AN ENCHANTING PLACE WITH
A HERD OF RESIDENT RARE ROTHSCHILD GIRAFFES
There is a wonderful place in Nairobi called Giraffe Manor that enjoys beautiful views of the Ngong Hills. Built in 1932, the Manor house is one of Nairobi’s most iconic buildings. Today Giraffe Manor is an exclusive boutique hotel reminiscent of 1930’s grandeur, boasting art deco features and four-poster beds. Set in 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous forest in the Langata suburb of Nairobi, beautiful green gardens, sunny terraces and delightful courtyards surround Giraffe Manor. The most fascinating aspect about this enchanting hotel is it’s herd of ten resident and endangered Rothschild Giraffes.
Giraffe Manor offers an experience not comparable to any other. These giraffes often appear from the forest sanctuary in both mornings and evenings, poking their long necks into windows in hopes of a treat. Giraffe Manor was the home of Jock and Betty Leslie-Melville who were famous for lifelong ambition to preserve the beautiful and threatened Rothschild Giraffes. Today the Manor is owner-run by Tanya and Mikey Carr-Hartley, also determined conservationists.
This is the most wonderful peaceful retreat to either start or end a Safari in Kenya. Semi-habituated giraffe heads popping through open windows at breakfast will create unforgettable memories.
The Manor has eight superior rooms and two standard rooms, each with their own distinct personality. Spacious bathrooms and elegant furnishings are standard at Giraffe Manor.
Guests gather for evening drinks in the drawing room where the fire is crackling. For dinner there is a choice to have a social meal in the beautiful wood paneled dining room or at a private table under the Stars of Kenya, the table being surrounded by the glow created by lanterns and candles on the terrace. Meals are delicious and home styled with strong Kenyan influences.
Giraffe Manor is a sanctuary and hotel created for the protection of the endangered Rotshschild subspecies of giraffe. There are only a few hundred Rothschild giraffes left in the wild, and ten of them live around Giraffe Manor. These particular Rothschild giraffes are part of The African Fund for Endangered Wildlife breeding program. They breed naturally in the sanctuary and the calves born are introduced to the wild when they are two years old.
Acquired by the Leslie-Melvilles in the 1970’s, Giraffe Manor is today renowned worldwide for it’s work with the Rothschild giraffes and it’s beautiful lodgings. The nearby Giraffe Center operates a conservation and educational program for school children.
For a short stay, don’t miss spending as much time as possible at the Manor with the giraffes, as it is a truly magical experience. Local excursions include the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an orphanage that rescues orphaned baby elephants and rhinos. Guests are offered the opportunity to watch feeding and bath times. The nearby Karen Blixen Museum is dedicated to the Danish explorer and writer. The museum was home to Karen Blixen who is well known for the book ‘My African Farm” on which the film ‘Out of Africa’ was based. Kazuri Beads sells locally made jewelry. Or, visit the acclaimed Matbronze Art Gallery and Foundry, and the innovative crafts complex, Marula Studios.
Giraffe Manor offers the unique opportunity to photograph the resident semi-tame Rothschild Giraffes, as well as the warthogs at the Manor. Enjoy getting unique macro photographs of these beautiful and majestic animals. Guests can also wander through the adjoining primeval forest and capture the bushbuck, dik dik, and more than 180 species of birds.
High on a hilltop near the equator, Nairobi and its surroundings enjoy a temperate climate most of the year. At an altitude of 1 700 meters, 5,500 ft, humidity is very low and nights are cool. The summer months are sunny and hot but not unbearably sweltering. The winters are mild but never shiveringly cold. There are two monsoons and rainfall is moderate; the wettest months of the year are April and May, when days are typically cloudy and with downpours.