Nairobi Giraffe Center

I make my way to Nairobi via Mount Kenya, though the low-lying cloud means I don’t get so much as a glimpse of the giant mountain.
I have a long list of jobs to tick off in Nairobi (more on that later), and so in the mean time I make a visit to the Giraffe Centre.

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It’s hard to believe how big they really are

Here you can get extremely close to a couple of giraffes, even petting and hand feeding them. They don’t love being touched though, so you have to watch out for head butts which look painful. I don’t stick around to find out, but I see a few other people get it.

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The faces are so expressive, it’s easy to tell when they are pissed off

They are such strange creatures, and it’s amazing to be so close – their heads are absolutely enormous, really hard to comprehend up close.

Of course I opt for the full-service package!

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Going for it

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Slobbery, and with a scratchy tongue like a cat. Yep, about what I expected


3 Responses

  1. Filippo says:

    Dan. This is an amazing blog, one everyone should read to start understanding the mosaic that Africa appears to be.

    I’m fascinated by what you do mechanically – how easy is it to maintain or get it fixed – are you pretty much “the guy”?

    I’m really interested in how you sort out what to do in each country to stay out of trouble? Everything from the macro politics (terrorism, revolutions – for example I’m thinking of Sudan and Libya coming up), all the way to small local stuff at borders? How do you know what to do? On the small encounters, are you aggressive, firm, nice, and/or innocent? There are certainly cultural nuances. I’m guessing your extensive travel experience with varied cultures has fine-tuned your people radar.

    Curious, do you inform your embassies where you are travelling? If so how are they?

    Are there web or book resources that are your go-to for some of the above?


    • Dan Grec says:

      Hi Filippo,

      Thanks for the kind words!
      I do all the maintenance myself, because I want to know it was done right. It’s nothing difficult. Oil changes, tire rotations, greasing joints, inspecting things etc. Some countries have Jeep dealers so I could pay to have it done I suppose.

      The countries here are much, much, much safer and more stable that you’re thinking. You don’t have to plan and prepare as if you’re going into a war zone. Talk to other travelers, talk to border guards, police and military. Chat to street vendors and the people you buy lunch from. For the vast majority of countries it’s extremely safe to roam far and wide without a second thought to safety.

      For all encounters I am friendly and polite. Shake hands (always!) and smile. Be patient and friendly. Make the officer like you. That way you get through and don’t pay bribes!
      Yes, the Australian embassy knows what I’m up to, but as far as I can tell it’s meaningless. They just email me generic travel warnings that could have been written by someone sitting in Sydney for all the good they do me.


      • Tim says:

        That giraffe kiss looks to be one of the bravest things I’ve seen you do! Surely you’ve seen the tongues on those things? 😀
        Thoroughly enjoy reading each post you write! Keep at it!

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