giraffes vie for your attention at the breakfast table, the front door, and even at your bedroom window.
Looking for a more unusual travel experience to fuel your dinner-party conversations? Giraffe Manor, located in the suburbs of Nairobi, allows visitors an authentic look at the natural surroundings and culture of Kenya. Built in 1932 and modeled on a Scottish hunting lodge, the inn offers a pleasant mixture of traditional and modern elegance.
Each of the 10 rooms is different, furnished with a large four-poster bed and modern comforts.
But what’s remarkable is not the antique furnishings, the traditional home-cooked meals from the on-site chef, or the spiral staircase that greets visitors in the main entrance hall. What makes this inn remarkable are the herds of wild giraffes which can be found grazing peacefully on the lawns in front of the resort, or even reaching in through the huge windows to greet guests during breakfast. Special walls have been built to keep the animals safe and separated, though they can walk right up to the terrace and around the house.
The resort was not originally built to house giraffes. During the early 1970s, the owners of the manor were assisting in the relocation of some giraffes and agreed to take in an orphaned Rothschild giraffe, whom they named Daisy.
Now, 40 years later, Giraffe Manor is home to many giraffes. As wild animals, giraffes are rather shy. Visitors should not expect to cuddle or kiss them, though their warm faces and horse-like eyes may seem to invite them to try. Still, many of the giraffes will let you pet and feed them, or curiously poke their heads in through open windows to look around.
The manor is located within walking distance of the Giraffe Centre, a breeding center and nature preserve, which is included in the rate for guests. Also close by is an elephant orphanage that rescues and rehabilitates orphaned baby elephants and rhinos. Karen Blixen, the Danish author of Out of Africa, is namesake to a nearby museum offering insight into the culture, history, and art of Kenya.
Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, is just 20 kilometers away and is one of the largest and fastest-growing cities in Africa. This cosmopolitan town, fondly nicknamed Green City in the Sun, has various tourist attractions such as the Kenya National Museum, many diverse restaurants, and great shopping.
Giraffe Manor is a 40-minute drive from Jomo Kenyatta airport and 20 minutes from Wilson Airport. Rooms are offered from $505 per person, per night, and include meals and access to the nearby Giraffe Centre. The resort is closed in May, but open for the remainder of the year.