Imagine a sunshine-drenched suite on the second-floor of an estate house with verdant green stretching itself toward the glistening horizon; then a giraffe peeks its head in and you casually feed it a treat. A scene this whimsical and colorful is by no means some fever dream harkening back to your childhood hope of wishful living. Giraffe Manor is the real deal, somewhere magical in the world; somewhere you can stay. And it’s this week’s #BirthdayBucketList.
In the Langata suburb of Nairobi, nestled among 12 acres of private land, which itself is tucked away within 140 acres of indigenous forest, Giraffe Manor thrives with no gimmick to its honorable namesake. Guests wander the stunning gardens, sunny terraces, and stylish courtyards of the grounds alongside the very popular residents—a herd of Rothschild Giraffes.
Such luxury in the wild charms and delights as a callback to when Europeans first had a flair for East African safaris, a time when the modern world went to bed dreaming of foreign land, sneakily packed with adventure in the form of sights, smells, and sounds they didn’t understand. The exclusive boutique hotel embraces that grandeur of the 1930s, from its art deco features to its four-poster beds, all while the majestic creatures pierce the glowing sunset on their way back to their forest sanctuary.
Venturing into the Wilderness
With a stately façade and sophisticated interior, the building itself is a cinematic daydream. You and your guests will stroll about the property in total awe, as you feel like it's a movie set from Out of Africa. There are ten rooms in this enchanting estate, perfect to completely take over with your group! Just make sure you keep the windows open for passing long-necked friends, who tend to visit in the morning and evening.
While Giraffe Manor is clearly one heck of a destination in itself, the country house typically keeps as headquarters for its visiting adventurers. The nearby offerings, only a stroll across the lawn, give you the chance to learn about the beautiful and endangered Rothschild Giraffes that enthrall wide-eyed guests at each turn. Take a guided stroll around the AFEW Giraffe Centre and explore the splendid sanctuary. If your restless heart beats loud enough, sightseeing vehicles can take you all around the Langta region, where an excursion through the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust lets you stir your wild heart even wilder by feeding (and even adopting) baby elephants.
A Treasure Chest of Local Art
If you’re out to quench a dying thirst for spectacular art, there’s the nearby Karen Blixen Museum, dedicated to the Danish explorer-writer and author of Out of Africa, as well as the acclaimed Matbronze Art Gallery & Foundry and innovative crafts complex known as Marula Studios. For legit souvenirs (none of those hack airport leftovers), wander Kazuri Beads, which has earned a reputation for killer locally made jewellery.
Lounging with Wildlife
Are you prepared to have the ulitmate picnic party?! As the giraffes roam freely, you can full-board unwind throughout the day, with all meals and drinks—save for champagne and specially imported spirits—coming as part of the deal. Imagine drinking your bubbly with the ivy covered estate behind you, then your favorite giraffes just saunter by.
Given the modern approach to a classic lifestyle, wifi’s available across the property, so you can stun, floor, and dazzle friends and family back home with sensational pictures as they come.
The Right Time to Explore
Owned and run by The Safari Collection, Giraffe Manor is the perfect escape for everyone, from the quietest lounger to the most excitable thrill-seeker. Just a few things to remember: Nairobi, situated near the equator, is typically cool at night and warm during the day, though June, July, and August tend to be colder. Two rainy seasons burst to wet life from March to May and mid-October to mid-December, and, a final head’s up, the manor is closed every May for maintenance.