Happy New Year! I hope 2019 has started well for you and yours. I wish you love, happiness, good health, $$$ and of course more travel this year.
We kick off this year’s blog run with a post on Kenya’s best known lodge. We’ve all seen the photos of the Rothschild’s giraffes, sticking their heads through the window at breakfast, or being fed pellets from a room window. Just last year Richard Quest, Ellen and Brother Nature were out here kiss-feeding Betty and Kelly and having the rest of the world gash at the photos in envy. If it isn’t on your bucket list, then I don’t know what is! I’m talking about the one and only Giraffe Manor.
Giraffe Manor is located in Karen, Nairobi where it shares its grounds with the Giraffe Center where for a small fee, you can stand on a platform and feed Daisy, Kelly, and their other sibling giraffes. Giraffe Center was established by Betty and Jock Leslie-Melville to provide a sanctuary for the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe in the 1970s. The giraffes are found at the lodge during breakfast time and at four o’clock high tea; the rest of the day they retreat to the surrounding forest and at the Giraffe Center.
Built in the 1930s, the Giraffe Manor still retains that old world charm which is one of the reasons it is considered special. Due to the lodge’s appeal and numerous subsequent inquiries, the owners built the adjacent Garden Manor initially with four rooms and then adding two more to bring the total number of rooms in both manors to 12.
Each room is named after a giraffe who in turn got his/her name from a personality linked to the lodge. In the main manor there is: Betty, Daisy, Jock, Marlon, Lynn and the Karen Blixen Suite. In the Garden Manor, there is Helen, Kelly, Arlene, Salma, Edd and the Finch Hatton Suite. It is important to note that the giraffes do not have access to all rooms in the manors. The giraffes do not get to Lynn, Marlon, Karen Blixen Suite, Salma, Edd and the Finch Hatton Suite. Guests staying in these rooms would have to interact with the giraffes at breakfast or during evening tea.
In the main manor, Betty and Daisy have balconies from where guests feed the giraffes while Marlon and Lynn are the smallest rooms. In the Garden Manor, Salma and Edd are the most recent additions having been built in 2017. Kelly has three beds – great for families. I loved Helen best – no reason why but I just loved the room!
Giraffe Manor, modeled after a Scottish hunting lodge, has a green exterior, thanks to a climbing plant that has covered the walls. The building is compact with every space utilized for a purpose. Upon entry, straight on there is a short staircase with steps leading to the rooms on the left and to the right. On either side of the small lobby is a lounge on the right and a dining room to the left. Outside the Garden Manor is a patio where meals are served on most days, weather allowing. In front of the main manor is the courtyard where evening tea is served and giraffes come to be fed. Also on the grounds is a gift shop and offices of the Safari Collection who own the property.
Now, staying at Giraffe Manor comes at a hefty price and that is if you can find a room at the lodge. It is fully booked for all of 2019!! A lot of people ask whether they can only breakfast at the hotel or go for the evening tea for the giraffe feeding experience and the answer is unfortunately no as that is reserved for guests. However, the wonderful people may smile upon your request so it doesn’t hurt to ask! The lodge will be closed from 27th March to 1st June 2019 when they will expand the lodge to include a swimming pool, spa and a gym.
No, I didn’t feed the giraffes, just in case you’re wondering 🙁