Kiss a Giraffe at Breakfast
Fancy breakfast with half a dozen curious, orphan giraffes at a rustic, old colonial lodge in Kenya? Youtuber, Kiersten Rich, popped into the Kenyan manor to show us around. To find out more about Kiersten, visit the bio page of travel vlogger, Kiersten Rich, ‘The Blonde Abroad’.
Kiersten has breakfast with giraffes at the Giraffe Manor, Kenya…
Breakfast with Giraffes in this colonial Kenyan manor near Nairobi
Giraffe Manor is a boutique hotel, 30 minutes out of Nairobi where you can stay in a 1930´s colonial lodge where orphan giraffes and cute wart hogs roam the gardens. Both are incredibly friendly. Complete with stone walls and climbing ivy, the manor and grounds are gorgeous, and these incredible creatures usually hang out by the manor most of the day. Together with the Giraffe Centre next door, the manor’s 12 acres serves as home for many orphan Rothschild giraffes before they are reintroduced into the wild.
You can feed the giraffes on the lawns outside the manor while having afternoon tea or sunset drinks. If you’re keen, they’ll even give you a kiss as they take one of their feeding pellets from your lips with their giant purple tongue. Up close they are enormous, but so gentle. There’s about a dozen wart hogs on the property too that roam about, snorting and gobbling up food on the lawns. They’re surprisingly cute and tend to walk about on their elbows to make it easier to reach the food.
But the most fabulous part of the experience is staying the night and enjoying the giraffes’ company at breakfast. When you wake up at dawn, like excited little kids at Christmas, you’ll find these curious fellows waiting for you outside your second story bedroom window. The hotel leaves a small bucket of pellets in your room and you can feed the giraffes from your old-world bedroom window. Their furry, puffy lips nibble at your fingers as you feed them.
When you go downstairs for a lavish breakfast the staff open the giant colonial windows and the giraffes poke their bobbing heads in the window, looking for more treats. It’s a surreal experience sipping tea and munching on a croissant as the neck of one of these enormous, beautiful creatures bumps up against your head. Knowing that you’re helping these orphan, endangered Rothchild Giraffes makes it all-the-more magical.
If the price of a room is too steep for you, next door the Giraffe Centre (a the creation of the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife [A.F.E.W. Kenya]), is open daily from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, only costs $10 and you can feed and kiss the giraffes there from a large raised platform.
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***Note: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and is nearby to the manor and Giraffe centre. Here they rehabilitate orphan, milk dependent elephants and help reintroduce them to the wild. See the baby elephants play and being fed their special milk formula. You can even sponsor a baby elephant. They help baby rhinos too which are very cute.
Tips: If going to the Giraffe Centre, go early to avoid crowds and get great shots.
Going on a Masai Mara, or Serengeti safari? Climbing Kilimanjaro? You can stay here before or after your flight because it’s only 30 minutes from Nairobi Airport, one of the biggest and cheapest flight hubs in the area.
Get a second story bedroom (“Jock’s Room” or “Betty’s Room”) at the front of the manor if you can, to feed the giraffes from your bedroom. These are superior rooms however, so come at a price.
Book way ahead. Sometimes the manor can be booked a year in advance for popular times. If it’s booked put yourself down for the waiting list.
Go to breakfast early to get the best tables near the windows where the giraffes stick their head in. Best breakfast photos are later though when there is more light
When: Any time except May when the manor is closed for maintenance. Being near the equator Kenya’s temperatures don’t vary too much, though there are two rainy seasons March to May and mid-October to December.
Where: 30 minutes drive from Nairobi airport, Kenya