A mere 30 minutes’ journey from the centre of Nairobi transports you back to the colonial African 1930’s. Having been designed reminiscent of a Scottish hunting lodge, Giraffe Manor retains all the charm of the early days of European settlement in East Africa.
While the building still radiates old world charm, the manor grounds are plainly alive with the present day business of a herd of Rothschild’s giraffes that are completely oblivious to the venerated nature of their surroundings.
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towering animals visit the Manor on many mornings and late afternoons to say hello and possibly nick some food before returning to the large protected reserve. In addition to the giraffes, countless bird species, warthogs and dik-diks have found a home in the reserve.
It was in 1974 that the married couple Betty and Jock Leslie-Melville bought the property. By that point already well known as the “giraffe lady”, Betty and her husband Jock dedicated their lives to the protection of the Rothschild’s giraffes in Kenya.
They direct their efforts to raising and releasing giraffes back into the wilderness and have played a major role in securing the Rothschild’s giraffes’ future in Kenya. Nevertheless, the rare giraffe species remains endangered with a mere 700 individuals living in the wild. The African Fund for Endangered Animals founded by the Leslie-Melvilles still continues its work and is more commonly known by the name Giraffe Centre.
The Giraffe Manor Boutique Hotel offer only ten luxurious rooms that have housed stars like Mick Jagger in the past. Furnished with precious antiques and select Art Deco elements, the rooms radiate the flair of the 1930s.
Its location make the Giraffe Manor the ideal, not too humble, base camp for going on safaris or excursions to Nairobi, the Karen Blixen Museum, the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, the Giraffe Centre in Langata or simply to learn more about the life of the early settlers in colonial Nairobi.
Then, of course, you may just decide to take it easy, sipping a cup of steaming tea on the Giraffe Manor’s terrace, enjoying the last light of the setting sun disappearing behind the Ngong Hills.
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