Sick in the Wild

You know for the tallest animal existing, poise and glamour is their way of life – nothing of news.  And as the Victoria Secret’s of the wild ( Uhm,, they don’t call themselves that, but work with me here) being sick is not a welcome respite. In fact, sickness is just never a topic to whine about around there, I mean what else would you want when you’ve got antiseptic saliva?

Well, that may not have been the case for Nandi the giraffe. On Saturday, we notice that Nandi is gloomy and aloof. One might mistake this for the cold weather  Nairobi has been serving us, but at a closer look, his ever-smooth fur coat is rough, and his nose is running.  Could he be sick? But from what? Remember when I said giraffes have antiseptic saliva? Well, let’s just say diarrhoea doesn’t care much about that because Nandi our girl had a severe running stomach.

In this millennial age, we could call Nandi a foodie because she, unlike others, is not keen on observing her diet. So anything and everything works for her, and we all know how that goes. The exact food she might have eaten that caused this is yet to be understood, but some speculate grass. Good news ! she’s now under the medication and close supervision from the rangers. Her health is steadily improving as she recuperates in isolation.

Over the last decade, a strange disease has also been noted in one of Rothschild’s cousins, the Masai giraffes. This species of giraffes widely spread in Northern Tanzania and Southern Kenya have been observed to have a  rare kind of skin disease. The disease is characterized by large grey crusty lesions that form on different parts the giraffe’s body mostly around the legs and the neck region.

Giraffes with these lesions seem rather inert  and could be an easy target for predators such as lions. While it’s a feast for the Lions, the giraffes can’t help but feel offended because they have never been known to give in so easily. And while the disease has not been recorded in the Rothschild Giraffe, its causes and treatment are yet to be found.

Research is still being conducted on the GSD ( Giraffe Skin Disease) to determine the exact cause of the infection and if this disease is mortal to the species. In other news, watch your diet, stay healthy, don’t be like Nandi!

One minute to midnight

The world of conservation must have been thrown into a frenzy when Robert Langdon released his very own version of the “apocalypse” in his book- Inferno. ‘We are one minute to Midnight!’ is one of the phrases that are sure to catch your eye when you open the book. You see, this book could take some of us through an existential crisis, I know I did. So when you see the damage we humans have caused and are continuing to do to our planet, you begin to realize that we might be the cancer to our very own existence.

The phrase ‘We are one minute to Midnight’ was one of my Aha moments in conservation!

Up until then, I viewed the concept of Reduce Reuse Recycle as rote learning, a repeated commercial if anything. Then I came across the idea of Midnight being the hour of our fall when climate change won’t just be another abstract idea but man’s biggest nightmare. The human race has always suffered the stubbornness of habit; we begin to make a change when pain is involved. And while I don’t agree with Robert Langdon’s idea of wiping off half the human race, one cannot fail to see from where he’s coming.

To many the idea of Environmental conservation or conservation at large could be termed as an acquired taste, and I pray it is because then we know that the awareness is out there. What we choose to do with this valuable information is up to us to decide. At Africa Fund for Endangered Wildlife, we have made it a tradition to make sure this information is passed down from generations to generations for the last 21 years.

Last Friday, 7th June 2019, we hosted our annual Prize giving day marking the end of the Environmental Competitions 2019. Once again, students from all levels of education participated in different categories of art and essays. The spirits were high as the music and dance brought us all under one theme.

I do have one question though, who introduced the Odi dance? This person deserves presidential recognition because finding a genre that brings together both the young and old in laughter is not an easy fete.  And who said the young are not wise? Because I beg to differ. The winning artwork and essay entries this year were a product of pure wit if not intelligence.

Expectations were met, even by the toddlers gracing us with their heartfelt poems on preserving planet Earth. Let’s take a conscious step to conserve our planet. It doesn’t hurt to use that metal straw to save the turtles at sea neither does it hurt to plant two trees when you cut down one. I could go on and on about the festivities of this day, but that’s for you to find out next year when you join us. Long story short, it was a good day! Do live and let others live.

Live and Let Live

What comes to your mind when you hear that phrase?

Talk about a live band singing to the beauty of the African giraffe under a sycamore tree watching the beautiful sunset (ooh yes the sunset has to be there because without it, what Africa are you talking about?)

Maybe the concept is a bit far-stretched, but you get my point. This world would be so lackluster if man were the only species inhabiting it. The beauty of it all that makes living worthwhile is the incessant chirping of birds, the joy of clean air and the smell of the rain. So the idea of us living to uphold another life is more like the Dominos effect- which essentially means that everything we do ultimately affects our coexistence in one way or another.

Our Annual National Environmental Awareness Competition all stems from this concept. As we all know, our world is moving towards a crisis, a crisis of survival and sustainability. So what better way to create awareness on Sustainable Environmental Conservation if not the young generation?

This Friday, 7th June 2019, we see Winners of the National Environmental Awareness Competition showcase their brilliance. Ranging from artwork to excellent essays, we see the ingenuity of every individual’s approach in achieving a common goal of Environmental conservation.

In the spirit of Eid Mubarak, stay tuned as we unleash the Arts in Conservation!

2019 Environmental Competition Results

Every year, AFEW Giraffe Centre gives Kenyan students an opportunity to express their thoughts on a given topic. They do so through essays and art in a highly competitive environmental competition that runs from January to March every year.

This year we’ve seen wonderful entries from students and pupils all over the country.

To know the winners of this year’s competition, please click here.

Your Opinion


For the past six months, AFEW Giraffe Centre has made some changes in the delivery of service to you our esteem visitors.
We would like to get your views on our service delivery.
Kindly please fill the survey form . we look forward for your views, comments and reviews


Kelly’s Fifth Born

Good day today it is. It’s not normal to witness a new born Giraffe Calf.

But this is no ordinary birth. Kelly is a legend already, this is her 5th born calf. Normally, giraffe’s gestation period is 15 months, but Kelly here did 17 months. That’s two whole months extra. Giraffes do this when they feel like the environment they are in is not conducive for giving birth. In this case, this would probably be because of the delayed rainy season.

So giraffes too are thrilled for the rain. Congratulation to Kelly.

The WAVES Ecology Scheme

Wendell Berry, a recipient of The National Humanities Medal, once said, “The Earth is what we all have in Common.” A very simple, probably common sense knowledge, but very powerful. It’s a quote that spark our minds to realize ways that ensures posterity of the earth. This is where, Kerrigan Savage Waves Trust comes into play.

Kerrigan Savage Waves Trust (WAVES in short), decided to partner with Giraffe Centre in spreading the conservation message. They have concentrated their efforts to needy school going children. Since the year 2000, together with Giraffe Centre, we are running an ecology program. The target being all Class 5 children from 5 primary schools in the slums of Nairobi and form 1 students of Starehe School. We give them a fully paid ecology trip to wildlife Centres around Nairobi. Some the wildlife centres the students are taken to include, Giraffe Centre, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, A ROCHA Kenya, Mamba Village and the Nairobi Safari walk. All these places give visitors valuable information about conservation of the environment.

Students at the Mamba village during their ecology trip sponsored by Kerrigan Savage Waves Trust

Other than educating the students, they also fund school projects that are environmentally inclined. The interesting requirement for the projects they fund is that the projects have to be owned by the school. Which means that the students are to be fully involved in the implementation, the school should see and use the output to better their daily activities and the community should embrace it.

Art on the Conservation of Nature
“He that plants trees loves others besides himself.” —Thomas Fuller

So in a very big way, WAVES, are doing all of us a big favor in making sure that this commonly shared resource is being used well. efficiently for now and preserved for posterity.

Thank you very much WAVES for all the support you are offering in environmental conservation and education.



Tree planting

Somewhere in Kenya, there is a family with considerable acres of land. During the planting seasons, this family made it a habit to distribute some of their seeds to the neighbors for planting. Weird I know. When asked why, the head of that family answered that it is a strategy to make sure that his land produces quality produce during the time of harvest.

Here’s why….

Tree planting is not as easy as we tend to believe. Having a good tree nursery goes beyond just planting and watching them grow. It is a process that needs a lot of concentration and guidance from the experts of trees. Here in Kenya, the experts being KeFRI (Kenya Forest and Research Institute), are highly equipped with knowledge on how to have a healthy tree nursery and ways to make sure that the posterity of the trees are assured.

Did you know that for a tree nursery to be viewed as properly made, the owner need to have information the following:-

  • Where the seeds were found.
  • A good label of the scientific name of the tree seedlings.

Knowing where the seeds are have been found helps a lot in knowing the kind issues the batch might be having. This means, collecting seeds in the field and planting them does not qualify as a good seed bed. Why?

There are rules to be followed in the collection of the seeds to assure that:-

  • You do not get the same family of seeds as this would lead to issues with how the plants grow. Think of it like incest, for a good seedling to be productive during transplant, you need different families in the bed so that during pollination, if any of the families in the seedling would, for example, had a stunted growth, during pollination, that problem can be well neutralized.  To help solve that, when collecting seeds for yourself, have like 30 meters interval. Why 30 meters you ask? During pollination, the pollen can only travel up to 30 meters. Past that, it gets void and can not be used for pollinating another plant.

So, if we go back to our story, the family did that practice to ensure that in case there was cross pollination between their crops, they’ll still get a quality produce as they were sure of the seeds planted by their neighbors.

2019 AFEW Environmental Competition in partnership with Pritt

Happy 2019 to you all. We hope that the year started with good tidings for each and every one of us. As we all know, every year, from the 1st of January to the 31st of March we have our environmental competition.This year is no exception.

We are however so sorry for the lateness due to an unavoidable circumstance. Finally, the competition poster is ready.

to get to the poster, please click on the button below.

Good luck and happy new year full of success.

School Visits And Booking

Several times we have been asked what we do with the money you pay as entry to Giraffe Centre. Well, one of them is allowing school groups to visit the Giraffe Centre free of charge. While at the Giraffe Centre, they get to learn about the environment and its importance. To make sure the students grasp the concepts, we have the lessons customized depending on where the school is coming from.

To achieve this goal without interfering with the guests as they enjoy their day with us, we have come up with a procedure on how to bring the school groups to our premises.

To know the procedure, please click here to get the school booking letter

Kindly adhere to this to ensure that we serve you best.