The African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Kenya (A.F.E.W Kenya Ltd) also known as the Giraffe Centre is a non profit making organisation, which was founded by the late Betty and Jock Lesilie Melville in 1979. The late Betty, Jock’s American born wife, had earlier discovered the sad plight of the Rothschild giraffe and there were only 120 left on an 18,000 acre ranch in Western Kenya that was scheduled for sub-division and settlement. The first effort to save this sub-species was to bring two young giraffes to their property in Langata and later Betty founded AFEW USA.
Funds were raised to move five groups to different safe areas in Kenya namely; Lake Nakuru National Park, Mwea National Game Reserve, Ruma National Park and Nasalot Game Reserve. Funds raised via AFEW USA also built the Giraffe Centre and have bought 60 acres, and is in the process of buying 40 more acres for the Sanctuary.
Giraffes are found in the semi-arid regions of Africa, where trees and bushes are plentiful. Today there are 8 distinct sub-species of Giraffes in Africa. In Kenya we have the Rothschild Giraffe which is the most rare, the Maasai Giraffe of Southern Kenya which is the most commonly seen, and the Reticulated Giraffe of Northern Kenya. They live to be twenty to thirty years old. Their main enemy is man. Killed for their meat and hide. Their main difference is their keen eyesight, running speed (up to 55km/per hour) and their powerful kicks.
Giraffe Centre Birds Sanctuary
The indigenous forest is a remnant of the natural forest that once surrounded Nairobi. It comprises of over 100 acres of dry upland forest that is the larger ecosystem that originally comprised of the current Ngong forest and Ololua forest hence similar vegetation.
The Nature Trail
The trail stretches about 1.5 kilometers meandering through thick bushes and forests. This leisurely stroll begins directly in front of the parking lot at the Giraffe Centre. This is a large tract of dry upland forest that existed in the area known today as Nairobi. There is a variety of animals that make this forest their home including the giraffes, warthogs, hyenas and, at times, leopard. In this sanctuary the Centre has preserved the original forest for the giraffe, and have also kept intact the habitat for many other animals that are sometimes encountered as one takes a walk down the trail.
Visitors can take a copy of the Nature Trail Guide Book, which contains a map for easy movement as well as information on different species of flora and fauna that are easy to sight as one takes a walk. The guide book is available at the Giraffe Centre.
- Nature walks
- Bird walks
- Tree identification walks (Botanical walks)
- Nature interactive learning
For more information see our Excursion Packages and Rates