When was the last time you leaned out of a second-floor window to casually pet a giraffe on the head? We thought so. The giraffes at Giraffe Manor are not only comfortable enough to stroll around the property, but they are even quite friendly—poking their heads through open windows, bending their necks down to say hello while you sit on the terrace, and joining you for breakfast… even eating snacks from your hand if you’d like! Spending time with these remarkable creatures at Giraffe Manor is truly a unique and remarkable experience for all ages.
Giraffe Manor is exactly as it sounds: an elegant, Victorian-style manor with a resident herd of endangered Rothschild giraffe strolling the grounds, which include manicured lawns and 140 acres of indigenous forest. It’s quite amusing to see these gigantic, long-legged residents curve their necks down to peek into the dining room window at breakfast on the table. Fortunately, giraffes prefer acacia leaves to pancakes!
Built in 1932 and modeled on a Scottish hunting lodge, this personally hosted boutique hotel has retained all the charm of that era, with all the luxury of modern conveniences. Prepare to relish the comfort of your four poster bed, admire the antique furnishing and striking art, and delight in the spacious bathrooms. A large veranda and multiple terraces give you the opportunity to hand-feed the friendly giraffes, as well as enjoy unrivalled views of the Ngong Hills, which inspired Karen Blixen fame.
Giraffe Manor is happy to host children of all ages, and we often recommend this property to families.
All of Nairobi is ours to explore! Perhaps we’ll visit Kenya’s foremost animal orphanage and conservation foundation, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. For more than four decades Dame Daphne Sheldrick was a recognised authority on successfully raising infant elephant and rhinoceros orphans and re-integrating them into the wild. Watch the babies feed and play while learning about them from the late Dame Daphne’s staff.
Karen Blixen’s home—the Danish author of Out of Africa—is nigh obligatory, paying tribute to the woman who nearly single-handedly inspired a generation of safari travellers. The home remains a perfect architectural gem with much of her original furniture recovered, and a visit will surely put you in the proper frame of mind for launching an excursion into the bush.
Then there’s the Giraffe Centre, set in 120 acres of primeval forest. The Centre raises, and then releases, endangered Rothschild Giraffes into the wild. Children and adults alike thrill to the treat of feeding these gentle giants by hand, facing them eye-to-eye from an elevated viewing platform.
And of course, we have the opportunity to visit the Micato-AmericaShare Community Centre in the Mukuru slum of Nairobi, where the smiles on the residents’ faces belie the poverty one sees. Witness the good works done here, from the Community Centre library to the basketball court to the fresh water borehole, and perhaps even have a chance to speak with some of the children whose educations are sponsored through Micato-AmericaShare—because of Micato travellers and friends, their lives have changed.