Updated: Apr 6, 2020
On the edge of Nairobi there is a very special hotel with some rather incredible hosts. Giraffe Manor is a small boutique hotel set in 12 acres of private land, and is home to a herd of resident Rothschild’s giraffes.
Dress (Sold out): Similar here
The hotel is owned and run by The Safari Collection, whos ethos is to bring conservation, community and tourism together. They run a number of conservation projects across Kenya, including the Rothschild’s giraffe conservation and breeding program.
Giraffe Manor was originally built as a home in the 1930s, but in 1970s Jock and Betty Leslie-Melville purchased the property, and used it to start their campaign to save the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe. Their legacy lives on today, with the resident giraffes of the manor providing many of the offspring who have gone on to live in the wild and breed. Since the project started numbers in the wild have risen from around 100 to 1,200.
This place is incredible. Even if you forget the giraffes for a second, George and I agree that this is hands down the best hotel we've ever stayed in, by a clear mile. Everything is thought of and every need attended to.
The grounds are stunning and the hotel beautifully decorated.
After a quick tour we dropped our bags of in our room and set off to explore.
We were lucky in that our room had a balcony off the side to enjoy spectacular views of the grounds and giraffes from.
We headed downstairs to relax before lunch, which was served outside on the terrace. The sun shining overhead with a lovely breeze.
The food is some of the best I've ever had. And there's so much of it! Breakfast, lunch, high tea, dinner, snacks and homemade lemonade! We certainly weren't hungry for any part of our stay.
After a wonderful lunch we sat around the front of the house to watch the giraffes in the distance. There is also an elephant orphanage down the road which we hear is worth a visit, but as we only had such a short time at Giraffe Manor we wanted to soak up every moment of it.
And soon enough it was time for high tea (with some very tall guests)!
The giraffes can eat up to 34kg of food per day (that's an awful lot of leaves and grass pellets!) I stuck to the cakes and scones that were on offer!
There is absolutely no guarantee that the giraffes will come up to the house for feeding. They are still essentially wild animals (with many of the offspring being released into the wild for further breeding).
But we were very lucky and spoilt for choice! Daisy was my favourite, although a little moody she was a sweetie at heart.
After feeding time we went back up to our room to freshen up for dinner. Drinks are served in the lounge beforehand with jazz playing on an old gramophone. There's also a beautiful library to explore, filled with books about giraffes and Eastern African wildlife. I can't tell you what a beautiful setting and building it is.
We ate outside again by candlelight as the weather was so nice and still warm long after the sun had set. Then off to bed for some kip as it's an early alarm call at the manor (although early wake-ups are something we are getting very used to on safari!)
Daisy was waiting for us as soon as we woke up! We headed on to the balcony to say good morning.
And Ed was by the front door.
We walked through to the breakfast room to be greeted by lots more faces!
Which is quite a view from behind!
We enjoyed a very filling breakfast with our new friends before having to gather together our things to head to the airfield! It's safari time - but what a great way to kick of our Kenyan adventure.
If you do ever want to stay a night or two at Giraffe Manor, plan ahead. They can be fully booked up to almost two years in advance. It's a very small hotel with only 12 rooms. This A makes the experience all the more magical, but B also means the giraffes aren't overwhelmed with visitors to their home. If you do get the chance - go! It is probably the most incredible place I have ever been.