About the HotelIf you are to really experience the wildlife of western Africa, your focus has to be on Kenya and the entrance to Kenya is through its capital Nairobi – and once you are at Nairobi you shouldn’t bother yourself finding resorts, because your destination is predestined – it’s the Giraffe Manor Hotel! But you have all your rights to know why it is so different from all the other Nairobi hotels – (i) apart from being a hotel, it serves as a shelter for a number of Rothschild giraffes, (ii) all the profits made from the hotel are devoted to serve for the charitable objectives of AFEW Giraffe Centre… Waiting for more? Then you should probably get along with this article – because all the secrets cannot be revealed at once!The Manor was built on an impression of a Scottish hunting lodge by Sir David Duncan in 1932. This building has gone through a lot of functional changes rather than structural ones – first of all as a hunting lodge, then as a giraffe sanctuary (to make a shelter for the endangered Rothschild giraffes, when the Kenyan government was forced to buy land of about 73 sq. km. of area at Soy, close to Eldoret, which was their sole habitat until then) and now as a small and cozy boutique hotel with greeneries scribbling on its bare brick walls. The total area of the hotel compound sums up to some 12 acres which is a part of 140 acres of natural forestation in the Langata suburb, on the fringes of Nairobi. Coming to the interior, it’s designed completely in an art deco style with eight large rooms and four moderate ones. But while the other hotels provide you with drab room numbers this boutique hotel is going to present you with room names such as Arlene, Daisy, Jock, Helen or Marlon! There are two more suites apart from the single rooms – the Finch Hatton Suite accommodating up to five – 2 adults and 3 children, and the Karen Blixen Suite – with the accommodation features similar to the other but opens right onto a courtyard and is designed mainly for families with wheelchair users.Giraffes are perhaps one of the humblest creatures on earth in spite of their gigantic proportions. If you’ve got time you should take a little walk through the meadow leading to the AFEW Giraffe Centre which provides a guided tour to gain more knowledge about the endangered species of Rothschild giraffe. On the territory of Giraffe Manor, except giraffes, there are many species of birds, around 180 types, several families of warthogs, antelopes and the miniature antelope Bushbok Dikdik (30-40cm high and 50-70 cm long, 4-6 kg weight). Another great advantage of this Manor is to have the Daphne Sheldrick elephant orphanage nearby, it’s a once in a lifetime experience and grab the opportunity to support the endangered wild animals helping them to get back to their wild habitat.
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Useful Advices:Before you get too puzzled with all the stuffs you want to do over there, sit down with a pen and paper (quite unusual for this tech-savvy era, but the most efficient) and jot down the points to be remembered:
- First of all, book rooms much prior to your journey (because of the rush); once they are booked you’d not need to worry about the conveyance, because the transportation to and from the aerodrome is included in the package.
- Check in and have a look at the rooms or the suites whichever you’ve booked. Especially women want the washrooms to be prim and proper, so have a look in there too and the spaciousness is bound to make you perfectly satisfied. Still if you need something, ask for the room service, they’re absolutely amiable just like their giraffes.
- Life gets quite hard without internet these days. So the hotel provides you with a strong wi-fi connection throughout the hotel premises.
- The lodging issue being solved, here comes another important point which includes the wining and dining. All of the guests are provided with a full-board throughout their stay, which includes all the meals and most of the drinks—like house wines, local liquors, beers and soft drinks, excluding imported wines and liquors and champagne.
- Take a visit to the Karen Blixen Museum—named after and dedicated to the Danish writer and explorer—is quite close to the Giraffe Manor compound. Other two attractions of this place (of a very different taste though) reside in the renowned Matbronze Art Gallery and Foundry and the innovative crafts complex, known as Marula Studios.
- Go for the guided tour at the AFEW Giraffe Centre, they sometimes arrange a tour to the elephant orphanage as well.
- On the way back, buy some indigenous jewellery at Kazuri Beads, for the friends and relatives.