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Old Sep 1, 12, 11:25 am   #1
 
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Giraffe Manor, Langata, Nairobi, Kenya

We will be staying Sept 2013, anyone have stayed there?
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Old Sep 1, 12, 11:34 am   #2
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Do you mean this property outside Nairobi?

Giraffe Manor

No, but it certainly looks special.

We went to the Karen Blixen Home/Museum and to the Giraffe Centre adjacent to Giraffe Manor.

I found a brief postive reference to the hotel here:

Nairobi's best hotel?

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Sep 1, 12 at 11:48 am.
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Old Sep 2, 12, 5:25 am   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madisoncat View Post
We will be staying Sept 2013, anyone have stayed there?
It is a beautiful place. The rooms are quaint and comfortable. Food is very good, as it the hosing. You will love the place. Breakfast with the giraffes sticking their heads into the breakfast room in the morning.
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Old Sep 4, 12, 1:05 pm   #4
 
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Geraff manor

Thank You for your input. What airline did you use and did you use a consolidator to purcahs tickets?

We are leaving from Boston.

madisoncat
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Old Sep 4, 12, 1:56 pm   #5
 
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Was at Giraffe Center a couple weeks ago around 09:30. The Giraffe's were initially too busy with their heads inside hotel rooms than to come over and meet with us. They eventually came over, but it was an amazing sight (even from a distance) to see their heads in peoples hotel rooms. I'd say worth a stay!
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Old Sep 4, 12, 2:31 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by madisoncat View Post
Thank You for your input. What airline did you use and did you use a consolidator to purcahs tickets?

We are leaving from Boston.

madisoncat
I used my car. Live in Nairobi
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Old Sep 7, 12, 12:56 pm   #7
 
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Mad-Town cat: Your best bet is Delta/KLM (through AMS). Great connections through AMS. You'll love the giraffe center.
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Old Sep 7, 12, 1:42 pm   #8
 
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What is AMS?
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Old Sep 7, 12, 2:33 pm   #9
 
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What is AMS?
Amsterdam
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Old Sep 8, 12, 8:18 am   #10
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Hi,

There is a glossary (mouse over Help, top left of your blue menu ribbon,then Glossary) for a lot of the acronyms we may use around here, and Help, then Airport Codes, for the airport codes. Many of us fly sufficiently we use the airport codes for the airport (or sometimes the city itself, such as NBO for Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi).


If you have the budget, absolutely go for it!


Giraffe - it's what's for breakfast!

Giraffe Manor, and its now 115 acres in the suburb of Langata (the full address is Giraffe manor, Langata Road, Langata), was originally built in 1932 by Sir David Duncan (the toffee magnate) and based on a Scottish hunting lodge (such was Kenya during the Colonial period). The manor, which was falling apart later, was bought with 15 acres in 1974 by Jock and Betty Leslie-Melville, who were active in preserving the subspecies Rothschild's Giraffe (found naturally in parts of Kenya, such as Naivasha, but highly endangered). Betty wrote a lovely book, probably not so easy to find these days, "Raising Daisy Rothschild", also made into a movie and nearly unobtainable, "The Last Giraffe" (1979) with Susan Anspach playing Betty. (She wrote other humorous books of experiences with wildlife in Africa, such as "Elephant Have Right of Way".)

The lodge was later operated by one of Betty's children, Rick Anderson, and his wife Briony. All proceeds went to help fund the African Foundation for Endangered Wildlife, which in part operates the Langata Giraffe Centre. One of the rooms in this manor is furnished with furniture once belonging to Karen von Blixen-Finecke / Isak Dinesen, author of "Out of Africa" and an interesting person in her own right - you can easily visit the Blixen house (AKA Karen Blixen Museum), "at the foot of the Ngong Hills", as it is near the Giraffe Centre, in the suburb today called Karen. Other guests than the giraffes have included, according to Wikipedia,

Quote:
Over the years the Manor has welcomed guests such as Mick Jagger, Walter Cronkite (after whom one of the Manor's resident warthogs was named),[4] Johnny Carson, Brooke Shields and Richard Chamberlain, as well as hosting Richard Branson, Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman on the launch of Virgin Atlantic's London–Nairobi service in 2007.[7]
Today, the Manor, according to Wikipedia also, is

Quote:
In March 2009 the Manor was purchased by Mikey and Tanya Carr-Hartley[8] and now forms part of the Tamimi group of lodges and hotels.
It is an interesting, historic and beautiful (and pricey, but it's one of those "once in a lifetime" experiences - maybe why bwana roadwarriorafrica said it provided a "very good... hosing" ) place; Langata is quiet in the hubbub of Nairobi, and is shaded by extensive tree coverage. The Giraffe Centre, nearby, is usually open to visitors afternoons, after it is over providing educational visits to area schoolchildren, who learn about the wildlife no longer familiar to them as residents of Nairobi's ever-spreading city limits.

A very nice summary of the Manor and comprehensive showing of Meghan Carter's photographs can be viewed here.

TripAdvisor reviews here.

Tamimi website (and direct booking for Giraffe Manor, etc.) here.

We visited in, iirc, 1986.

Even if one is visiting and not staying at Giraffe Manor, a pleasant afternoon can be spent visiting Karen Blixen House, the Giraffe Centre (from which one can see the Manor) and perhaps, for carnivores, a supper at the not-too-distant Carnivore Restaurant (lots of game meat here, from kanga (guinea fowl) to mbuni (ostrich), punda milia (zebra) to kuku (chicken).

Nonprofit African Fund for Endagered Wildlife (Kenya) Ltd. (Giraffe Centre) link

National Museums of Kenya - Karen Blixen Museum link

The Carnivore Restaurant link

Read Betty's obituary, which has some of the story (seems not to be copyrighted, probably due to age, so I will share):

Code:
Obituary
Betty Leslie-Melville
A conservationist who helped build the Kenyan population of a rare giraffe

Christopher Reed, The Guardian, Monday 10 October 2005

The stately Rothschild's giraffe, at almost 20ft the tallest of the 
species and formerly endangered but now thriving, is the legacy that the 
Maryland-born Betty Leslie-Melville, who has died aged 78, left to the 
world. The "giraffe lady" spent decades in Kenya devoted to the animals. At 
the outset of her interest in the early 1970s, there were only about 120, 
but they now number up to 400 in Kenya and 500 altogether, due to the 
efforts of her and her third husband Jock Leslie-Melville, the Kenyan 
grandson of a Scottish earl, who died in 1984.

One of nine sub-species, Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi is named after 
the British zoologist Walter Rothschild. Unlike other giraffes it has five 
horns instead of two, its coat markings are tidier, and it is the only kind 
with white legs from the knees down.

Numbers dwindled drastically when poachers began slaughtering the 
amiable herbivores to make tourist mementos. Betty first visited Kenya 
in 1958 and was captivated. She persuaded her second husband, banker 
Dancy Bruce, to move there and he started a non-hunting safari business, 
but they soon divorced.

In 1964 she married Jock and later they bought Giraffe Manor, an English-
style mansion on 120 acres built in 1932 for the toffee tycoon, Sir David 
Duncan. Although it was only eight miles from Nairobi, the presence of 
giraffes, who would poke their heads through the couple's first-floor 
bedroom window, immediately intrigued them. Then they discovered that 
the animals, already threatened by hunters and lost habitat, came from 
nearby farmland scheduled for redevelopment. Betty persuaded her 
husband to allow the animals to live on their estate.

In 1972 the couple created the Fund for Endangered African Wildlife in 
Maryland and in Kenya, and began adopting giraffes, starting with a female 
called Daisy and then five youngsters. As numbers increased they put them 
under the care of the Giraffe Centre that they created inside their 
expanding acreage. The couple treated the animals almost like pets, often 
feeding them by hand, but giraffes are so placid this appeared not to harm 
their feral origins. It did intrigue visitors, and when Jock succumbed to 
brain cancer, Betty turned the manor into a six-room lodge, now run by her 
son from her first marriage, and his wife. Visitors get close-up views of the 
giraffes, and the fees they pay include a contribution towards conservation 
work.

The lodge has been featured in magazine articles and a television film 
based on one of the 10 books that Betty wrote, often in collaboration with 
Jock. The best known was Raising Daisy Rothschild (1979).Others included 
a novel, Bagamoyo: Here I Leave my Heart (1983), Falling Star: A True 
Story of Romance (1986), The Giraffe that Lives with Me (1987), and 
Walter Warthog (1994), about another animal who moved into the giraffe 
centre. Celebrity visits from Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall, Candice Bergen, 
Brooke Shields, Richard Chamberlain, the late Johnny Carson and Marlon 
Brando helped raise funds. Their warthog was named after the former CBS 
television news anchor Walter Cronkite, a financial supporter.

She was born Betty McDonnell, in Baltimore, where she attended Johns 
Hopkins University. Good-looking and stylish, she became a model for two 
local department stores, appeared in TV beer commercials, and helped her 
sister run a nursery. Then came the trip to Kenya, ostensibly to visit a 
friend who had gone there as a member of a Roman Catholic religious 
order. Betty returned to Baltimore after retirement but continued to visit 
Giraffe Manor.

She is survived by her fourth husband, vice Admiral George Peabody 
Steele, her son from her first marriage to Lloyd Anderson and a daughter 
from her second. Another son by her second husband died last year.

Betty Leslie-Melville Steele, conservationist and author, 
born March 7 1927; died September 23 2005

Quote:
Originally Posted by madisoncat View Post
We will be staying Sept 2013, anyone have stayed there?
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Last edited by JDiver; Sep 8, 12 at 5:35 pm. Reason: add a couple of Meghan Carter photos
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Old Sep 8, 12, 12:12 pm   #11
 
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The MANOR

Thanks to Jdiver, a wonderfull article. We are really looking forward to now more than ever.

Best Regards.
Madisoncat
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Old Sep 8, 12, 5:34 pm   #12
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I wish you the best, and I am betting we will love it if you post and share your experience.


Quote:
Originally Posted by madisoncat View Post
Thanks to Jdiver, a wonderfull article. We are really looking forward to now more than ever.

Best Regards.
Madisoncat
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Old Mar 2, 13, 6:25 pm   #13
 
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madisoncat, we will be at Giraffe Manor in September 2013 as well! I'm so excited.
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Old Mar 5, 13, 5:23 pm   #14
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I have stayed there twice. Great place to chill for a few days before or after safari. Great experience....and I would go back again with someone who has not visited. However, I prefer to extend my time in the parks and see the larger collection of wildlife.
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Old Mar 12, 13, 9:44 am   #15
 
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Originally Posted by kevinsac View Post
I have stayed there twice. Great place to chill for a few days before or after safari. Great experience....and I would go back again with someone who has not visited. However, I prefer to extend my time in the parks and see the larger collection of wildlife.
Glad to hear! We have two days at the end of our safari and 13 nights on safari. I'm worried we might have too much time on safari but I figure if we do, we can just relax, get spa treatments, sleep a little bit, etc. I'm so excited as this is our first trip to Africa!
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