Look up, look way up, the inexplicable wizardry of wildlife looms large here. Few visions register more magical than a giraffe or two angling their improbably long necks through the window of the breakfast room at enchanting Giraffe Manor. Taking tea amongst members of the resident herd of endangered Rothschild giraffes at this elegant, Victorian-style boutique inn is surely one of Africa’s most whimsical pleasures. The magnificent ungulates enjoy – as will you, we’re certain – strolling the manicured lawns set among a further 140 acres of indigenous forest – verdant, lush forest that provides rich rewards for those voracious acacia leaf nibblers. Our long-legged friends – and truly, they are the longest of the long: giraffes are the tallest living terrestrial animals of all – add to the general air of serene beauty that permeates the Manor’s stately façade, elegant interiors and the sunny terraces that form a stage for the cavalcade of views over the Ngong Hills of Nairobi.
We fully enjoy each and every opportunity to settle into the comforts of this 1932 manor, comfortably tempered as it is with the homely patina of an old Scottish hunting lodge, yet fully enhanced with the luxuries of the modern era. Intimacy weds casual elegance: a dozen luxurious bedrooms are uniquely furnished, variously with four-poster beds, antiques, original art deco features, in-room fireplaces and full en-suite facilities. Half the bedrooms are located in the original 1930s manor house, while a further six are in the Garden Manor, a smaller newer yet no less charming replica. Bedroom verandas and sweeping ground-floor terraces provide the chance to admire, stroke and even to hand feed the gentle giants. Some suites feature mezzanine lofts with extra twin beds, especially cosy lairs for children under the age of the 12.
A note for families & children
Giraffe Manor is happy to host children of all ages, and we often recommend this property to families.
After the fun of giraffe husbandry, many nearby diversions remain. Perhaps a visit to the acclaimed Matbronze Art Gallery and Foundry, followed by a little gift buying of the beautiful hand-made jewellery at Kazuri Beads or the innovative crafts complex at Marula Studios. And always vaut le detour, particularly before safari, is a pilgrimage to the home and gardens of Karen von Blixen, the Danish author credited with inspiring a generation of safari travellers. (‘Out of Africa’ is certainly one of our favourite, ever-evocative films.) Paying homage to one of Kenya’s first intrepid settlers will surely put you in the proper frame of mind for your own adventure.
Also convenient to Giraffe Manor, seeing baby and infant elephants and rhinos feed and frolic at Sheldrick’s Elephant Sanctuary is a life-affirming joy. Kenya’s foremost animal orphanage and conservation foundation rescues, rehabilitates and reintegrates these treasures into the wild. You wouldn’t be the first to fall in love and adopt one of the devilish cuties.
And of course, we are always pleased – and more than a little proud – to introduce our guests to Micato-AmericaShare Community Centre in the Mukuru slum of Nairobi. The good works done here, from the library to the basketball court to the fresh water borehole— are all thanks to Micato travellers and friends who positively impact the lives of so many African children with each safari taken.