Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, is a bustling metropolis and a gateway to East Africa. Whether acclimating to the time zone or enjoying a few more adventures at the end of your trip, Nairobi is a great place to become immersed in the daily life of local Kenyans. Nairobi is also home to a place on many bucket lists, Giraffe Manor. Situated in Nairobi’s lush suburb, Langata, this charming, historical boutique hotel is a great way to begin or finish your safari. It offers peaceful solace and the chance to spend time with endangered Rothschild giraffes less than an hour from Jomo Kenyatta column International Airport.
The AFEW (African Fund for Endangered Wildlife) Giraffe Center, based at Giraffe Manor, is a sanctuary for the endangered Rothschild giraffe. Their breeding project is helping to repopulate this species throughout Kenya. On a guided walk through the center you can learn about the sanctuary’s mission, stand eye to eye with these tall creatures, and feed them from the palm of your hand. Other enriching experiences include a visit to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the Karen Blixen Museum, Kazuri Beads, and Marula Studios.
Nairobi’s high elevation and proximity to the equator make its evening temperatures cooler throughout the year. The difference between seasonal temperatures is minimal, averaging in the mid- to high 50s at night, and mid-70’s to lower 80’s during the day. Although there is some variability in the rains, Kenya typically experiences two rainy seasons throughout the year. The long rains typically last from April to May and fall as heavy rain showers. The short rains typically occur in November as intermittent, scattered showers.
The AFEW Giraffe Center and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust provide an up-close experience with Africa’s wildlife and a chance to learn about important conservation efforts. Just 20 minutes from Nairobi’s center, Nairobi National Park is a protected area of vast savanna plains, scattered acacia trees, and highland and riverine forests. These habitats support wild herds of zebras, wildebeests, giraffes, and buffalo. Cheetahs, lions, and rhinos can also be found in the park. Farther out of town, Lake Naivasha offers a world-class birding destination, while Lake Nakuru provides a breathtaking view of expansive flocks of flamingos, predators, rhinos and big herds of buffalo.