I kissed a giraffe in Africa with a view of the Ngong Hills and like Karen Blixen who had a farm at the bottom of these Hills, I share an absolute passion for Africa. This passion has on this occasion bought me to a wonderful Manor House in Nairobi where I am surrounded by 8 Rothschild giraffes and much of Karen Blixen’s furniture. If only wood could talk, who wouldn’t love to hear about life in the early 1900’s when Kenya was a British Colony and life was so different to what we know today…
Giraffe Manor is a stately home in the Nairobi suburb of Langata about 45 mins drive in traffic from Jomo Kenyatta international airport. The main drawcard of staying here is the endangered Rothschild Giraffe who roam the gardens and whom you can feed and if you don’t mind the effusive saliva exchange – KISS.
Kissing a giraffe doesn’t come cheaply and will set you back approximately USD535 per person but you also get a beautiful bedroom to sleep in, 3 delicious meals with drinks included, a driver to take you anywhere in the Karen/Langata area, entry to the African Fund For Endangered Wildlife and an experience to stay in your memory banks for some time. I was fortunate to share this experience with my family on this occasion but in 2008 I stayed solo and was extremely well looked after with for example a bath poured for me on arrival with gin and tonic . Bliss.
The Manor has 10 rooms with Betty and Jock being the rooms at the front of the Manor where the giraffes come and poke their heads in before breakfast. The staff really make an effort to make sure every one leaves with some great photographic evidence of their stay but really sometimes it is better to forget about the photo and just take in the experience. To look into those amazing eyes, stroke their bodies and exchange saliva is truly an experience you will lock away in your memory and on return to your home you will reflect on the experience, share it with others and vow to protect these beautiful creatures from extinction. Travelling expands the mind, opens the heart and teaches us so much about the world we live in.
I would recommend a two night stay at Giraffe Manor but if you can only spend a night make sure you arrive in time for lunch and stay for breakfast as dining amongst these gentle giants is a must. I booked direct with Judy at the www.thesafaricollection.com