your Moshi Hotel)
  • Camera + tripod
  • Video camera + tapes
  • Batteries
  • Notebook + pencil / pen
  • Pocket knife
  • Energy bars
  • Alarm clock
  • Sewing kit
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The Best Safari Holiday In The World



Every continent has its little treasures. North America is big and beautiful and is the entertainment capital of the world. South America is exotic and offers treasures such as the Amazon rainforest. Europe is known for its culture, architecture and art. Asia is known for its interesting hardworking people who live very differently to the west. Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) is known for its sunny beaches and very friendly people. Antarctica, of course, is very cold and then there is Africa – lush, expansive, green Africa.

The movie ‘The Lion King’ is not far from the truth with regards to how the animals live amongst each other in Africa. Obviously they don’t roam the streets, as some people actually think, but are kept in the safaris where game rangers protect them.

In Africa, particularly South Africa, there are many safari experiences. The biggest one being ‘The Kruger National Park’. The Kruger National Park is a staple of the South African experience. Millions of people flock there from all over the world each year to experience it. There really is no other experience quite like it. It is all about nature and the wild. Just remember when traveling to these far away places to keep your health in check. This Research Verified review will tell you more.

What Makes The Kruger National Park So Special

The Kruger National Park was established long ago as far back as May 31, 1926. It was named after the president at the time, Paul Kruger. The unique part of the safari are the animals you will find there. Animals such as rhinos, leopards, buffalos, lions and elephants (known as the big 5) as well as African wild cats, caracals, cheetahs and servals. You will find tall giraffes, hippos, jackals, kudu, an array of gorgeous, colorful birds, warthogs, monkeys, baboons and more. This is the biggest reason so many people come from all over the world – to experience something different and dazzling under the African sky. This is Africa’s offerings at its best. Just to be there and explore its pure nature. It is one of the largest parks on the surface of the Earth extending to 19,485 square kilometres. It’s basically the same size as Israel (Israel covering 20,770 square kilometres). It’s massive with so many things to do and it offers both day and night game drives.

Travel Packages

Back in 1926, the first tourist cars entered the Park. Back then there was no accommodation provided for them. Nowadays there are gorgeous travel packages from World Strides on offer. There are a lot of 3 day options that go for great prices including luxury options. There are lodge, camping and gorgeous luxury safaris. Although, if you are traveling from overseas you will want a longer experience. There are combination tours that combine the Kruger National Park itself with trips through the Garden Route and Cape Town as well as Victoria Falls, Swaziland and Kwazulu Natal.

Kruger National Park Offerings

There are gorgeous culinary delights at the safari and there are huge buffet breakfasts on offer made superbly under the watchful hands and eyes of expert chefs. There are actually 17 different restaurants within the Kruger National Park that offer breakfast. You can also enjoy a bush “braai” at the Kruger Park which is the South African term for ‘barbeque’. You cannot visit South Africa or the Kruger National Park and not have a braai – it’s part of the complete experience. It often includes different meat such as ‘boerewors’ which are very thick, juicy and tasty meat filled sausages, lamb chops, beef steaks and chicken as well as chicken kebabs. It will always come with beautiful salads and fresh bread (often buttered garlic bread with herbs) and buns for the boerewors in which ketchup and mustard are often combined. Beer and wine are also really big in South Africa and there will be a big variety.

There are also swimming pools at the park which are great during the hot summers – December to February period. There are beautiful spa resorts within the Kruger National Park that offer gorgeous packages as well as ziplining nearby.

You can travel to this magical place alone but it is best spent with family or friends. The Kruger National Park offers ample adventures. There is no other place like it on Earth and the memories of it will stay with you forever!

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Honeymoon Safaris: The Perfect Combination

Honeymoon Safaris: The Perfect Combination



Wedding preparations are exciting and fun, but equally as stressful. You get caught in a blissful whirlwind that culminates in that special day, which marks the start of an entirely new story in your life. An extraordinary and luxurious honeymoon in some unique location is the ideal transition into your new life with the person of your dreams. It allows you to unwind, reflect and celebrate the start of this new chapter. An African safari offers you a mixture of adventure and romance that is almost impossible to beat. Ranging from heart stopping moments of discovery to the pinnacle of luxurious relaxation. There are a number of excellent options available to you and this article hopes to give you a little taste of what’s out there.

Get a new perspective on the Serengeti

Visiting the Grumeti Reserve region in Tanzania allows you to take to the skies in a hot air balloon. This unforgettable ride over the treetops is an exciting and romantic way of experiencing the majesty of the Serengeti. It takes game viewing to unbridled heights and gives photography buffs a new outlook on our world. The balloon glides over grasslands and acacia forests before ascending to almost 1000 ft to expose the true enormity of the reserve. This gives you and your partner the time and space to experience the beauty of the land and the wildlife below.

Adventure and romance

Many lodges cater to more adventurous guests by offering a number of different outdoor activities: these include archery, stargazing, mountain biking, tennis, water skiing and nature walks. Honeymooners are often allowed to customize (like ending a hike with a romantic picnic) these activities to make them a bit more private and special.

Rest and Relaxation

If you’re looking to slow down a bit then you expect to be pampered. Many lodges have world-class spas, which offer a wide range of treatments, and you can expect peace, serenity and VIP treatment. The beauty of the wilderness, which is reflected in their décor and mindsets, generally inspires these spas. Enjoy a massage or nourishing mask in the comfort of your own suite or head to the spa. The choice is yours. Treatments can often be tailored to couples.


Safari lodges are typically designed to offer you total seclusion. Suites are often far apart and self-contained. Private Vehicles can often be booked for guests looking for ultimate privacy.  Your meals can be enjoyed in the setting of your choice: in your room surrounded by candles, under the starlight on the deck or out in the bush with your private chef. Maybe you want to dine in a romantic setting made especially for you as the stars twinkle overhead. This is your time and they aim to make your dreams come true.

Africa has many wonderful safari destinations, each offering travellers something unique. Visit Tanzania to see the vast plains of the Serengeti. See the Big 5 in the lush bushveld of the Kruger National Park in South Africa or stand in the shadows of the sandstone outcrops and incredible baobabs in Zimbabwe. Go out and find what your heart desires.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...