- One of the most popular places to visit in Kenya is
Manor, a 12-room boutique
hotel where guests can feed giraffes over breakfast.
- But the Manor is exclusive and expensive, costing $620 per
person per night, and that’s if you can even get a room.
- Instead, I went next door and visited the Giraffe Center, the
giraffe sanctuary where the Manor’s giraffes come from. For $10, I
was able to feed giraffes and learn about the center’s conservation
and breeding efforts. It was a blast.
When I told friends that I was going to Kenya this past winter,
most of them knew about one place and one place only: Giraffe
Made famous by
thousands of influencers on Instagram, Giraffe Manor is a
boutique hotel in a suburb southwest of Nairobi. There, guests can
stay in one of twelve rooms at the iconic hunting lodge-style
building whose ivy-covered brick conjures images of a by-gone
(read: colonial) era of Kenya when Europeans first started
The real draw of Giraffe
Manor is, of course, the giraffes. Opened in the 1970s by Betty
and Jock Leslie Melville, the Manor serves as a sanctuary for
protecting, raising, and breeding Rothschild’s giraffes, one of the
most endangered species of giraffes. In the mornings, guests are
encouraged to feed the Manor’s giraffes as they stick their heads
through the windows.
As is to be expected, it is both expensive and exclusive. A room
at the Manor — the only way you can feed giraffes at breakfast
— typically costs
$620 per person per night. During the busiest times of the
year, the manor’s 12 rooms are booked up months in advance.
Fortunately, I found an alternative to Giraffe Manor for a
fraction of the price.
Enter the Giraffe Center:
The Giraffe Center
is next door to Giraffe Manor. All the Rothschild’s giraffes that
guests feed at Giraffe Manor are actually from the center, a
sanctuary opened by the Melvilles around the same time.
The center is run by the Kenyan non-profit African Fund for
Endangered Wildlife. When the Melvilles started the AFEW in 1979,
the population of Rothschild’s giraffes was down to 20. Thanks to
their efforts, it
has now surged past 300, with many of the animals released into
national parks and reserves around the country.
Tickets to the Center cost $5-10 and include a presentation by
one of the caretakers on the center’s breeding and conservation
work. You also can feed the giraffes as much as you want, no $620
hotel room necessary.
As one of the caretakers explained, giraffes spend sixteen to
twenty hours per day eating — and they consume as much as 75
pounds of food. You don’t have to be worried about how many pellets
you are feeding them: They have a nearly insatiable appetite.
Word of advice for future visitors: While you can pet a
giraffe’s neck, don’t try getting too close to the side of its
head. It might gently — or not so gently — knock you away with
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Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News
I found a alternative to the Instagram-famous Giraffe Manor in Kenya, which runs over 0 a night — and it's right next door