Nairobi Excursions

HALF DAY TOUR OF GIRAFFE CENTRE & KAREN BLIXEN—DEP 0800/1400

Giraffe Centre is the headquarters for AFEW, the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife. Made famous by 'Daisy Rothschild', a giraffe calf rescued from Soi, on the border of Western Kenya, Giraffe Centre was estab-lished in 1983 as a sanctuary for the then en-dangered Rothschild giraffe. The breeding programme has been a great success and visitors can now watch these gentle giants at eye level from a raised platform. There is also the opportunity to learn more about giraffe at the interpretation centre and hand-feed them whilst watching the semi-tame family of wart-hogs snuffle around their hooves in search of tidbits.

Located in Karen, the beautiful Nairobi suburb which was once part of Karen Blixen's vast coffee estate, 'Mbogani' was Karen's home from 1917 until 1931. The house and grounds were made famous by the film 'Out of Africa' and have been restored by the Danish com-munity of Kenya. Visitors have a glimpse of typical colonial life in Kenya at the turn of the twentieth century. As well as many of Karen's original belongings, replicas replace items which have been lost over the years. From the beautiful gardens there are magnificent views of the Ngong Hills, held dear by Karen and described so tenderly in her writings. At the front of the house the original millstone tables can be seen from which Karen conducted much of her farm business.

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HALF DAY TOUR OF NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK—DEP 0800/1400

Unbelievably close to the human bustle of the city, this is an important wildlife reserve (Kenya's first, in fact), if only because it provides an opportunity to catch a first look at lions, leopards, buffaloes, and rhinos (no elephants, I'm afraid) during those precious hours before jetting back home or when first arriving or if only staying in Nairobi -- this is surely one of the easiest game drive opportunities on Earth. The reserve is also an important breeding center for the endangered black rhino and home to more than 100 different sorts of mammals, with as many as 400 species of birds recorded. Incorporating important migration corridors, animal concentrations are best during the dry season, which theoretically runs from January through March but is fairly unpredictable these days. In fact, if your flight into Kenya arrives by daylight, try to spot game during those final moments before touchdown. The park will give you a chance for close-quarters animal viewing.

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HALF DAY VISIT TO DAVID SHELDRICK ANIMAL ORPHANAGE—DEP 0900

Dame Daphne Sheldrick started the Elephant and sometimes, rhino, orphanage in honour of her late husband David, the Warden of 6,000 square mile Tsavo National Park where they lived and raised orphans of every species at their home. The Orphanage is on the edge of Nairobi National Park where the youngsters feed in their mini herds with a mini Matriarch every day, coming back three times a day for their milk feeding and in hot weather, a mud bath. Visitors can see this at 1100 hrs possibly along with a few schoolchildren! There is a semi private encounter with them again at 1700 hrs when they come in for their bed time feed and sleep.

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HALF DAY TOUR OF NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK—DEP 0800/1400

Nairobi National Museum was initiated in 1910. The museum closed for refurbishment in 2006 and re-opened in 2008 as a World Class Mu-seum complete with shopping and dining facili-ties. The museum presents Kenya's History, Nature, Culture and Contemporary Art in its entire splendor. Also within the grounds are the famous Snake Park Botanical Gardens and Nature Trail. Visit the National Museum and discover Kenya's rich heritage.

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