GI­RAFFE MANOR

Manor

DRIFT Travel magazine - - Inside This Issue - BY: SHEILA MAY

A unique bou­tique ho­tel in Africa.

Nairobi,Kenya - warmly nick­named Green City in the Sun by lo­cals – has a tremen­dous num­ber of at­trac­tions that draw tourists from around the world yearly. This cos­mopoli­tan hub of­fers a con­tem­po­rary twist on Africa, with many of the mod­ern com­forts new age trav­el­ers are ac­cus­tomed to.

If you’re like me, dreams of Africa take place on rus­tic ter­rain with over grown trees, wildlife and African cul­ture. Set me out­side the bus­tle of Kenyan city life and let me taste the more tra­di­tional side of Nairobi – of course, with a plush bed at the end of the day to sleep off the sore feet of ad­ven­ture.

Yes, in Nairobi you can have tra­di­tional and lux­ury, all it takes is a quick 20 kilo­me­ter jaunt out of the city, where, nes­tled in the more au­then­tic African coun­try side, is a won­drous va­ca­tion des­ti­na­tion called Gi­raffe Manor.

Set on a pris­tine 12 acres of land, which is tucked away in a much larger 140 acres of gi­raffe sanc­tu­ary, is the manor, which was built in 1932 and has been de­clared one of Nairobi’s most his­tor­i­cal build­ings. While Gi­raffe Manor has been up­dated with the finest ameni­ties you could ex­pect from any 5 star ac­com­mo­da­tion, the decor re­mains very rem­i­nis­cent of the Euro­peans in East Africa dur­ing the 1930’s. It has a lovely air of homi­ness, and the im­pec­ca­bly trained and ded­i­cated staff will make your stay a truly unique African in­dul­gence.

In 1974 the manor be­came home to Jock and Betty Les­lie- Melville, whose ado­ra­tion and pas­sion for pro­tect­ing the Roth­schild gi­raffe, in­spired them to turn their prop­erty into a sanc­tu­ary for a heard of the mag­nif­i­cent crea­tures. Their work pre­serv­ing this threat­ened species has been ac­knowl­edged world­wide, and their le­gacy has been ap­pro­pri­ately named, Gi­raffe Manor.

While Jock and Betty are no longer at the manor it re­mains to­day, home to a heard of 8 Roth­schild gi­raffes. They are first to ar­rive for break­fast and din­ner time – and there is no deny­ing these beau­ti­ful an­i­mals a bite of your scrump­tious meals, they’ll poke their heads right in the win­dows and eat out of your hand.

The manor boasts 10 lux­ury suites, and the prop­erty has a max­i­mum ac­com­mo­da­tion of 25 guests, creating a truly in­ti­mate and mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence. More info: the­sa­fari­col­lec­tion.com

WHAT TO DO:

1. In­ter­act with one of the res­i­dent gi­raffes.

2. Spend an af­ter­noon learn­ing about the en­dan­gered Roth­schild Gi­raffe at the African Fund for En­dan­gered Wildlife (AFEW) Gi­raffe Cen­ter. The AFEW (set up by the Les­lie-melvilles) continues to pro­tect and nur­ture the Roth­schild Gi­raffe.

3. Visit the David Sheldrick Ele­phant Or­phan­age and adopt a Baby Ele­phant.

4. Visit the Karen Blixen museum, au­thor of her own au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal book Out of Africa, now a famed film star­ring Meryl Streep as Blixen.

5. En­joy a lav­ish spa ex­pe­ri­ence at Gi­raffe Manor fol­lowed by af­ter­noon tea on the ter­race. Un­wind over sprawl­ing views of the Ngong Hills.

6. Take a day shop­ping trip into the city of Nairobi.

7. Have din­ner in the manor’s divine restau­rant. It has been de­scribed as one of Nairobi’s finest eater­ies.

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