Giraffes have purple-blue tongues. If you stay over at the exclusive Giraffe Manor in Kenya, you’ll be able to see this for yourself, up close. This stately colonial-era mansion, set in beautiful gardens within the Langate Forest, sits elegantly on the outskirts of Nairobi and is home to a herd of Rothschild’s giraffe.
What About My Budget?
As an exclusive boutique hotel on 12 acres of private land, it's not a cheap option by any means. However, a splurge at the beginning or end of your trip makes sense when you've saved a bundle on your safari package. Giraffe Manor is the perfect place to spend a night or two before/after setting off to one of Kenya’s iconic national parks on safari, like our Masai Mara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Lodge Safari or Kenyan Game Parks 4x4 Lodge Safari.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into everything about the Giraffe Manor in Kenya – the experience, the giraffes, the costs, the history and, mostly, the joy of sharing your breakfast with one of Africa’s most renowned (and oh-so-very-tall) creatures: the giraffe. We answer all your questions below.
- Is Giraffe Manor real?
- What is Giraffe Manor?
- How is a Rothschild giraffe different from other giraffes?
- Where is Giraffe Manor?
- How far is Giraffe Manor from Nairobi Airport?
- How much does Giraffe Manor cost?
- Is the cost of Giraffe Manor worth it?
- Can I visit Giraffe Manor without staying there?
- How do I book for Giraffe Manor?
A question we get asked often, and it’s a very valid one. Kenya's Giraffe Manor has had plentiful publicity lately and is a hugely popular African travel destination. It’s one of those ‘Bucket List’ places. With its popularity come beautiful images scattered across social media and publications worldwide … ‘giraffe kisses’, giraffes putting their heads through the window to gaze at you while you eat your breakfast and the like. It’s hard to believe they’re real!
The good news is that they are real. The herd of Rothschild’s giraffes that amble about the huge property are real as real can be. And they like snacks. So, while we’re under no illusions that these creatures are coming to hang out with humans because they like talking about our safari experiences, we know they like the grass pellets that are offered to them at afternoon tea and while you eat your breakfast. This makes for magical interactions with these wild and wonderful animals.
While we’re talking about real: it’s important to remember that giraffes are wild animals. Yes, they are gentle and generally not of a violent disposition, they are big and, again, they are wild. The staff at Giraffe Manor are always on hand when the giraffe are around and they have strict rules on how interaction happens – for both your and the giraffe’s safety.
Giraffe Manor is a family-owned boutique hotel in Nairobi. Built in 1932, it is a true example of the colonial-style safari lodge of the ‘olden days’, graceful and stately. The character of the old building – a red-tiled brick building clad in sprawling ivy and set in lush gardens – was retained when the property was bought by the Carr-Hartleys in 2009 and turned into a hotel.
Inside, a major renovation took place, converting the building (while still keeping its history) into a luxurious and exclusive hotel featuring just twelve guest rooms that cater for your every need. Giraffe Manor has become one of the most sought-after hotel stays worldwide and it’s not a surprise that it is!
The rooms all have en-suite bathrooms and range from suites with a king-sized bed and two singles on a loft level to superior and standard rooms with king-sized or twin beds. They are all beautifully decorated and luxurious. Many of the rooms are named after the giraffes at Giraffe Manor.
Communal areas are also beautifully decorated and there is something to keep you busy every minute of the day: have a treatment at the spa, play a game of croquet or boules on the lawn, or a game of chess on the wildlife-themed chess board in the lounge or just relax on the veranda and listen to the birds going about their day.
Firstly, and most worryingly, the fact that there were only 1 669 of them in the wild in 2016 makes them the most endangered giraffe species in the world. This is another reason why visiting Giraffe Manor and/or the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi is a good thing – they’re working very hard on increasing the wild population. One of the main projects of the Giraffe Centre is their breeding programme. Thus far, over 40 Rothschild giraffes have been released into safe African game parks and conservancies from the centre!
Secondly, and most visibly, the Rothschild giraffe differ from other species in that they don’t have markings on their lower legs, making them look like they’re wearing white knee-high socks!
Each giraffe at the centre has a name and a story. Take Betty, for instance, the oldest member of them at 17 years old, she is quite shy and prefers hanging out in the forest. Then there’s Edd, the tallest at 18 feet tall, he’s a lover and will happily give giraffe kisses in return for food pellets. To read up the stories of them all, check out the Giraffe Centre’s ‘Meet the giraffes’ page.
Giraffe Manor is in Nairobi, Kenya, in East Africa. Most safari trips including Kenya’s world-renowned national parks – think Masai Mara, Amboseli and Tsavo – start and/or end in Nairobi, so it’s perfectly placed for a gentle wind-down after your safari or a gentle preparation, before!
Distant-wise, Giraffe Manor is about 40 km (25 miles) away from Nairobi Airport (Jomo Kenyatta International Airport). Time-wise, depending on traffic, this equates to about 45 minutes. Plan ahead and Giraffe Manor can organise a shuttle to collect you so that travelling and driving on foreign roads is not a concern!
An added bonus, if you’re planning to stay a couple of nights, is that Nairobi National Park is a hop, skip and a jump away for some game viewing. So, too, is Kenya's bustling capital city of Nairobi, with its colourful markets and friendly people. For more ideas on things to do in Nairobi, see our blog 13 Things to do in Nairobi, before & after your Kenya Safari.
Double room rates for Giraffe Manor in 2019 start at $1 240. Remember that this includes all meals (and the food is fantastic) and drinks during your stay. One night is probably enough, as the giraffes generally visit the manor hotel at afternoon tea time and breakfast time.
For the most up to date rates (and availability), check out Giraffe Manor's booking page. Once you’ve done that, head on over to our African Budget Safaris homepage and find your once-in-a-lifetime African budget safari that won’t break the bank, thus allowing you the treat of a night or two at Giraffe Manor! Many of our East African budget safaris depart from Nairobi or end in the city, making it easy to add an extra few days for splurging at Giraffe Manor before or after your affordable safari.
Can you put a price on having a giraffe take food from your hand? Nope. A stay at Giraffe Manor, while pricey, is an unforgettable African experience. The price is also all-inclusive – gourmet meals, drinks, impeccable service, luxurious accommodation and, most importantly, the giraffes are all part of the deal. Just a romantic whispering your ear: Giraffe Manor is an ideal spot to include in your itinerary if you are going to Kenya on honeymoon.
So, yes, Giraffe Manor is worth the price. If you need to watch the budget, save by going on one of our cost-effective Kenyan Safaris and, with the money you save, treat yourself to a night of hanging out with these fabulous creatures.
No, unfortunately, you can’t visit Giraffe Manor if you’re not staying there. The reason for this is a good one. The whole point is that, as a guest, you get to stay and enjoy interacting with the giraffes without crowds of other people. Part of the charm of Giraffe Manor is its exclusivity.
Fret not, though, the giraffes of Giraffe Manor head off during the day, to the Giraffe Centre nearby, of their own accord. They’re clever that way and know where the snacks are, and when.
At the Giraffe Centre, you can learn all about giraffes and feed them from platforms designed specifically for this purpose. At the same time, by paying your entrance fee, you’re supporting the conservation of the giraffe.
The Giraffe Centre in Nairobi is open every day from 9:00 to 17:00.
Firstly, you need to book way in advance. Giraffe Manor, being as popular as it is, books up quickly. It’s advisable to book 18 months' to two years' in advance, especially if you don’t have flexibility with the dates of your booking.
Rooms in the Garden Manor are held for those who book other Safari Collection properties in Kenya. We also suggest you book your stay at Giraffe Manor, before booking your safari, so you can alter your safari dates accordingly. To book Giraffe Manor, you can check availability online.
Now that you’ve seen this amazing place, head on over to our African Budget Safaris homepage and find your once-in-a-lifetime safari that won’t break the bank, thus allowing you the spoil of a night or two at Kenya's Giraffe Manor! Alternatively, contact one of our knowledgeable African Budget Safari travel consultants to help.