As most of you have probably seen on Instagram, I have been on a giant Africa circuit traveling from South Africa, to Kenya and finishing in Tanzania. I will tell you right here and now that it was the most difficult & overwhelming trip I have ever planned in my career. It’s not only on the other side of the world but the preparations & logistics of flights, layovers, car service, work obligations, vaccination shots, luggage issues, visa paperwork & client meetings all had to be handled within a span of 2 weeks. FORTUNATELY I had the wonderful help of a few PR’s who assisted me for 3 months beforehand but boy did I wish we had 12 months! (first Africa travel tip- book a year in advanced. No seriously.) With all that being said, none of the stress mattered when we realized just how lucky we were to experience of some of these properties and conservations. If you’re a frequent reader than I already assume you know that my writing could be better… well, describing all of this when we were literally SPEECHLESS is going to make the task even more difficult.
When we arrived to Giraffe Manor -which is about a 25 minute drive from Nairobi Airport- we found ourselves in awe. We couldn’t of arrived at a better time, high tea/sunset where the second opportunity to interact with the Giraffes was feet in front of us. Nick and I gazed in disbelief with our mouths open as a few of the guests fed these gorgeous, breathtakingly full grown giraffes small pellets of greens. One kind woman handed me a fistful of pellets and said “want to feed her? careful though, she can be a bit slobbery!” My heart was so full in that moment. I’ve seen cityscapes that go on for miles, hundred foot waterfalls & even shipwrecks off the Jamaican coast but nothing will come close to feeding wild giraffes in the courtyard of this boutique hotel in Kenya. Was I in a damn storybook? “Nick, wake me up!” I whisper-shouted to him as Margaret’s long slimy tongue ran through my fingers, scooping up at least 10 pellets. “Hungry girl!” I laughed hesitatingly. These guys were BIG. Some reached 18-20 feet tall so I refer to them as gentle giants now. Over the course of the next couple days we were able to wake up every morning to hungry giraffes outside our bedroom window, breakfast table nook and again at high tea. I could go on for days how I felt a connection with each and every one of them (10 giraffes in total) but I won’t bore you with an excessively long blogpost. It was indeed life changing and I urge everyone to put it on their bucket list immediately.
I’ve answered some FAQs below (which I also shared on Insta) for a quick reference. All other answers can most likely be found on their website HERE.
oh PS. we got to adopt a baby elephant at the nearby David Sheldrick wildlife trust & GUESS WHAT HIS NAME WAS? Galla. I shit you not, I’ve never seen it spelt like that on anyone/thing/phant, It was fate<3 (That’s why there’s an image above, sorry if I led you to believe there were elephants at Giraffe Manor for a second but C’mon, then it’d be Giraffe-elephant Manor and that just doesn’t have a ring does it?)
-Yes, Giraffe Manor is a boutique hotel.
-Yes, the giraffes are wild.
-The property is within a protected conservation & serves as home to 10 endangered Rothschild giraffes. ?????????
-Since there are only a number of rooms, it’s important to book as much in advance as possible. There is a live availability calendar online you can find easily. ?????????
-Once there, you have 2 opportunities per day to spend time with the giraffes. At sunrise/breakfast for roughly 3 hours then again at sunset/high tea on the patio for another 2-3 hours. In between that (mid day) the giraffes are away in the fields nearby. ?????????
-The staff is wonderful & very educated on these animals. We didn’t feel nervous once. The Giraffes can be intimidating as some reach 18ft tall (5.4m) but in person you see how gentle & kind they are thus putting you at ease immediately. ?????????
-It truly is one of the most surreal & indescribable trips I’ve come to experience. I have several more pictures & story-videos to share. Hope you enjoy & get to see it one day yourselves. It’ll change your life<3
Photography: Adam Gallagher & Nick Pierce
Styling: Adam Gallagher
Art Direction: Adam Gallagher