Ahh Africa. So wild, so beautiful, so cultural; it’s an experience as soon as you get off the plane! East Africa is known for its wildlife, stunning scenery, Mount Kilimanjaro and safaris on the savannah, but where could be better to sleep than a place that is both luxurious in comfort with the added factor of beautiful animals in their natural environments? Only Giraffe Manor. And they do it damn well.
Giraffe Manor is merely 20 kilometres from Kenya’s bustling capital city, Nairobi, making it an easily accessible haven from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and once you get there; it will be a struggle to leave. Yes, the stunning décor, the bedrooms and the roaring fireplaces will take your breath away, but let’s face it. The Manor’s main attraction is the fact that it has a resident herd of Rothschild Giraffes that roam the grounds, frequently poking their spotted faces in through the windows! Talk about wildlife at your doorstep.
The small five-star hotel is set in 12 acres of private land amongst acres of indigenous forest where a Giraffe Centre was set-up for the endangered species. It began as a breeding centre to boost their population but has now expanded into conservation and educational programs for Kenyan school children, and they include warthogs, hyenas and the odd leopard to maintain the Giraffe’s natural habitat. An amazing project for African wildlife, especially as all the profits of the hotel go towards the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife. It’s also a freaking out-of-this-world experience for animal lovers who get to pass through the area.
Apparently, the Manor houses one of Nairobi’s finest restaurants, as guests argue that the meals defeat anything New York or L.A. has to offer. But they might be a tad biased since the fantastic breakfast spread has the bonus of giraffes popping in to say ‘howdy’ through the open windows. They’ll innocently mooch about the property peering through doorways and windows in natural curiosity and friendliness. It is the only place in the world where you can feed a giraffe from your second-floor bedroom window, at the lunch table or literally at your front door.
Nature nature nature is the attraction of Giraffe Manor, plus the exquisite bedrooms to snooze in… but its close proximity to Nairobi make it a great place to base yourself to explore the city.
Of course the catch is its price, which can be up to $500 per night (eek.). Superstars like Mick Jagger, Ewan McGregor and Richard Branson have famously kipped there. Yeah, I definitely cannot afford even one night there, unless I save for a hell of a long time, but if you do have the pleasure and privilege of scoring a stay at the Giraffe Manor, get a second floor room with a balcony. You can’t be grumpy in the morning with a giraffe greeting.