Giraffe Manor is set in 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous forest in the Langata suburb and is one of Nairobi’s most iconic buildings. The historic manor house has extraordinary appeal, that harks back to the 1930s when visitors first flocked to East Africa to enjoy safaris.
With its stately façade, elegant interior, verdant green gardens, sunny terraces and delightful courtyards, guests often remark that it’s like walking into the film Out of Africa: indeed, one of its twelve rooms is named after the author Karen Blixen.
One of the most fascinating things about Giraffe Manor is its resident herd of Rothschild’s giraffes who may visit morning and evening, poking their long necks into the windows in the hope of a treat, before retreating to their forest sanctuary.
The elegant long legged giraffes have roamed its lawns since the 1970s when Jock and Betty Leslie-Melville first adopted an orphaned Rothschild’s giraffe called Daisy. Tanya and Mikey Carr-Hartley bought the manor in April 2009 and since then it has become a globally recognised hotel.
The original manor house was built in 1932 and has six rooms: Betty, Daisy, Jock, Lynn, Marlon and the Karen Blixen Suite. An original art deco bathroom, antique furniture and the names of each room all reveal something of the manor’s colourful past.
The 113 square-metre Karen Blixen room at Giraffe Manor is located on the top floor of the main manor house. Its spacious balcony enjoys lovely south-facing views and provides guests with the opportunity to feed the giraffes in the early morning hours. This two-bedroomed suite – the largest of all the rooms at the manor – was rebuilt and moved to its new location in 2019.
Guests at the hotel will also find The Garden Manor which is a replica of the original manor house, and although built 78 years apart, you would never know the difference. Constructed in 2011, much of it uses reclaimed materials from houses to a similar era as the original manor. It also has six rooms: Salma, Edd, Arlene, Helen, Kelly and the Finch Hatton Suite.
Each room enjoys views over the sanctuary and the giraffe experience offered to guests is the same regardless of which area of the house they are staying in -– the resident giraffes enjoy daily visits to both buildings in search of treats.
Giraffe Manor works closely with the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) to support the conservation and breeding of endangered Rothschild’s giraffes. The success of the programme has seen wild Rothschild’s giraffes recover from the brink of extinction.
At 5,889ft above sea level, Nairobi is cool at night and warm in the day, with two rainy seasons March to May and mid-October to December. Situated close to the equator, seasonal differences are minimal, however in June, July and August, temperatures can be as low as 35˚F / 2˚C. As global weather patterns become less predictable, be prepared for all seasons. Giraffe Manor closes in May for maintenance.
For further information, visit thesafaricollection.com/properties/giraffe-manor/