Upon arrival in Nairobi, transfer to the elegant House of Waine, a boutique hotel in the tranquil Nairobi suburb of Karen. Situated on 2.5 beautifully manicured acres on the city’s outskirts, this elegant property was originally built as a lavish private estate. Later acquired by a local family, it was carefully refurbished to create this distinctive inn offering authentic, personalized Kenyan hospitality.
Day 2: Nairobi—Giraffe Center & Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage
After a full breakfast, enjoy a morning among the gardens and grounds of the estate before visiting several of the most popular wildlife and cultural highlights of Nairobi. Start with a leisurely lunch among the largest display of wildlife bronzes in Africa at Matbronze Cafe before a visit to the Karen Blixen Museum, honoring a well-loved piece of local history. Tour the former Kenyan home of Danish author Isak Dinesen—also known as Baroness Karen Blixen—who gained fame for her memoir Out of Africa, chronicling the story of life on a colonial coffee estate in the early 20th century. Next, head to the famous Giraffe Center, established to protect the endangered Rothschild's giraffe found only on East Africa’s grasslands. The Giraffe Center leads environmental education programs for Kenyan youth and has introduced several breeding pairs of Rothschild's giraffe into Kenyan national parks. You’ll stand up high on platforms to engage eye-to-eye with these gentle giants, and a chance to feed them by hand is lots of fun.
If time permits, you’ll have an opportunity to shop for local handicrafts before visiting the Daphne Sheldrick elephant orphanage at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The trust's pioneering elephant and rhino rescue and rehabilitation programs are a leading inspiration for conservation work in East Africa, with numerous wildlife and habitat protection successes to tout. Watch the irresistible action at the elephant nursery during the evening feeding. Return to House of Waine in time to meet your Expedition Leader and traveling companions at a welcome dinner marking the start of your group’s Great Kenya Migration Safari.