Once we decided Kenya was our destination of choice, we knew we wanted to spend a night at the Giraffe Manor if at all possible.
We had a very limited number of days that would work for us when it comes to booking the manor, with 9 days in Kenya and 6 on a safari we could only add Giraffe manor either at the beginning or at the end of our safari. We soon realized the manor is booked well in advance and our hopes of booking the majestic but expensive property were very slim. After further research we learned that the Garden manor, the newly built adjacent manor could be booked as an independent booking( not combined with other Safari collection properties ) if there are still availabilities 4 weeks prior to the booking date. We put booking our safari on hold and waited to see if we could get a room at the Manor somehow. I spent days and days looking at their availability calendar hoping the Garden manor days would remain available. One day an opening appeared out of nowhere in the Main manor, I sent an email, received a response 2 days later saying that room was booked a long time ago and the availability that appeared must have been an error. A week later another opening appeared, again in the Main manor so I decided to call and not wait for email responses. It was midnight on the West coast, so around 10am in Nairobi. It took longer than expected for the call to go through but once it did, the lovely lady on the other side informed me that Santa seems to have arrived early, because there has been a cancellation and the Jock room was indeed available to book. We were overjoyed.
The Giraffe Manor has a strict check in check out policy and they will happily pick you up from a location of your choice. We were at Karen Gables which is less than 10 min drive to the Manor so it made the whole process very convenient. Our safari driver picked us up the next morning after breakfast and we started the second part of our adventure.
Is it worth the cost ?
Absolutely. If you can afford it, it is truly one of the most unique experiences. The Manor is organized so perfectly, everything runs incredibly smoothly and overall you feel like you stepped into a different world. Giraffe Manor will also do your laundry and have it ready for you in the morning before you leave.
The meals are all exquisite. Truly a feast created with much thought and detail from the ingredients to the presentation. (image of the desert)
Lunch is served in the garden patio, a 3 course celebration of flavours for your pallet.
The high tea served in the afternoon seems to almost go unnoticed because the giraffe are there and they consume all of your attention. But if you stop for a moment you will find some incredible treats that you get to enjoy with an amazingly special view.
Dinner was served on the patio as well, in a very romantic setting, one that somehow makes you feel like there is no one around you despite all the tables being full.
Breakfast is the highlight of the giraffe experience! By breakfast time you’re already more familiar with the animals and comfortable around them, you know the way their tongue feels a bit rough to the touch, the fact that there will be giraffe saliva all over your hands, your plate etc. It sounds crazy but it’s majestic. There is bread, jam, coffee, tea, water, sparkling water etc. anything you can think of as well as made to order breakfast such as avocado toast, eggs benny etc. You name it, they will make it for you.
The manor and the surroundings
The manor is a beautiful place with very peaceful and special surroundings. The view of the nature around the Manor is calming and in stark contrast to the crazy bustling city around it. Nairobi has an elevation of 1,795 metres (5,889 ft) above sea level which means mornings and evenings at Giraffe Manor are quite chilly. There are warthogs around all the time and will come up to the patio during high tea very often. They seem unimpressed by people but the staff do make an effort to scare them away, back down behind the small wall.
What you should know
Tipping is obviously encouraged especially around high tea or breakfast time when the staff is there helping you get that perfect shot. We spent about $100-$160 in tips in those 22 hours. Other than that everything you need and anything you can think of is provided to you and available for your use while there. Wine and any drinks, any food you might truly desire and the list goes on. There is a spa on site (at extra cost), there is a shop there, one of the staff can walk with you to the Giraffe centre while the giraffe are all still there etc.
Giraffe Manor is an exquisite expensive place that is worth every cent. From it’s beautiful surroundings, to the peace and quiet it offers, the beautifully appointed rooms and views, the great food and kind staff it makes it a once in a lifetime experience. I would love to go back, experience it all with a little less excitement (lol) and a bit more calmness that the manor actually exudes. I was so happy to be there, the giraffe were incredible to see, touch, feed, kiss… It’s surreal, it’s special and if you do go, take a deep breath, it flies by too fast so make sure you get to enjoy it and really experience it. You will get your photos, people will make sure that you do so all you have to do is just be present in the moment and take it all in. It’s beautiful!
The safari collection has other incredible properties that we hope to visit one day; all of which you can combine with your Giraffe Manor stay. They are Sala’s camp, Sasaab and Solio Lodge.