Together with the local organization Giraffe Centre, run by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW), Giraffe Manor is dedicated to protecting the Rothschild giraffe, an endangered giraffe found only in the East African grasslands. As a result, giraffes are allowed to roam freely on the property, often sticking their heads through doorways and windows to say hello.
Located in Lang’ata, approximately three miles from the center of Nairobi, Giraffe Manor also serves as a breeding program, working in partnership with the Giraffe Centre, which owns part of the land. They attempt to reintroduce breeding pairs of Rothschild giraffes back into the wild, an effort meant to help bring the subspecies back from the brink of extinction. There are typically around a dozen giraffes on the land at any given time.
The Manor actually served as a giraffe sanctuary first, starting in 1974, and became a hotel in 1984 under the ownership of Rick and Byrony Anderson. Today it is part of The Safari Collection group of hotels and lodges after being purchased by Mikey and Tanya Carr-Hartley in 2009.
The house has six bedrooms, and guests are welcome to feed the friendly giraffes out of their bedroom windows, through the front door, or even from the breakfast table in the morning or for afternoon tea. Quite a few big names have stayed here, including Brooke Shields, Ewan McGregor, Mick Jagger, Walter Cronkite, Johnny Carson, and Sir Richard Branson.
The hotel puts a portion of profits towards furthering the goals of the AFEW. Guests of the Giraffe Manor are not only experiencing one of the most spectacular and unusual hotels in East Africa; they’re also contributing toward a noble cause. If you’re not visiting Kenya any time soon, but still want the chance to stay at unique lodging, check out these 20 over-the-top Airbnbs.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that guests could have lunch with the giraffes. The article has been updated to reflect that guests can eat with the giraffes for breakfast or afternoon tea. The article has also been updated to clarify that only a portion of the hotel's proceeds will go towards the AFEW, rather than all of them.