The Giraffe Centre is located at Langata, approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the centre of Nairobi, Kenya. It was established in order to protect the endangered Rothschild giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi, that is found only in the grasslands of East Africa.
The Giraffe Centre was started by Jock Leslie-Melville, the Kenyan grandson of a Scottish Earl, when he and his wife Betty captured a baby giraffe to start a programme of breeding giraffe in captivity at their home in Langata - home of the present centre. Since then the programme has had huge success, resulting in the introduction of several breeding pairs of Rothschild Giraffe into Kenyan national parks.
In 1979, Leslie-Melville added an education centre to his (then still private) giraffe sanctuary. By 1983 he had raised enough money to establish the Giraffe Visitor's Centre as a tourist destination in Nairobi.
The main attraction for visitors is feeding giraffes from a raised observation platform. The centre is also home to several warthogs which freely roam the area along with the giraffes.
Famous quotes containing the words centre and/or giraffe:
“Here in the centre stands the glass. Light
Is the lion that comes down to drink. There
And in that state, the glass is a pool.
Ruddy are his eyes and ruddy are his claws
When light comes down to wet his frothy jaws”
—Wallace Stevens (18791955)
“All that blesses the step of the antelope
all the grace a giraffe lifts to the highest leaves
all steadfastness and pleasant gazing, alien to ennui,
dwell secretly behind mans misery.”
—Denise Levertov (b. 1923)