I just returned home from East Africa and was lucky enough to stay at Giraffe Manor, while in Kenya. I’ve seen a lot of questions lately regarding the Manor, including, “How much it is?”, “Is it worth it?”, and “How does it work?” I am going to attempt to answer every question you could possibly have within this post.
What Is It?
For those of you not familiar with Giraffe Manor, it is a small boutique hotel, built in the early 1930s and currently owned by The Safari Collection. It sits on 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of forest. It also serves as home to a herd of endangered Rothschild Giraffes.
Is It Ethical?
Yes. A short walk from Giraffe Manor is the Giraffe Center. It is a sanctuary and breeding center for the endangered Rothschild Giraffe. So far, they have bred and released over 40 giraffes into game parks across Kenya. Conservation and education are an important part of the Giraffe Center. It hosts thousands of Kenyan school children each year in hopes of using education to change mindsets and positively impact the future of these animals. There is absolutely no forced interaction between people and the giraffes. The giraffes do as they please and interaction with them is never guaranteed.
How Do I Book?
If you are considering a visit to Giraffe Manor I would start by visiting their website and checking their availability first. It books up months in advance and date options are slim. I arranged my entire trip around my stay. I made my reservation in August for a night in February and at the time there were only two nights available. If you do see a date you want, I would recommend calling as soon as possible. Email is an option, but by the time I received a reply (due to time difference), my first choice was gone. Cancellations do happen, so continue checking back if you are looking for a specific night. View availability here:
How Much Is It?
I would be traveling with a friend and we chose to book our stay in the Betty. The Betty is one of Giraffe Manor’s more expensive or what they call a superior room. Standard rooms (no terrace and smaller in size) are also available for a lesser rate. The Betty cost $1390 or $695 per person. There is also a lesser room rate for a single if you are traveling solo. A deposit equal to 30% of the room total is required shortly after booking (they can hold the room for 5 days). The remaining balance is due 45 days before your stay. Everything you could possibly need is included in the rate- all meals, self-serve bar, transfer to and from the airport, admission to the nearby Giraffe Center and transportation to anywhere in the nearby area.
How Do You Get There?
We arrived in Nairobi the night before our stay and checked into a hotel down the street from the airport. If you are in search of of something near the airport I recommend the Lazizi Premiere. I made arrangements with Giraffe Manor to pick us up (included) at 10 am so we could arrive promptly at check-in, which is 11 am. Our driver was on time and was incredibly friendly. He told us a lot about the area as we drove through it and we were at the Manor, which is located in a small suburb of Nairobi, within 40 minutes.
What Is the House Like?
After checking in, we settled into our room and spent some time exploring the house and grounds. The house and surrounding property is absolutely stunning and the interior decor is nothing but elegant. Our chosen room, the Betty, is a front facing room on the second floor with a beautiful terrace overlooking the side of the property. The room is decorated true to the time it was built, complete with canopy bed and Art Deco bathroom. The room came stocked with giraffe treats in a gold jar. One of the perks of this room is being able to feed the giraffes in the early morning hours before going downstairs for breakfast. As soon as they saw me through the window with the jar, they quickly made their way over.
How Are the Meals?
The weather was lovely and we enjoyed both lunch and dinner outside, next to the gardens. Lunch began at noon and dinner at 8 pm. Both were multiple course meals and delicious. You definitely won’t leave the table hungry. I’m pescatarian and they were very accommodating, just let them know about any dietary restrictions prior to your arrival. Everything about Giraffe Manor is tastefully done and there are so many lovely details, down to the napkin holders, which have clearly been thought about.
What Is There to Do?
I wanted to take advantage of everything Giraffe Manor had to offer since I was only there for a 24-hour period and chose to remain at the house the entirety of my stay. We did walk over for a visit to the Giraffe Center though. The giraffes aren’t confined to the immediate property of the Manor. They have access to acres of forest that they are free to roam, but they choose to stay where the food is.
Generally, the giraffes are at the Manor from 6- 9 am and then walk over to the Giraffe Center as soon as it opens. A Giraffe Manor staff member escorted us to the center and introduced us to a guide there. He took us on a tour and educated us on the center and its breeding program of endangered Rothschild Giraffes. You will get the opportunity to feed and interact with the giraffes here as well.
The giraffes tend to stay at the Giraffe Center until it’s closing at 5pm. At that time, they make their way back over to the Manor for high tea. High tea includes light snacks and refreshments on Giraffe Manor’s front patio. There are also plenty of treats for the giraffes and photo opportunities. The staff is really great about taking photos for everyone and really get some amazing shots.
How Does Breakfast Work?
The following morning we were up bright and early for breakfast and so excited. Breakfast begins at 7 am and the giraffes start making their way over at the first sign of light. Breakfast is for Giraffe Manor guests only. The hotel doesn’t have the capacity to host non-guests and part of what makes staying there so special is its intimate setting. Tables are reserved according to room, with the superior rooms seeming to be closer to the windows. The staff encourages everyone to finish their food before taking pictures. The giraffes quickly make a mess and one had no problem helping herself to a serving of our fruit. Once again, the incredible staff took so many wonderful photos for us.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
After breakfast, we packed up and checked out. A collection box for tips, to be split among staff, is located near the front of the house. Make sure you have some cash (US dollars are fine) to leave something on your way out. Tip your drivers separately. We departed for our next destination and our driver took us to some of the local craft markets on the way.
So how would I describe my time at Giraffe Manor? One word- magical. The staff really goes above and beyond to give each guest a special and memorable experience. Everything was absolutely perfect and exceeded any expectations that I might have had. It was truly everything I had hoped for and more and is definitely one for the bucket list. Was it worth it? Most definitely.
Interested in going on safari? Check out my post, “What to Expect on Safari in Tanzania” and learn about the incredible time I had in Tanzania.