Giraffe Manor lies just thirty minutes from the centre of Nairobi in the elegant Langata suburbs of this major East African city. It stands in 140 acres of its own parkland and indigenous forest and enjoys magnificent views of the famous Ngong Hills, which feature in Karen Blixen's book Out of Africa .
This Nairobi (capital city) hotel in the Langata suburbs is within easy reach of the city centre, international airport, central business district and other city attractions. The hotel accommodation makes the ideal base for a Nairobi holiday or start out to a Kenya safari. For more information on hotel booking, hotel accommodation and Nairobi hotels, please contact us.
The manor was built in the style of a traditional English country house with mullioned windows, arched stone doorways, beautifully polished parquet floors, a grand wooden staircase and a number of baronial fireplaces. The natural stone walls of the manor are now thickly ivy-clad. Elegant, charming and beautifully appointed, this atmospheric house regularly features in film shoots and offers a totally unique experience whilst lying just half an hour from the centre of the city. The extensive grounds, which have been allowed to remain as an indigenous ’wilderness’ offer peace, relaxation and gentle walks, while the views of the grey-blue peaks of the Ngong Hills are unrivalled.
An elegant colonial mansion, Giraffe Manor was built in 1932 by Sir David Duncan. In 1974 it was bought by Jock Leslie-Melville, a prominant figure in Kenya’s colonial history, who was himself the grandson of a Scottish earl. Jock’s American wife, Betty was the founder of the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW). Jock and Betty swiftly moved two young Rothschild giraffe on to the estate, where they flourished, and established subsequent generations of giraffes.
Today, the giraffes wander at leisure within the grounds and have become renowned for sticking their heads through the windows of the house, much to the amusement and amazement of the guests.
The manor offers five double (twin bedded) rooms, each ensuite. The master bedroom connects to the Giraffe Room, which has two single beds – suitable for children (and charged at half the standard rate). Many of the rooms feature original 1930s fittings and one is furnished with the original furniture from Karen Blixens house and hung with animal paintings by Kamante, her cook, who was made famous in the book Out of Africa.
Dining and bars
The manor offers a unique fine-dining experience amid the splendour of the wood-pannelled dining room, meals are also served in the Garden Room. There is a charmingly airy central drawing room where guests may relax (full bar facilities).
Weddings and honeymoons
The manor excels in the presentation of atmospheric ’Out of Africa’ styled weddings and receptions.
Children are welcome and interlinking family rooms can be provided.
What to see and do
Immediately next door to the manor is the Jock Leslie-Melville Nature Education Centre, which is now universally known as The Giraffe Centre. One of Nairobi’s prime attractions and a great favourite with children, the Centre offers a central education rodavel, which is mounted on stilts. The central portion offers information on the Rothschild giraffe while the open terrace that surrounds it serves as a feeding platform for the giraffe. Pellets are provided and the giraffe are well accostomed to being fed. There is also a small gift shop. Guided walks are also offered through the surrounding primeval forest, allowing the guests to learn more about the flora, fauna and avifauna. Insights are also given as to the many uses of the flora in Kenyan traditional medicine.
The manor is located ten minutes drive from the Karen Blixen Museum, the house where the author of Out of Africa wrote her books. Next door is the Karen Blixen Coffee Garden, which offers a charming dining experience as well as a range of shops showcasing locally-made handicrafts.
As well as the giraffe, which are so tame as to stick their heads through the windows, making the ideal safari photo opportunity, sightings of warthog and bushbuck are common.
Some 180 species have been recorded in the grounds.
Giraffe Manor • City Hotel in Nairobi's Langata Suburbs • Kenya Hotels
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