This is not your typical “unique safari experience” but rather one of those once in a lifetime bucket list experiences- so, what exactly is it that makes this hotel so incomparably unique?
Owned by The Safari Collection, The Giraffe Manor is a charming, yet sumptuous family-owned boutique hotel modelled on a Scottish hunting lodge in the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. Set in 12 acres of lush gardens, the original red brick building dressed in sprawling ivy was built in 1932 and has since been one of the most sought-after hotels across the globe. Many safaris including trips to Kenya's famous national parks such as the Masai Mara and Tsavo, either begin or end in Nairobi- making The Giraffe Manor the perfect start to or end of a magnificent trip.
While being a rather pricey stay, starting at $600 per person, this does include all your gourmet meals and drinks, unmatched service, the gorgeous accommodation, and most importantly- interaction with the giraffes. So, the real question is; can you put a price on a once in a life time bucket list experience?
The Manor House
Built in 1932, the original manor has six rooms including the Karen Blixen suite, Betty, Daisy, Jock, Lynn and Marlon- the names of the resident Rothschild giraffes. Naturally, these rooms were designed in accordance with the original family’s needs for example Marlon is now the combination of what used to be two small children’s rooms.
The imperial exterior, graceful interior, and joyous courtyards amongst the rolling lawns will have you feeling as if you’re walking straight onto the film set of Out of Africa. Even more so if you stay in the “Karen Blixen” suite, which is named after the author. Run in a family home manner, guests have dinner at a long dining room table after casual sundowners on the terrace by the fire. A true old school ambience, with an overflow of colonial history that a mere generation ago, contributed to this family home.
The Garden Manor
In 2011, a new section of the manor was built right next door. Despite being built 78 years later, the manor house design was replicated and materials from the original building period were used to create resemblance. The Garden Manor too has six rooms including the Finch Hatton Suite, Salma, Edd, Arlene, Helen, and Kelly. As seen by the names of the rooms- each giraffe has a name and story that goes with it. To learn more about each giraffes story, head to the Giraffe Centre’s Meet the giraffes page.
The Rothschild Giraffes
The Giraffe Manor ultimately serves as a sanctuary for raising, protecting and breeding one of the most endangered species of giraffes- the Rothschild giraffe. Surrounding the 12 acres of plush garden is 140 acres of unspoiled, indigenous forest where these elegant long-legged beauties have roamed since the 1970s.
There’s no doubt that the main reason guests want to visit the Giraffe manor is to meet, well, the giraffes of course… Both Manor House and Garden Manor guests will enjoy the opportunity to mingle with the giraffes- separated by a small courtyard, the experience is the same and giraffes pay visits to both buildings. Guests have three chances to interact with the giraffes: afternoon tea around 6:00 pm, morning feeding from certain rooms around 6:00 am, and breakfast from 6:30am-8:00am.
Go for an idyllic horse ride in the Ngong Hills, call +254 704 494464 to book. Visit the Karen Blixen Museum at the former home of the "Out of Africa,” author. Visit the orphaned elephants at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and watch the baby eles enjoy their muddy midday bath and feed. Go on a game drive in Nairobi National Park the world’s only national park within a major capital city. Lastly, explore local talent in the hub for artisanal creativity such as Matbronze, the One Off Contemporary Art Gallery, and the Banana Hill Art Gallery. Transfers can be arranged at no extra cost from the Manor.
Book the Giraffe Manor just for the night or as part of a complete tailor-made safari with The Safari Collection. By simply staying at the manor, each guest contributes to the conservation and protection of Kenya's wildlife! Wanting to find more once in a lifetime experiences? Head to Exploring Our Globe's Instagram and Facebook pages to get going.