A date with the Giraffes
Perhaps the most challenging part of a man’s life is to keep your significant other happy all the time. By
“happy” here I mean keeping her entertained throughout the time you spend together. Whether you spend time with each other once a month, once in three months, every weekend, or everyday (sigh), the goal is the same; to give her something she will treasure and remember every time she misses you. Being responsible for somebody’s happiness is the hardest job there is. To make matters worse, it has no schooling/training. It is something you need to learn and practice yourself. Whatever works, stick to it. This is not something you can copy from a friend or somewhere else. What makes one person happy might not necessarily work for another.
However, there is a solution; travelling! You can never go wrong with travelling. Until today, I have never met someone who doesn’t like to travel. Nature is rewarding and travel experiences are worth the time and money. I know someone might be thinking, “But travelling is expensive, what happens when I do not have money?”It’s quite common to think that way, but that’s a gross misconception.. It doesn’t have to be a Dubai trip, or a Maasai Mara safari, or a Mombasa holiday. There are plenty of places you can go that are not far away, and things you can do that are quite affordable. Has she been to Bomas of Kenya? (Probably during a school trip in primary school) Take her there, entry is free. Has she been to Uhuru Gardens, the KICC helipad, Uhuru Park, Karura forest, Paradise lost etc? The list is almost endless for where you can go and spend time. You will not spend more than 500 bob and you will make someone happy. Activities, nature and sceneries will do the rest of the work for you. There will be no need to struggle with poem lines or biting your nails trying to remember that old funny story you heard in high school. You still think this is hard? Let me tell you what I did a weekend ago.
It was a busy weekend and I only had Sunday to spend with my special person. She loves nature and therefore I had to come up with a plan pertaining to that. Sadly, she is well travelled. This means that I had to think of a plan that didn’t involve back tracking for her, but still within the city. Giraffe Centre came to mind and when I inquired, she had never been there before. Boom! I hit the jackpot!
By 11.30am, we had already arrived at the Giraffe Centre. For your information, it is accessible through public means. You will need to board a Karen bound matatu from Ambassador Terminal that uses Lang’ata Road, and pay 50-70 shillings depending on the time. Entrance at the gate is Kshs.250 per adult citizen and Kshs. 1,000 for adult non-citizens. The most convenient part is you can pay via cash, M-pesa or card.
After getting in, we went straight to the information centre. This is a small office with giraffe information. Here, you will learn that there are 3 types of giraffes in Kenya, i.e. the Maasai giraffe, the Reticulated giraffe and the Rothschild’s giraffe. You will also learn where each is found in Kenya and other facts about Kenyan wildlife. Every time I get to a destination, the first thing I do is to get information about it, just to ensure that I can enjoy it fully.
After the quick learning, we got out to the balcony and this is where we met Stacey. Stacey is a 7 year old lady Giraffe.
She is the friendliest animal and enjoys human company. She feeds from human palms patiently and she enjoys kissing.
She allows people to caress her head and neck. I think if she could talk, she would ask everyone to be her friend.
Feeding a giraffe from your palm is an experience worth everything. It is amazing to see it curve its neck to grab the pellets from your palm with its long tongue. However, not all people are confident enough to let them feed off their palm. My girlfriend is one of them. She had never been this close to a giraffe. She had only seen them in the park from a considerable and safe distance.
She had a nice time dancing while feeding the giraffe (jumping back and dropping the pellets on the giraffes tongue with lightening speed). It was fulfilling to see her all excited and couldn’t stop smiling. I knew my work was done!
After Stacey got more visitors, we went to say hi to Daisy. Daisy was alone and behind a knee high wall. The problem with Daisy is that she is so sensitive. To touch her neck or jaws you have to work very hard to distract her.
Many times she jerked her head back after sensing something fishy. Well, I tried and managed to get close.
My girlfriend didn’t even try to come close. This is where I had to earn points. I gathered all the courage there is and offered to accompany her feed Daisy. She trusted me and Boom! We did it. The excitement she derived from there was something to admire.
The Giraffe Centre operates daily from 8am to 5pm and you can feed them at any time of the day. Feeding pellets are provided and no any other food stuff is allowed.
On the opposite side of the Giraffe Centre is a nature trail.
Who would have thought? This made me more excited because as I mentioned before, my girlfriend loves nature. This is off the beaten track. It is undisturbed.
Forget Oloolua Nature Trail, forget Karura Forest (it has defined pathways), and forget Paradise Lost; this is the closest you can get to nature. The trail has tiny paths that are clearly marked. It is rare to encounter more than 5 people here and this makes it so quiet. It has benches where you can relax and probably present to her that poem you have been crafting for a long time.
Do not even think of doing nasty things because trees have eyes. There is a river that passes quietly through the trail and creates a mini waterfall.
There is a Ngong Hills View Point at the far end.
Most of the trees here are indigenous. A lot of them have medicinal value according to Dr. Eliud from Travelwitheliud Nature Clinic (don’t take my word for it).
With great conversation and chemistry, the trail will take about 1.5 to 2.5 hours to complete. By this time and by nature’s assistance, she will have promoted you to the king of her life.
The Giraffe Centre is a great plan. If you have never been there before, do not wait any longer. Save the date for that Saturday after a Friday’s night out or that Sunday after church and visit this awesome place. If you have been there before, consider taking someone else and become their guide.
Guys, let’s not get bored in the house doing the same things. Get out there and experience the beauty in our country!
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