The Giraffe Manor is one of the most amazing and magical places in Nairobi. Built in the Giraffe centre in the swanky neighbourhood of Langata, it is one of Kenya’s most famous tourist attractions. The building dates from 1932 and is built in a classical colonial Scottish highland style. It’s rough rocky exterior and gated windows is a style well known in Kenya. Most colonial building in Kenyan are built in a similar style. The roof is covered in red tiles that help to create this colonial style. The stone surrounding the windows are smoother, these emphasise the windows and entrance.
The building was built by Sir David Duncan of the Mackintosh family. He built the building in the style of a Scottish hunting hotel. Built with a view of the Ngong hills on the one side and Mt Kilimanjaro (if the weather is very clear) on the other side.
The building has 10 rentable rooms named, Betty, Lynn, Arlene, Daisy, Jock, Marlon, Helen, Kelly and the suites are called the Finch Hatton Suite and the Karen Blixen Suite. The building also has two sitting rooms, a TV room, a dining room, breakfast room and various gardens and terraces.
These rooms are covered in rich woods and most rooms have red undertones. The manor has high ceilings and large windows that let ample light to flow into the various rooms. It is elegantly furnished in keeping with the style of the building. Many of the rooms have doors that open into the large gardens surrounding the building. All have large windows.
The building is a magnificent building and has largely been kept as originally built, with its large staircase and stately chimneys.
How the building became the Giraffe Manor is an intressting story. In 1974 Jock Leslie Melville and Betty Leslie-Melville bought the manor in 1974. Until this time the Manor had fallen into disrepair. Jock and Betty bought the 15-acre lot. They later bought 60 extra acres and Peter Beard gifted another 40 acres. It was around this time that Jock started to get interested in the extinction of the Rothschild giraffes. The manor already had 3 male giraffes named Tom, Dick and Harry. Betty being a conservationist, she started to bring more giraffes to the manor.
It became a hotel in 1984 when Betty’s son renovated it into its current form. It is currently run by ‘The safari collection’.
The hotel is a one of a kind place and has a vibrant and beautiful history.