giraffe manor
Rothschild’s Giraffe at sunrise in front of Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya


Nestled in the quiet Langata suburb of Nairobi, Kenya stands an antiquated colonial manor. Giraffe Manor is set in 12 acres of private land tucked into 140 acres of indigenous forest with superb views of the Ngong Hills. The colonial mansion is home to a herd of endangered Rothschild’s giraffes.

giraffe manor

giraffe manor

The exclusive boutique hotel is a place where a herd of resident Rothschild’s giraffe roam freely, poking their heads into windows eagerly looking for a treat before retreating to their forest sanctuary, and then reappearing once more in the morning to share in your breakfast.

giraffe manor

giraffe manor

Giraffe Manor offers an inimitable experience to its guests. Every day at breakfast and tea time, guests of the 12-room estate are granted an enchanting experience. The windows to the dining room are opened and majestic giraffes peek their long necks in for a visit right at your table. You can even feed them straight out of your hand!

giraffe manor

giraffe manor
sloppy kiss…

giraffe manor

The Safari Collection owns the manor estate as well as a few other magical places. These include: Saasab Lodge in Samburu, Solio Lodge in Nyeri and Salas Camp at the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.


giraffe manor

The gorgeous old manor house is a historic, ‘English country’ house that harks back to 1932 when European visitors first flocked to East Africa to enjoy safaris. Sir David Duncan built the manor and it’s definitely one of Nairobi’s most iconic buildings.

giraffe manor
Enjoy the view..

giraffe manor

Giraffe Manor has extraordinary appeal. With an imperial aspect, lush gardens, elegant interior, sunny terraces and delightful courtyards, it’s like walking into the film Out of Africa. In respect to that, one of its twelve rooms is even named after the Danish author Karen Blixen.

giraffe manor
Picture perfect

In 1974 Jock Leslie-Melville, grandson of a Scots earl, and his American wife Betty, who also founded the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW), bought the Manor. They then moved two highly endangered baby Rothschild’s giraffe to the estate, where they thrived and have produced several further generations of giraffe.

giraffe manor

giraffe manor
Giraffes necking in front of Giraffe Manor
giraffe manor
Hand feeding a giraffe

When Jock died, Betty decided to open her house, now called The Giraffe Manor, to visitors. It is the only place in the world where you can feed and photograph the giraffe over your breakfast table and at the front door, and even from a bedroom window.

giraffe manor
The Team
setting up for lunch

The manor is an elegant and exclusive small hotel with a rich blend of welcoming accommodation, highly trained and friendly staff and one of Nairobi’s finest kitchens.


giraffe manor

With 12 rooms to choose from, the Giraffe Manor estate is full of options and flexibility for all kinds of guests from honeymooners to families. The rooms are elegant, spacious and comfortably furnished. The rooms are named after alumni resident giraffes and travellers. The Garden Manor rooms are: Arlene, Edd, Finch Hatton Suite, Helen, Kelly and Salma. The Main Manor rooms are: Betty, Daisy, Jock, Karen Blixen Suite, Lynn and Marlon.

giraffe manor

The suites have a very drawing rustic interior, full with charm and warmth. The bathrooms are finished with marble and have a spacious shower with a separate over-sized tub. Some rooms have access to a terrace where you get a very beautiful view of the lush estate.

giraffe manor

You will want to turn in early for the night because you will have an early wake up call in the morning by the resident giraffes who poke their heads into your suite’s bedroom window, inviting you down for the most incredible breakfast experience you will ever have.


giraffe manor

Breakfast is quite the affair at Giraffe Manor. The large picture windows frame the breakfast room in the main house. The resident giraffes poke their heads in, waiting to be fed. The breakfast experience is truly incredible.

giraffe manor
Giraffe pellets

Tea time is quite the event at the manor. Just as the staff sets out the scones and cookies, off in the distance a herd of giraffes make their way to the manor’s patio. .

giraffe manor

giraffe manor
Giraffe kiss at Giraffe Manor

They know there are pellets waiting for them. The giraffes and resident warthog will happily pose for pictures and even give you kisses for a treat.  Otherwise, don’t worry, their saliva is antiseptic, so it’s totally safe (and highly recommended) to kiss a giraffe.

giraffe manor

As the African sun sets, you can enjoy the great view with some bitings. The giraffes turn in for the night. At the same time, guests of the manor prepare for a gourmet meal in the manor’s dining room.

giraffe manor
Al fresco dining
giraffe manor
perfect sundowner
giraffe manor
Dining room


While staying at Giraffe Manor, there are a few sightseeing activities that I’d recommend you pay a visit to:

1 Giraffe Centre

giraffe center

Presently Giraffe Manor also offers a uniquely untouched wilderness on the doorstep of one of Africa’s most cosmopolitan cities. The adjoining Jock Leslie-Melville Nature Education Centre, better known as the Giraffe Centre is just a 5 minute walk from the estate. Read more on Giraffe Centre and our visit to the sanctuary.

2. Elephant Orphange

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust also known as the Elephant Orphanage offers one of the most unique experiences in the city. While there you are able to get up close to baby elephants hear their stories, play with them and even touch them. Read more on our visit to the Elephant Orphanage.


giraffe manor
Dusk at the manor

Giraffe Manor definitely offers one of the most unique experiences in the world. The place should rank top of your ‘to go’ list. If you can, I would recommend you to visit the historic manor.

Giraffe Manor will be back to hosting guests from 21st May. Planning a stay at Giraffe Manor, find out more on the exclusive boutique hotel at


Special thanks to the Giraffe Manor and The Safari Collection team.

Lovely photos courtesy of The Safari Collection and Robin D. Moore




  1. Great article Yvonne. I found it quite elaborate and full of refreshing insights about the beauty of the manor.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. Bravo Yvonne.
    Another masterpiece of yours . Kenya has so much to offer and it’s upon us to utilise while exploring more underneath. Keep opening our eyes because it’s only through such eye opening articles that’ll have a positive impacts on us. #itsyregi#

    1. So very true dear. Kenya is a traveller’s gem. So many different sites, each very beautiful.
      I’ll keep them coming <3

  3. WOW!!!!!! now you make me feel that I haven’t experienced anything in my travels ………this place does deserve to be at ones top to go list….Great piece though.

  4. Wow, what an Awesome and Great Piece Yvonne. At least you have taught me importance of my Country; City-Nairobi of how Majestic and Exclusive it is. Will plan on Visiting the Manor to get the Dream come true Experience. I have also learned the other name for the Famous Giraffe Centre…Lesllie- Melville Nature Education Centre….????
    Excellent Job Yvonne Wairegi??

    1. I’m glad you found the article informative. Yes, Kenya is really beautiful
      I’ll keep them coming. Thanks for stopping by, Anne! 🙂

    1. Hi Elsie!
      It’s a private hotel so you have to book ahead before a visit
      But I would highly recommend a stay at the magical place.
      You can’t get this type of experience anywhere else… in the world!! 🙂

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