Located in the leafy suburbs of Langata on a 140 acre sanctuary, Giraffe Manor offers a unique opportunity to meet the resident giraffe, all of whom are of the endangered Rothschild’s species. Close up encounters with the semi-habituated giraffe as they put their heads through the windows at breakfast creates unforgettable memories.
Originally built in the 1930s and operating as a hotel since 1984, Giraffe Manor is modelled on a Scottish hunting lodge. The décor includes Art Deco bathrooms, and rooms filled with early twentieth century pieces of furniture and art. It is both urbane and upcountry in feel, and is a fine example of a style popularised by the more aristocratic sections of Nairobi’s 1930s ex-pat community.
12 individually designed guestrooms are split between the main Manor House and the Garden House, all with en-suite bathrooms and some with a shower only or bath only. Two of the rooms can easily be converted into family rooms, and one is furnished entirely by pieces once owned by Karen Blixen. The hotel has a personality of its own, and its aging, slightly frayed softer furnishings add to the manor’s charm.
The service is first class, as is the food, and the chance to dine within a few feet (sometimes inches) of the hotel’s giraffe is something else. Guests gather in the drawing room before dinner for drinks. However, breakfast is the highlight of any stay here when the giraffe pop their heads through the dining room window to see what is on offer. Guests will also find a pot of giraffe nuts in their bedroom in case they wish to entertain any very tall visitors through their window.
Giraffe Manor has a striking view of the Ngong hills and is also home to many characters including warthogs, bushbuck, dik dik and more than 180 species of birds. Activities from Giraffe Manor include visiting either the Karen Blixen Museum or the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage.