Unleash Your Creativity: Join the “Think Green Go Green for a Better Future” Essay and Art Competition!

Are you ready to embark on an exciting journey of creativity and environmental consciousness? The Giraffe Centre invites you to participate in our eagerly awaited essay and art competition, themed “Think Green Go Green for a Better Future.” This is not just a chance to showcase your talents but an opportunity to contribute to a sustainable and eco-friendly future.

Competition Details:

Theme: Think Green Go Green for a Better Future
Submission Period: January 1st to March 31st
Categories: Essay and Art
Prizes: The winners will embark on a one-week fully paid Safari adventure!

How to Participate:

1. Choose Your Medium: Whether you’re a wordsmith or an artist, this competition caters to both! Craft an essay or create a captivating piece of art that aligns with the theme.

2. Express Your Vision: Dive deep into the theme and express your vision for a sustainable future. What does it mean to “Think Green” and “Go Green” in your eyes? Your unique perspective could make a significant impact!

3. Submit Your Entry: Send in your masterpiece between January 1st and March 31st. Details on submission methods and guidelines can be found on the competition poster.

Why Participate?

1. Environmental Impact: Your thoughts and creativity can inspire change. By participating, you become an advocate for a greener and healthier planet.

2. Skill Enhancement: Sharpen your writing and artistic skills under the theme of environmental sustainability.

3. Adventure Awaits: Imagine yourself on a one-week fully paid Safari, surrounded by the beauty of nature. The winners of the competition will experience this unforgettable journey.

Hosted by Giraffe Centre:

The Giraffe Centre is dedicated to environmental education and conservation. By hosting this competition, we aim to nurture the talents of Kenyan youth while fostering a deep appreciation for our planet’s well-being.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to make a difference while showcasing your creativity! Let your imagination run wild as you “Think Green” and “Go Green” for a better future.

Visit our website for more details on how to participate, submission guidelines, and updates on the competition. Together, let’s create a future where sustainability is at the heart of our actions.

Join us in the journey towards a greener, brighter tomorrow!

Bird Ringing at Giraffe Centre: A Growing Legacy

For two consecutive days, the Giraffe Centre proudly hosted an esteemed event – the practice of bird ringing. This event unfolded on the 27th and 28th of October 2023, garnering extensive support and endorsement from a consortium of organizations, including Nature Kenya, the Conservation Education and Tourism Department affiliated with the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife, and the Nairobi Bird Ringing Group.

The event drew a diverse audience, with eager students and youth members all sharing a common enthusiasm for gaining insights into the world of bird ringing and birds in general. This collaborative endeavor held a dual purpose: firstly, to establish a foundational understanding of the vibrant birdlife across the expansive 120-acre sanctuary, encompassing its diverse habitats. Secondly, it aimed to empower the next generation of citizen scientists by imparting knowledge and skills in the realm of birds, birding, and the practice of bird ringing.

This marked the second occurrence of the bird ringing event at the Giraffe Centre. For insights into the first event, including its discoveries and outcomes, please click here.

Banding Together with Birds: The Spectacular Results of our Giraffe Centre Ringing Expedition

Despite the inclement weather that tempered our expectations, our bird ringing exercise yielded remarkable results. We managed to capture 36 birds, representing 18 distinct species. This diverse assortment of avian treasures showcased the incredible biodiversity thriving within the Giraffe Centre sanctuary.

Among the feathered gems we had the privilege of netting and ringing, there was the elusive Tropical Boubou, gracing us with its presence from the upper scrub areas. Closer to the Centre, in the lower wooded regions, we encountered the delightful White Starred Robin, its distinctive presence adding a touch of enchantment to our day.

Our list of ringed species extended to include the Tawny Flanked Prinias, melodic Singing Cisticolas, the charming Ruppell’s Robin Chat, industrious Village and Spectacled Weavers, the elegant White-Eyed Slaty Flycatchers, and the ever-present Common Bulbul. Each bird told a unique story, a tale of life within this remarkable habitat.

Notably, all the species we had the honor of ringing were local residents of the area. As September marked the early stages of the migratory season, these cherished inhabitants remained steadfast, offering us a glimpse into their world, unspoiled by the comings and goings of transient species.

                                                                                                                      – By Susan Ng’ang’a

Chiming in with Feathers: The Avian Adventure Chronicles

Despite the less-than-ideal weather that greeted the Nairobi Ringing team that morning, their determination remained unwavering as they embarked on a groundbreaking venture at the picturesque Giraffe Centre in Karen. Being the inaugural ringing activity at this unique location, their gracious host, Daniel Mutua, extended a warm welcome on a Friday evening, allowing ample time to strategically position the mist nets. These nets were carefully situated to harmonize with the diverse habitats and ecosystems that define the sprawling Giraffe Centre sanctuary, which unfurls from the heart of the Centre and unfolds into a lush, sloping terrain, eventually giving way to the bushland areas as it ascends.

The meticulous placement of these mist nets was guided by a singular objective: to cast a wide net, so to speak, in order to beckon an array of avian species representative of the Centre’s rich biodiversity.

Beyond the act of capturing and ringing the birds, this exercise transcended the realm of mere activity—it evolved into a profound learning experience. The primary aim was to glean insights and knowledge, to pave the path for the most effective and informed approach to ringing within the Giraffe Centre in the days to come.

As the mist nets were carefully erected and the avian visitors were captured, the team forged a deeper understanding of the birds’ behaviors and movements within the sanctuary. This accumulation of knowledge, like the mist nets themselves, spanned the diverse range of habitats, painting a comprehensive picture of the avian tapestry within the Centre’s embrace.

Looking to the future, the Nairobi Ringing team envisioned a monthly commitment to this remarkable site. Their intention was clear: to cultivate a sustainable ringing program that would not only enrich our understanding of the avian world within the Giraffe Centre but also contribute to the conservation and preservation of this natural haven. In the grand tapestry of nature, every ringed bird became a stitch, weaving a story of insight, curiosity, and a commitment to nurturing and safeguarding the extraordinary diversity that graced the Giraffe Centre sanctuary.

                                                                                                               – By Susan Ng’ang’a

Commending the Victorious Participants of the 2023 AFEW Kenya – Giraffe Centre Annual Environmental Awareness Competition

We have had numerous environmental conservation programmes with the goal of altering mindsets throughout the last 40 years of The Giraffe Centre’s existence. These programmes are classified into three categories: funding, school programmes, and giraffe conservation.

The Annual Environmental Awareness Competition is one of the school programmes. This competition has been going on for 37 years. This competition seeks to provide students from Kenyan schools with an opportunity to express their opinions on environmental conservation based on a predetermined theme. They submit essays or artwork in response to level-specific questions. Students from Pre-school to Undergraduate can take part.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s give a round of applause to the outstanding winners of this year’s competition. These exceptional students truly shone among a pool of remarkable entries. Their compelling perspectives on the environmental conservation theme, “It Is Time for Change! Let’s Restore Our Mother Nature,” resonated powerfully.

Click here to get the list of winners

Changing Young Mindsets for Sustainable Tourism

The tourism sector is a key pillar to Kenya’s socio-economic growth and recovery from the impact of the COVID19 pandemic. Revenues linked to tourism reached KES 268.09 billion in 2022 against 146.51 billion shillings in 2021, representing a growth of 83%. As home to a diverse range of wildlife, including giraffes, elephants, lions, rhinos, and many other species, Kenya continues to face numerous threats, including habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict.

The Giraffe Centre is acknowledged by the Kenya Tourism Board as a key partner promoting destination Kenya whilst creating awareness on giraffes and their habitats, and their Conservation efforts and impact. Established in 1979, it is one of the top 10 tourist destinations in Nairobi,  Kenya attracting an average of 200,000 domestic and international visitors annually.

The endangered Rothschild’s giraffe species, which can only be found in Kenya and Uganda, is a popular attraction for tourists, who can interact with the giraffes in a safe and controlled sanctuary.

The non-profit Giraffe Centre provides a platform for the linkage between the conservation of the Rothschild’s giraffe and tourism. The Centre creates awareness amongst tourists on the fragility and inter-dependence of ecosystems and wildlife habitats by providing a safe environment to interact with and feed giraffes.

This nexus is useful in promoting sustainable growth of the tourism sector, as tourists are forced to confront the danger of extinction and are reminded of actions they can take to contribute to conservation. The revenue generated from tourism activities at the centre is used to support conservation efforts and the local community. To date, tourist activities at the Giraffe Centre have helped raise funds for community and conservation grants worth KES 250 million. Some key beneficiaries and partners who have benefited from these grants include: Eco-tourism Kenya, Sustainable Tourism Agenda, Uvumbuzi Club, The Netfund, National Museums of Kenya; and the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya.

As the only Capital City that is home to Giraffe’s, the Giraffe Centre is a proud custodian of 120 acres that are preserved for the cultural and natural heritage of Kenya. Located only 20 kilometres from the Nairobi Central Business District, the giraffe centre conveniently serves Conference Tourists who are unable to travel to national parks, making it ideal in championing for the sustainable planning and development of cities. Beyond the Giraffe, the sanctuary provides a green recreational space for both residents and nonresidents of Nairobi, who wish to interact with nature surrounded by indigenous trees. The sanctuary is also a bird lover’s haven and facilitates guided bird watching tours. 

The Giraffe Centre is a model sustainable tourism enterprise as it is fully sustained from tourism revenues. It provides direct employment opportunities to about 50 Kenyans, and indirect employment to many more. The Gift Shop embraces the celebration and showcase of local culture, Kenyan people and their talents and artefacts with proceeds from sales going directly towards boosting the incomes of rural women and people with disability. The Giraffe Centre also strives to be a fully green tourist destination having adopted policies for 100% efficiency in energy, water and waste management.

How land owners and Wildlife Conservancies work together in Athi Kapiti.

When people live side-by-side with wildlife, conflicts are bound to happen. This is a common scenario in the Athi Kapiti wildlife dispersal area of Nairobi National Park. Therefore there is a need to find peace between humans and wildlife. One way we seek to accomplish this is through leasing land in areas adjacent to wildlife protected areas like the Athi Kapiti area.

The land lease program has been running for the last 2 decades, under the stewardship of The Wildlife Foundation (TWF). TWF identifies prime wildlife habitat in the Sholinke area of the Nairobi National Park Wildlife Dispersal area. They then enrol the land owners in the Land Lease program. The land owners are given lease payments in 3 instalments, at the beginning of each school session. (September, January & April). In 2022-2023, Giraffe Centre committed to leasing 750 acres of local community land to support TWF’s lease program.

This program has been instrumental in promoting harmony between humans and wildlife in this area. The financial incentive for landowners gives them a chance to appreciate wildlife. As a result, both domestic and wild animals can seek pasture freely. This also allows open routes for migratory animals.

AFEW Kenya is proud to be part of this program, which has been a success in many ways. Human-wildlife conflict cases have fallen in this area as it’s a major dispersal area for the Nairobi National Park. Furthermore, it’s an income source for landowners. As a by-product of this initiative, land owners have become fierce protectors of wildlife on their land against poachers. More importantly, this program supports the Global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 4 on quality education, SDG number 17 on multi-stakeholder partnership for sustainable development and SDG no. 15 on protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable utilizations of terrestrial ecosystems.

2 New Born Giraffes in a row

Since 1978, we have been on a mission to breed the Rothschild Giraffes. Back then, their numbers were so few they almost got extinct. Now, their numbers in Kenya are at 900 individuals. That’s a great win for conservation thanks to the great work the Kenya wildlife Service is doing to keep our parks safe. Their work makes our efforts a lot easier and safer. Click here to know more about our history.

Our efforts toward conserving the Rothschild Giraffes is through breeding. This year,we’ve been blessed to have 2 newborn calves in two Months. Salma gave birth last month, 13th August 2022 at 8:00am. Today, 20th September 2022, Daisy gave birth at 8am to. We are expecting Betty to give birth too any time now.

This is really good news.

2022 AFEW Kenya Environmental Competition Prize Winners

Every year we host an annual Environmental competition. The competition seeks to give students a chance to give their views concerning the environment according to a set of questions and theme. We’ve marked the entries and here is the list of winners for the 2022 AFEW Kenya Annual Environmental Competition

Survival is for the fittest: Hippos in Amboseli

If asked, between the Crocodile and the Hippopotamus, who is the ‘King’ of water bodies? Most likely, we’d say the crocodile. With the sharp teeth and rough exterior and accurate tail slap, that animal is pure nightmare incarnate. In fact there’s a video on YouTube of a crocodile scaring an Elephant stiff while another video shows a crocodile hunting down an adult leopard. Crocodiles are awesome and gruesome hunters yet they don’t mess with the Hippopotamuses.

With the hippo’s smooth and sensitive skin to the sun, one would think they are easy prey but they are the embodiment of the saying, ‘Kindness for weakness. With their large bodies and small legs they are awesome swimmers. In water bodies, they are fast as a whip! No human can out swim them. However, on land, they can attain a speed of 35km/hr; even Bolt can definitely win a race against them.

Crocodiles do not mess with the adult Hippos for the right reasons. Key among them being the hippo’s powerful jaws. Hippos can open their mouth as wide as up to 1.5 meters wide and have the strongest bite pressure of between 1800-2000psi. That’s like 126.55Kg/cm2 of force being applied on every bite.

Hippo too tired to submerge due to a possible fight that happened overnight

During the 2021 AFEW Kenya Winners safari, Tertiary level, to Amboseli National Park We
saw one resting. He was badly bruised such that, he couldn’t be submerged in water, leaving its
badly wounded back out in the sun.

Our Head of Conservation Education programmes, Mr. Ngumbi Emmanuel and Mr. Omondi Fidel current Intern at the Conservation Education Department proceeded to let us know of the most probable misfortune this bull met. The bull fell on the wrong side of the survival for the fittest theory. This bull must have engaged in a male dominance territorial fight with another bull within a Bloat of Hippos and lost the fight.

Hippos fights starts with a mouth opening contest; with the one with the widest and biggest mouth winning. The winner of the mouth opening contest will try to snap it back with the loser’s mouth. If the loser evades the bite and takes off; a chase will follow with the chaser trying to dig his massive teeth in the other bull’s body until the chaser is tired or the day breaks.

The stories nature behold is simply beautiful. Participate in the AFEW Kenya Competition and enjoy some of the best scenes and a lot of learning moments with us as we help to connect you with nature.