Built in 1932, Giraffe Manor became the home of Jock and Betty Leslie-Melville in 1974. The couple founded the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) and took in five orphaned, endangered Rothschild giraffe; today the numbers have increased significantly, with giraffe wandering the lawns during the day before retreating to the sanctuary at night.
The colonial-style manor is impressive; wide stone steps lead to an imposing mansion with gables, chimneys, a red-tiled roof and creeping ivy, which the giraffe like to eat in the morning. A high-arched doorway leads to a grand entrance hall and spacious living room featuring deep sofas, a grand piano, numerous books and family photographs.
Staying at Giraffe Manor is a truly unique experience. It’s a rather eccentric place, but great fun. We think this makes the perfect beginning or end to a safari for wildlife lovers.
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Photos of Giraffe Manor
There are just a handful of rooms and suites, each of which has its own distinct style and character. They boast original furniture, including four-poster beds in some cases, and are individually named.
They’re split between the main house and a separate garden manor, which has its own dining area and lounge, as well as housing the Finch Hatton family suite for two adults and three children. There’s also the Karen Blixen Suite, which is attached to the main house and particularly suitable for families or wheelchair users. It has a double bedroom, two single beds and a cosy lounge area, opening out onto a courtyard.
Giraffe Manor is situated in the Langata suburb of Nairobi, set in extensive private grounds of green lawns and sunny terraces within a large area of indigenous forest. The AFEW Giraffe Centre is just a stroll across the lawn, and within the local area you can explore various museums, arts and crafts outlets and wildlife sanctuaries, as well as Nairobi National Park.
Food and drink
There’s a breakfast room along one side of the property, where giraffe often peer through the windows as you eat, hoping for a treat. Dinner is served in a panelled dining room complete with candelabras for a more refined dining experience, while a variety of drinks can be served out on the terrace.
Families can stay in Kelly’s room, which can be set up as a triple, the Finch Hatton Suite for up to two adults and three children, or the Karen Blixen Suite, which has space for two adults and two children. Encountering the giraffe is exciting for young and old alike, and there are lots of family attractions in the local area.
Facilities and activities
We recommend visiting the AFEW Giraffe Centre on site, where you can learn about the endangered giraffe and take guided walks around the sanctuary when no other visitors are there. At the nearby Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage you can feed and adopt baby elephant. The Karen Blixen Museum features exhibits on the Danish explorer and writer, and there are several art galleries in the area. A massage service is available on site.
The Karen Blixen Suite is located on the ground floor and is suitable for wheelchair access.
Tour ideas in Nairobi
Our itineraries are there to spark ideas for how you could include a stay at Giraffe Manor as part of your trip. Treat them simply as suggestions, because every aspect of the trip we create for you will be yours to define.
KenyaView this tour
Luxury Kenya safari & beachKenyaView this tour
Ultimate Kenya safari: Amboseli, Meru & Masai MaraKenyaView this tour
Gorilla & Zanzibar adventureKenya, Zanzibar Archipelago and UgandaView this tour
Mara & Mahé explorerKenya and SeychellesView this tour
Kenya safari & Zanzibar beachKenya and Zanzibar ArchipelagoView this tour
Northern Kenya & the Great Migration (Laikipia & the Masai Mara)KenyaView this tour
Rwanda's gorillas & Kenya's Big FiveRwanda and KenyaView this tour
Gorilla tracking & Zanzibar adventureRwanda and Zanzibar ArchipelagoView this tour
Location & places nearby
Places & hotels on the map
Alternative places to stay nearby
Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.
House of WaineNairobi
The Norfolk HotelNairobi
Nairobi and nearby places
- Lake Naivasha 51 miles away
- Shompole Magadi 63 miles away
- Loita Hills 67 miles away
- Lake Nakuru 84 miles away
- Lakes of the Great Rift Valley 84 miles away
- Ol Pejeta Conservancy 101 miles away
- Amboseli National Park 91 miles away
- Mara Naboisho Conservancy 99 miles away
- Sosian Ranch 115 miles away
- The Chyulu Hills 112 miles away