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Hand feeding giraffes at the Nairobi Giraffe Center

Hand feeding giraffes at the Nairobi Giraffe Center

Nairobi is a popular starting point for adventures in Africa, but the city itself doesn’t hold a lot for visitors. However, there are a few things you must do while visiting and the Nairobi Giraffe Center should be at the top of your list.

In the shadow of the city skyline in a quiet suburb of Nairobi, the Leslie-Melville family has been rescuing endangered Rothschild Giraffes since 1979. While in Nairobi we had a chance to visit the Giraffe Center to get up close and personal with these adorable giraffes.

How to get to the Nairobi Giraffe Center

The Giraffe Center is located about 40 minutes from the Nairobi city center. There are a handful of ways to get to the Giraffe Center, but the only ones we recommend is by a licensed and marked taxi, preferably arranged with a trusted hotel or a local guide – or – as part of a guided tour. There are several Nairobi day tours that include visiting the Nairobi Giraffe Center, click here for complete tour list.

Giraffe Center Address: Duma Rd, Nairobi, Kenya

By Taxi: Every taxi driver in town will know this place, it is a very popular tourist activity. Do not take unmarked taxies in Nairobi or other major cities in Africa (or most places in the world for that matter) they are uninsured at best and could potentially scam or rob you at worse.

By Tour: There are a number of tours that will bring you to the Giraffe Center as part of a longer tour in combination with other things to do in Nairobi or just to the Giraffe Center.

Recommended Tours:

  • $69 spend 3 hours Giraffe Center Tour including hotel transfers | Book Now
  • $75 Nairobi Highlights tour including Giraffe Center and hotel transfers | Book Now
  • $220 Nairobi National Park Safari, Giraffe Center visit, and Karen Blixen Museum tour.  All entrances & hotel transfers included. This is the tour we booked and we had an amazing day in Nairobi. | Book Now

Giraffe Center Costs & Fees:

  • Adult Non-resident: 1,000 Kenyan Shillings (approx. $10.00)
  • Adult Resident: 250 Kenyan Shillings
  • Child Non-resident: 500 Kenyan Shillings (approx. $5.00)
  • Child Resident: 50 Kenyan Shillings
  • School groups are free if booked in advance.

What to expect at the Giraffe Center:

When you enter the Giraffe Center there is a large tree house platform that was created to put you on the same level with the giraffes.

There are many giraffes on the property and the ones looking for a snack will find their way to the platform to meet you. Buckets of food are provided with the entrance fee and makes you quick friends with hungry giraffes.

Kenya Viator daytrip-62

Kenya Viator daytrip-78

Giraffe Kisses

You can’t leave the Nairobi Giraffe Center without a kiss from a giraffe. To get a kiss from a giraffe you can just hold a treat in front of your face and a giraffe will come to get it an leave you a kiss too. They don’t mind and they are certainly not photo shy.

We visited the giraffes as part of a day trip out of Nairobi on this tour with Viator. The day was the best we had in Nairobi, and the giraffes were our favorite part.

Kenya Viator daytrip-71

Things you probably didn’t know about giraffes & the Giraffe Center

  1. Giraffe tounges are black
  2. Giraffes can headbutt you or other giraffes
  3. If a giraffe starts to headbutt your at the Giraffe Center it’s probably a friendly reminder they want some more snacks.
  4. The Giraffe Center in Nairobi has been saving giraffes since 1979.
  5. You can actually stay at a ‘giraffe hotel’ in Nairobi that is attached called the Giraffe Manor.
  6. The Rothchild Giraffe are only found in Kenya and Uganda.
  7. There are nine subspecies of giraffe one being the Rothschild.
  8. All of the living Rothschild Giraffes live in protected areas and parks.

Where to stay in Nairobi

The best place to stay if you love giraffes is the property in connection with the Nairobi Giraffe center which is none other than the famous Giraffe Manor. If you have ever seen the famous pictures of the giraffes poking their heads into breakfast this is the place. Some of the same giraffes you see at the giraffe center can come to dine with you at breakfast at the Giraffe Manor.

We stayed at the Khweza Bed & Breakfast which was really affordable and close to the city center. There are hotel options for everyone’s budget and travel style. We would advise against Airbnb in Nairobi, we love using it around the world but in Nairobi only stay in the Karen area.

  • Airport Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn, Nairobi Internal Airport 10 minutes away | Check Rates
  • City Center Hotel: Best Western Plus Meridian Hotel great deals right in the city center | Book Now
  • Luxury Hotel: Tribe Hotel, Nairobi 5 Star Hotel in Gigiri | Check Rates
  • Budget Hotel: Kahama Hotel, Nairobi 3 star hotel great reviews and central location, as low as $29 a night | Book Now

More travel in Africa

If you are looking at taking a safari on your own, we’d recommend booking with Tour Radar and getting on an Acacia Africa operated overland.


Sunday 16th of July 2017

I am looking at doing a African Safari but really cant decide where to go. This looks amazing so definitely going to add this to the list. I love giraffes they are so cute even if they do normally slobber all over me!! not that I encounter them often lol


Sunday 16th of July 2017

If you are looking for Wildlife I would suggest East Africa, specifically Kenya and Tanzania. The Serengeti National Park has some of the best wildlife we have seen. Southern Africa is great for its landscapes, culture, and food & wine. If you love waterfalls then Zambia/Zimbabwe is for you with Victoria Falls. Hope you make it to Africa, it's amazing!


Friday 31st of July 2015

Was there yesterday (traveling from Phoenix, AZ) and enjoyed the total experience....especially the reactions of Kenyan school children!


Sunday 21st of June 2015

Thanks for the visit, tell it to more people Let them know more about Africa and Kenya .Karibu

Faith Eliza

Wednesday 6th of May 2015

Would love to experience this one day!


Tuesday 20th of January 2015


What a lovely Post! I love the images and the information is always lovely to read. It makes me "Reserve" sick. I lived and worked on a Game Reserve for 9 months in 2013, and I miss it so much at times. There really is nothing like being in the wild. Luckily enough I shared a house with the Rangers. So when I wasn't working on weddings and what not, I was Elephant and Leopard Tracking, Relocating Crocodiles,Trimming Hippo Channels and the like.

Its something I encourage everyone around the world to do, especially Travel Bloggers. Reserves in RSA are pleased to welcome travelers, who don't mind lending a hand, in exchange for a mention and accommodation.

Keep up the AWESOME work! Your BLOG is amazing! And I really love following your Blog Page and Twitter Page :-) :-) #LoveandTravelHugs