Giraffe Manor is located on 12 acres within the indigenous forest of the Langata suburb of Nairobi. The 1930s manor, modeled after a Scottish hunting lodge, is one of Nairobi’s most iconic buildings. Guests who stay in the small 10-room hotel share the grounds with a herd of Rothschild giraffes.
The giraffes are friendly and interact with the guests, sometimes even poking their heads through the windows to say hello and seek a treat. Top activities at the manor offer several ways to interact with the giraffes from the nearby sanctuary. Guests can have breakfast with the giraffes or enjoy an afternoon tea on the terrace while the giraffes come by to grab a treat. The friendly animals may be hand-fed by the guests with pellets provided by the hotel. One of the most popular rooms at the hotel is furnished with the belongings of Karen Blixen. Blixen was a Danish Nobel-prize nominated author who was best known for the novel “Out of Africa,” an account of her time living in Kenya.
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From the manor it is a quick stroll across the lawn to the giraffe sanctuary, where the guests may visit the giraffes at the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) Giraffe Center. This non-profit conservation organization provides wildlife education to the children of Kenya free of charge. Also nearby is the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where guests may visit and feed rescued baby elephants. Guests of Giraffe Manor enjoy full board and complimentary beverages as well as transportation to all nearby activities. The manor welcomes children and also offers one wheelchair-accessible room.
History: Giraffe Manor was built in 1932 by Sir David Duncan of Mackintosh’s Toffee fame. In the 1960s it passed through the hands of a number of investors before falling into disrepair. The American conservationist Betty Leslie-Mellville purchased the property in 1974 and restored it. Known as “the Giraffe Lady,” Betty and her husband Jock Leslie-Mellville established a breeding program for the Rothschild giraffe shortly after they purchased the property. Their adoption of a baby giraffe named Daisy and their establishment of a breeding program and the subsequent AFEW Giraffe Center was the inspiration for the 1979 film The Last Giraffe. The residence was converted into a small hotel by the couple’s son, and was subsequently sold to the Safari Collection group.
Giraffe Manor is one of four boutique Kenyan properties that make up the Safari Collection. The Safari Collection operates safaris throughout Kenya and East Africa in addition to managing the properties. With a stay at each of the properties, or by way of safari, guests have an in-person experience with Africa’s “Big Five” of lions, rhinos, buffalos, leopards, and elephants. Personalized safari itineraries run the gamut of experiences. Guests may choose a cultural photographic experience, helicopter rides over Kenya, fossil hunting, or horseback riding along the coast. The Safari Collection proudly maintains sustainable practices and is involved in giving back to the communities in which it operates. The collection supports key projects in conservation, education, and health.
Ongoing Programs & Education: Several of the Safari Collection’s tours begin at Giraffe Manor. The Fossil Hunting tour starts at the manor and then heads north to the Solio Lodge, where guests take off via helicopter to the shores of Lake Turkana and the Turkana Basin Institute. Here, guests spend time with the Leakey family, famed paleontologists of East Africa. The Migration Extravaganza Experience begins at Giraffe Manor and heads to the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti, known as some of the best wildlife viewing areas of the world. Here, guests see the wildebeest migration from three unique vantage points as well as explore the lion prides of the Maasai Mara and other wildlife of the East African plains.
What’s Nearby: Guests of the manor may visit the nearby David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The Wildlife Trust is dedicated to the preservation and protection of Africa’s wilderness and wildlife, especially elephants and the endangered black rhino. The trust rescues elephants and rhinos. Baby elephants and rhinos may be fed and visited on site, and even adopted through the Wildlife Orphans project. To date, over 150 baby elephants and rhinos have been fostered in the program and successfully reintroduced to the wild herds of Tsavo.
Gogo Falls Road, Nairobi, Kenya, Phone: 25-47-31-91-47-32