A beautiful ivy-clad manor with giraffes roaming the grassy meadow before visiting guests for breakfast, Giraffe Manor isn’t a Disney animation, but a luxury guesthouse in the green suburbs of Nairobi. Set in 12 hectares of private land within the indigenous Langata forest in the upmarket suburb of Karen, the property is home to a giraffe sanctuary for the endangered Rothschild giraffe. Close to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Karen Blixen museum, well away from the bustle of the city centre and a convenient distance from the airports, it is a charming place to stay before an East African safari.
The original 1930s manor evokes a bygone age of gracious living with six rooms and suites within the original family home and an additional four in the adjacent new building.
Each en-suite room is named after a resident giraffe and has its own character, four-poster beds and antique furniture blending with contemporary comforts including wifi. The Finch Hatton and the Karen Blixen suites each sleep up to 5, ideal for a family with three children, and the second floor rooms with balconies are particularly in demand as these windows are the first the giraffes visit looking for early morning treats.
Breakfast with the giraffes is one of the star attractions. Your breakfast table features a bowl of giraffe nuts alongside your coffee, so that when the gentle visitors stretch elegant necks in through the windows you can feed them or share giraffe kisses and hugs. In the middle of the day the gentle giants retreat into the shade of the forest, leaving resident warthogs to entertain guests as they relax on the verandah before lunch in the courtyard.
Meals are tasty and beautifully prepared, served from a varied fixed menu and dinner is a communal affair with guests sharing safari stories in the old world dining room, although dining à deux can also be arranged.
Stroll across to the Giraffe Centre to learn more about the Rothschild giraffe, walk in the forest, or visit the Sheldrick elephant sanctuary to feed baby elephants, but leave plenty of time to relax at home with the giraffes themselves in this unique Nairobi boutique hotel.