How to Visit Giraffe Manor

By Shona 11 June 2018

Recently, Giraffe Manor has received a lot of attention on TV, in magazines and newspapers, and on social media. This has been great to see. However, although it looks like you can get up close and personal with the towering giraffes that roam the hotel’s grounds, the fact is that this experience has never been so far away – and that’s due to high demand, as this is one of the most sought-after properties in the world. But if you absolutely have your heart set on visiting the property, here are some options that might bring you a little closer to living out your dream:

First things first: What is Giraffe Manor, and is it worth the cost?

Modelled on a Scottish hunting lodge, Giraffe Manor is a brick-and-ivy-clad manor house in Langata, the extremely convenient and leafy suburb of Nairobi that’s close to the city’s international airport and bustling centre. The Manor features grand oversized fireplaces, giant oil paintings, and landscaped gardens. There are twelve bedrooms – two superior suites, eight superior rooms, and two standard rooms. Boasting four-poster beds amidst seriously sumptuous décor, these are found either in the Main Manor or in the annexed Garden Manor.

Check-in is from 11am, when you can arrive, relax and unpack. The first giraffe encounter happens when you head out to the terrace for afternoon tea, featuring sandwiches, scones, cakes, and of course a bowl of pellets… for the giraffes! After you’ve sampled the tasty fare, you can walk onto the Manor’s lawns and feed the Rothschild giraffes, either by hand or by placing a pellet between your lips, awaiting a ‘giraffe kiss’. Your next giraffe encounter will be the following morning, either observing members of the tower from your bedroom window when you wake up (depending on the room that you have chosen) or at breakfast, when the giraffes stretch their necks through the windows to get a better look at your poached eggs.

Without doubt, the Manor is beautiful, the staff are very friendly, the location is fabulous… but the main reason everyone wants to stay here is to meet the giraffes. And the question is, can you put a price tag on a once-in-a-lifetime experience?

Safari Collection, owners of Giraffe Manor and other superb properties including Sala’s Camp and Sasaab Lodge, have priced the experience at a minimum of US$565 per person per night*, a rate that’s all inclusive. Although this might well be more than some travellers would usually pay for a single night in a hotel room, guests will come away with outstanding photographs, unforgettable memories of a very special wildlife encounter, and the knowledge that they’ve helped contribute to the conversation of an endangered species. Giraffe Manor came about when the Rothschild giraffe was on the brink of extinction. Today, thanks to a successful breeding programme and the establishment of the Giraffe Centre nearby, there are more than 300 Rothschild giraffes safe and thriving in various Kenyan national parks – and to our minds, that is priceless!

*Fully inclusive 2018 rates: a standard room per night is US$565 per person sharing, a superior room is US$695 per person sharing, and a suite is US$2400 based on up to 2 adults and 2 children sharing.

How to visit Option 1: Be flexible with your dates (1½ years, to be precise)

The typical way to experience Giraffe Manor is to enjoy a one-night stay at the beginning of a 7–10-day Kenya safari. Guests usually touch down at Nairobi’s international airport in the afternoon or evening. Having arrived at the Manor, you’ll spend the night resting and getting over any jetlag before checking out in the morning for your next adventurous wildlife encounter.

As Giraffe Manor is in so much demand, we recommend booking at least 12 months or even 18 months in advance – and if holiday dates are fixed with no flexibility, two years seems a reasonable time for an advance booking. At the moment, Giraffe Manor has only the odd night available here and there until late March 2019, and then it’s fully booked until September.

If you are looking for a last-minute booking and your dates are very flexible, you could get lucky and stay a night in October or November 2018. However, this approach requires planning your entire trip around that one set night, which can often lead to logistical difficulties.

Option 2: Make it a Safari Collection Grand Slam

The six bedrooms that are located in the second part of the property, in the Garden Manor, have been set aside specifically for guests who are staying in a combination of the Safari Collection properties – so if you opt for this type of trip, availability is much easier to come by. You might be able to make your visit as close as five months away!

It’s worth mentioning that the Safari Collection has some great combination deals – for example, if you stay a minimum of seven nights during the company’s Savings Seasons, you can get 35 per cent off accommodation (not including Giraffe Manor, though). A trip we recommend for a 7-night combination offer is a brief but brilliant night in Nairobi at Giraffe Manor, followed by three nights at Sasaab in the Samburu National Reserve, and finally three nights in the Maasai Mara at Sala’s Camp – all in all, an exhilarating introduction to Kenya’s highlights with a fantastic discount!

Option 3: Sacrifice your breakfast photo-op and just visit the Centre

The giraffes seen at Giraffe Manor actually stay at the Giraffe Centre. They are free to amble between the Manor and the Centre, and they know the time schedule of feedings between the two locations extremely well – they show up each day like clockwork.

Due to the property’s popularity and generally full occupancy, travellers who are not staying at Giraffe Manor cannot just turn up for the breakfasts or afternoon teas. However, the Giraffe Centre is open to the public daily, and guests can stroke and feed the giraffes from raised platforms.

An excellent alternative is the seriously stylish, OneFortyEight, located close to Nairobi National Park and the Giraffe Centre. So if you are unable to stay at Giraffe Manor but would still like to experience some interaction with the giraffes, this is a very reasonable option.

That said, here at Yellow Zebra we’ll try our best to find suitable availability for anyone who favours Option 1 or 2! If you are interested in visiting Giraffe Manor or learning more about the experiences on offer, just contact our experts on +44 (0) 20 8547 2305 or send us an email at [email protected]