The Giraffe Manor is perhaps one of the most unique hotels in Africa, the world even – here in the milieu of Mount Kilimanjaro, a family of eight Rothschild giraffes freely roam the estate and interact with the residents.
Sitting down at breakfast at the Giraffe Manor is a lot like having a meal at any other hotel in Kenya, until the four-legged guests show up. At the Giraffe Manor, it is common for the giraffes to make their appearance by poking their long necks and heads through the windows to join in during mealtime. The animals have grown accustomed to sharing the dining room with the owners and guests and being hand fed treats. So every morning and evening, these gentle giants make the rounds to the house to get their delicacies, before returning back to the forest where they reside.
The owners, the Carr-Hartley family, are conservationists and their families have been involved with the protection of the giraffes for many generations. They are so familiar with each giraffe that they know them by names and individual personalities. The Rothschild giraffes are second in rarity only to the Niger Giraffe, with only a few dozens left in the wild. The twelve acres of land at the Giraffe Manor, surrounded by an additional 140-acre of indigenous forest, serve as a sanctuary for these giraffes as they, as have many other species in Africa, have lost much of their natural habitat and faced extinction. Giraffe Manor itself has a long history with the Rothschild giraffes, Jock Leslie-Melville and his Betty Leslie-Melville (she was called the “Giraffe Lady”) were previous owners of the manor and spent their time here saving this threatened species.
Across the lawn from the Giraffe Manor, is the AFEW Giraffe Centre. The center is dedicated to wildlife conservation and educates guests about the species and allow interaction with them. As well, guided walks of the center are hosted by the institution.
Article by: Tiffany Huggins