Giraffe Manor doesn’t need an introduction, and that is for very good reason. Filling every wanderlust-driven Instagram feed with airy and dream-like pictures of the hotel’s breakfast with giraffes – this hotel has landed at the top of every traveler’s bucket list. 2020 proved to be a very tough year but with Kenya’s early reopening to American citizens, many flocked to the property to experience what normally would be a waitlisted experience – even if you were able to score a reservation. I didn’t hesitate to take advantage of an opportunity presented and made sure it was my first stop on a week-long trip to Magical Kenya.
I arrived late in the evening and was welcomed warmly by the general manager of the hotel, and led to a private dinner in the dining room. The hotel didn’t hesitate to follow COVID-19 guidelines, taking my information for contact tracing purposes as well as checking my temperature upon arrival. Dinner was stunning and fresh, but I was very tired from my travels.
I was led to a beautiful room on the second floor with a private terrace overlooking the gardens. And, of course, was given the protocol before bed of how to handle the giraffe invasion once it started at 6:00 am. I saw a brass container with pellets on a table near the doorway to my terrace and I set an alarm for 5:45 am.
I woke up to a glimmer of light through my curtain as the sun kissed the horizon and woke quickly in anticipation of the day ahead. Soon, I could hear faint calls for the giraffes which live in a sanctuary adjacent to Giraffe Manor. I grabbed my pellets and headed onto my terrace.
Immediately one of the graceful creatures came walking toward me in a powerful request for food. I grabbed a pellet and outstretched my arm to feed him. Wow! What a moment. I repeated this action several times and then, as my own hunger begin to swell, I promptly jumped in the shower and readied for breakfast.
Giraffe Manor has a very choreographed approach to breakfast with the giraffes. Of course, with the giraffes’ giant bodies and heads popping through windows, and, quite frankly, slobber from eating, it’s procedure for them to eat first while you feed them before your own breakfast begins. Of course I loved every minute. I was able to snap countless photos with one of Africa’s most incredible creatures and they got their fill of food. As their breakfast ended, I washed my hands and new tables were set for my own food intake.
Breakfast was delicious – homemade and plentiful. After, I prepared my belongings for a short flight to the Maasai Mara to experience Sala’s Camp– a sister property and game lodge. I walked around Giraffe Manor and through the gardens, overwhelmed by the natural beauty as well as the stunning antiques and period furniture that fill the space. Though my stay was short, I was grateful for this authentic and up-close experience I had with these magnificent giraffes. For anyone contemplating Giraffe Manor, make it a priority while in Nairobi.