Location | Kenya

Giraffe Manor

Africa | 10.16.11

Immediately following our wedding in Lake Como, Italy, Chris and I drove to Zurich and departed for our honeymoon adventure in Kenya.  We had both been dying to go on safari, and basically started planning our honeymoon the day we got engaged.  We considered many countries in Africa—and all looked amazing for different reasons —but we ultimately settled on Kenya because it’s known for its incredible range of wildlife, especially this time of year.  We would be there right in the middle of the Great Migration, which occurs every year from July to October, where you see vast herds of wildebeest—and the big cats that hunt them—migrating from the Serengeti to the Maasai Mara.

After an eight-hour flight from Zurich to Nairobi, we arrived tired and happy at Giraffe Manor, a truly unique and special place located in the Karen district of Nairobi. Built in the 1930s, this luxury boutique hotel has maintained all the charm of the era and is now famous for its resident herd of Rothschild Giraffe, an endangered subspecies of giraffe that they breed on the property. These gentle giants always show up around meal time to make friends.  We arrived at dinner time and caught one giraffe still sniffing around the dining room, hoping for a little more dessert.

They set up a table for us outside on the patio where we enjoyed the first of many incredible meals there, along the view of giraffes and warthogs.  The giraffes were really sweet and gentle (especially if they knew you had treats for them) and they would come up and eat right out of your hand.

After dinner we walked around the manor a bit, and Chris found his memoir.

The giraffe theme was prevalent.

Breakfast the next morning was even more incredible!  As we walked to the dining room we saw that our giraffe guests had already arrived.

The giraffes mostly stick to eating these special pellets that the manor keeps around the grounds in urns, but they also love to eat roses (which they keep in bunches on the tables), and occasionally they might swipe a banana.

It was so surreal to be eating breakfast and then suddenly have this giant giraffe head pop up next to you looking for a snack!  They are MASSIVE.  If you really wanted to get up close and personal, brave guests could put the stem of a rose in their teeth and a giraffe would come eat the flower basically out of their mouth (obviously Chris did this).  They really were such gentle giants and had the biggest eyes and the thickest, longest eyelashes (not gonna lie, I was a little jealous).

After breakfast we walked back across the courtyard to our room, which was on the second floor.  If you are able to stay on the second floor here I highly recommend it – you get nice views of the grounds and it is the perfect height for the giraffes to come visit you when they are looking for an afternoon treat.

We were only able to stay at Giraffe Manor for 2 nights, but it was one of the highlights of our trip.  If you are going on safari in Kenya it is a fantastic place to spend a night or two on your way in or out of Nairobi (although we were told it’s much better to stay here on your way in and to stay close to the airport on your way out, as traffic conditions in and around Nairobi during the day can boarder on gridlock and make getting to the airport quite stressful).  I hope we are able to visit this magical place again!

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