Habitually Chic®'s Logo  

To the Manor Born

by habituallychic

08 . 28 . 07

I’ve wanted to travel to Kenya ever since I first saw the movie Out of Africa so I’ve been saving magazine articles and tear sheets for a very long time. Most relate to safaris and fabulous 5 star accommodations since staying in a tent is not my idea of a vacation but a very special hotel in Nairobi has been catching my eye lately.

Giraffe Manor was built in 1932 by a Scottish lord and was modeled on a Scottish hunting lodge. In 1974, the grandson of a Scots Earl, Jock Leslie Melville and his American wife Betty bought the Manor as their home and soon after moved two highly endangered Rothschild giraffe onto the estate where their future generations have thrived and live today.

“Jock and Betty founded the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW). The Giraffe Centre (AFEW Kenya) was built on the property so that Kenyan school children could learn conservation/ecology and feed giraffe eyeball to eyeball! Visitors touring Nairobi have a chance to visit and pay an entrance to the Giraffe Centre. Profits go to various projects in Kenya. Betty’s son Rick has led AFEW USA and AFEW Kenya since 1983.”

When Jock died in 1984, Betty returned to the USA and opened her house, now called The Giraffe Manor, to visitors where it is run by Rick and his wife Bryony.

Isn’t this the most fabulous place ever?! Ok, I’ll admit it’s slightly scary to have giraffes poking their heads into the window even if they are cute, just take a look at some of the other photos on their website, but I love any place that has a mission and a purpose. Plus, it’s actually not that expensive! But that only matters if you can actually secure a reservation. Apparently, Giraffe Manor is as popular with the tourists as it is with the giraffes!

Comments Closed

  1. Bueller August 28, 2007 | 5:55 am

    Thank you for this post. I remember this place from a trip to Africa when I was 12. I can still the giraffe’s raspy tongue on my hand as I fed him a treat through the window. These pictures are wonderful!!

  2. Cote de Texas August 28, 2007 | 8:23 am

    Hi, my nephew and his new wife went on a safari this summer. I’m going to send you the picture album. They stayed in 4 different camps and in tents and the pictures are fabulous. You don’t need to know the people, but you can see how nice the tents are and stuff. I really want to go on the trip they went on!!


  3. Suzy August 28, 2007 | 1:11 pm

    Looks amazing. I’m waiting for my friend from Sth Africa to move home so I can go visit her! Apparently Richard Branson also owns an amazing property in Kruger Park, I’ve heard it’s beautiful.

  4. Habitually Chic August 28, 2007 | 1:26 pm

    Bueller, how fabulous that you actually stayed at Giraffe Manor! What a great memory to have! You’re sooo lucky!

  5. Habitually Chic August 28, 2007 | 1:28 pm

    Joni, I can’t wait to check out their photos! There is a safari in Tanzania that has trip where you can just stay in a tent for one night. Maybe I could handle that.

  6. Habitually Chic August 28, 2007 | 1:31 pm

    Suzy, You’re closer over there so you should definitely go! I have so many great safari articles that I will definitely be posting more. I feel like if I write about it enough, maybe I’ll finally get to go! I hope you get to go soon too!!!

  7. Alice Olive August 28, 2007 | 1:45 pm

    Wow – yes, it’s slightly amazing to see the giraffes peeking in through the windows but amazing in a good way!!

  8. The Peak of Chic August 28, 2007 | 3:04 pm

    Amazing! The manor is absolutely beautiful, and I love the idea of the girafes poking their heads in the windows!

  9. Brilliant Asylum August 28, 2007 | 3:04 pm

    What an awesome property. Giraffes are so cute.

  10. Mélanie August 28, 2007 | 3:14 pm

    I love this place . it is fabulous

  11. Mrs. Blandings August 28, 2007 | 4:15 pm

    Vogue did a layout with Keira Knightly at this spot – with the giraffes looking in the window – it was beautiful. Go.

  12. Jackie Von Tobel August 28, 2007 | 4:51 pm

    Now that looks like my idea of a safari! I could sit in a beautiful manor, sip a glass of wine in front of a roaring fire and have the wildlife come to me. Who knew it could be like this? Fabulous…

  13. Sarah Jennings August 28, 2007 | 5:32 pm

    I would love to look through your file of tear sheets; you have the most wide ranging sources in your file! This place looks amazing.

  14. Habitually Chic August 28, 2007 | 5:38 pm

    Sarah, I have more tear sheets than I know what to do with sometimes! Especially, when I’m trying to find something! You’re welcome to look through them if you want to help me organize them again 😉

  15. style court August 28, 2007 | 8:45 pm


    Visiting Africa is a life-long dream of mine too. Loved this!

  16. Jordan Cappella August 31, 2007 | 5:36 am

    WOW this is fabulous thanks for sharing. I just added another TO DO! on the list.

  17. patriciagrayinc.com September 1, 2007 | 8:09 pm

    Go…visit Africa. I did a few years ago and it is still fresh in my mind. If you are a fan of the movie Out of Africa when you are in Nairobi visit Karen Blixen’s Home which is now a museum and open to the public. http://www.karenblixen.com/visit.html
    Tenting on safari is really quite civilized and comfortable…Go – you will love it.

  18. beachbungalow8 September 7, 2007 | 3:46 pm

    holy shmoley. that shot with the giraffes poking their heads in is surreal. i’m thinking of places for a honeymoon.you may have just given me an idea!

    btw, did you know that giraffes have an extreme fear of heights? and will walk miles for water so as to avoid stepping down even a foot? how’s that for useless info. learned that at the san diego zoo.

  19. Habitually Chic September 7, 2007 | 3:53 pm

    Megan, you have to go to Africa on a safari for your honeymoon!!! Africa is said to be a deeply moving trip. I say go for it!

  20. Anabel Fournier June 10, 2010 | 1:58 am

    I lived in Kenya for a few years and this is one of my favorite places. Even my daughter Daniela went on a filed trip with her class to the Giraffe Manor.
    It is in Karen, a short trip from Nairobi and a great place to stay.