Nairobi…a Day with Elephants and Giraffes

Nairobi…a Day with Elephants and Giraffes

We’ve arrived in Nairobi.  The weather is absolutely perfect. I can’t tell the difference between the weather inside and outside so it is remarkably pleasant, much to my surprise.  I thought it would be much warmer. 

Nairobi is the capital of Kenya, with a population of 4 million.  Surprisingly, their first language is English, which makes it easy to get around and communicate. The driver’s seat is on the right, and they drive on the left side of the street. It must be in influence of being. British colony winning their independence in 1963.

Our Jeep

Even though we are in the biggest city I’m Kenya, Africa is all about the animals, and we start our day off with a bang. Our first stop is to the Sheldrick Elephant orphanage. This is The most successful elephant rescue and rehabilitation elephant center in the world. They have been operating for more than 40 years and have been able to return close to 250 elephants back into the wild.

Babies having their drink
Playtime in the dirt

Because they are all so young (under three years old), they are so playful and energetic. One of their favorite things to do is roll around in the first and take dirt showers by throwing trunkful of dirt up into the air and onto their backs.

Sharing a yummy tree root
The baby…not yet two years old.
Drinking water

If you have a heart for these beautiful animals, all these baby elephants are adoptable. A contribution to this organization allows you to pick a specific baby elephant and help with his rehabilitation and eventual return to the wild.

Sheldrick Wildlife

Go to if you would like to contribute an make a difference to an orphaned baby elephant.

Our next stop was to the Kazuri Bead Workshop, a place that started with two single mothers making beads and pottery out of clay. Over time, this place now employs over 340 single mothers who made clay pottery and ceramic beads which ship all over the world. Odds are if you bought a necklace made of ceramic beads, it’s highly possible that they came from here. They work hard, long hours, making $8/day.

Pitcher and coffee mugs with giraffe design
Hand painted beads being fired in the kiln

With that type of labor, we had to help out, and there is no better way of supporting them than to buy their wares in the gift shop.

Too much fun shopping…so much to choose from!

In the afternoon, we headed to the Giraffe Center, who is concerned with preserving the endangered Rothschild Giraffe by being a breeding center. They support environmental conservation activities through training and funding.

The Rothschild Giraffes

They have 94 acres of forested park to breed these beautiful giraffes, educate the public, and support conservation efforts to save their breeding grounds and home environment. When the center opened in 1979, there were only 130 left in certain areas of Kenya making them an endangered species. Thanks to the efforts of this organization, the number have come back up.

The babies
The baby

One of the coolest things they have here is a raised platform for viewing these beautiful creatures. When you’re at their eye height, these gentle animals will come right up to you, give you a kiss, lick your hand, or take a treat that you might offer them. It gave us a chance to get really up close to them.

Got anything for me?
What a handsome guy!
Taking food from Elaine

Nothing like getting giraffe slobber all over our hands, but we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

If you would like to donate to help save the Rothschild giraffes from extinction, and support this ongoing breeding program, please take a look at their website. You can find them at

For being in the city, we got our first glimpse of African animals. What an amazing day! Tomorrow we head out to the wilderness. We can’t wait to find out what lies ahead for us out there.

Ah yeah…no bugs so far.

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Monie Thompson