Bedside manners at the Giraffe Manor

Last summer, I was experiencing a bad case of the post-I/O blues, when my manager realized that I needed a pick-me-up. Most people burn out after a project like I/O, but I was coming down from a high and feening for more. To cure my ennui, he sent me on a scouting trip to check out our developer outreach in Africa. I spent a few days attending our glUganda event and meeting with startup accelerators in Nairobi and added a day of holiday here and there to break up the monotony. Work hard, play hard, so they say.

This post is ultimately about the Giraffe Manor in Kenya. But first, a backstory.

This post is ultimately about the Giraffe Manor in Kenya. But first, a backstory.

Whitewater kayaking in Uganda

With only one day to explore Kampala and its environs, I booked in for a tandem whitewater kayak on the Jinja. I’ve accepted that my whitewater career peaked on the Zambezi, which was partially why I was attracted to the novelty of kayaking through the rapids. The Jinja didn’t disappoint, though there were certainly moments where I wondered how much longer I’d be underwater. There was a moment when torrential rains caught us on the river and we had to take refuge under our life jackets (the rafters bailed and took cover under the rafts), but that just added to the intensity of it all. At the end of the excursion, I met some wide-eyed college students that were headed back to their campsite, and it made me realize that I had gone completely soft; but also relieved to be wrapped in my plush hotel bathrobe, soon to be returning to the marble bathtub at the Kampala Serena.

40 whitewater rafters vs. a lone kayaker

40 whitewater rafters vs. a lone kayaker

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Whitewater kayaking the class III/IV rapids on the Jinja in Uganda

Booking in at the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi

Back in Nairobi, I was inspired by a friend’s Facebook post I had seen a few weeks back and decided to splurge on a one-night stay at the Giraffe Manor. I had some FOMO about skipping out on the wildebeest migration, but figured that it wouldn’t have made sense to experience it alone. If you’re coming all this way and if you’re only planning on spending one night here ever, make sure to reserve the Jock room, which gives you front-row seats to the giraffe action.

Make sure to request the Jock Room at the front of the house.

Just me, my books and a few giraffes who would later come to my window sill.

On arrival in the afternoon, your best bet for encountering the resident giraffes is across the way at the Manor’s Giraffe Center, which is free for guests, but just $11 for visitors. The warthogs were around all day though and I found them equally entertaining!

The Giraffe Center offers a similar experience at just $11!

The Giraffe Center offers a similar experience at just $11!

Warthogs scuttle about the giraffes' ankles all day, hoping for a chance at leftovers

Warthogs scuttle about the giraffes’ ankles all day, hoping for a chance at leftovers

Inevitably I was the youngest and most ethnically diverse person there, so most naturally, I felt out of place, as I always do in these situations. Nonetheless, I was content to enjoy my visit to the fullest and spent the day flitting about from room-to-room with my Kindle–it was important that my ass touched every chaise, chair, and couch it encountered, as if increasing my utilization of the furniture would decrease the costs of the stay.

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One night at the Giraffe Manor set me back a hefty $650, but at least that cost included all the food I could eat and a private shuttle to take me anywhere within a 20-minute ride of the manor.

Your every whim is catered to at the Giraffe Manor, including three meals a day and any cravings you might have in between. Determined to partake in every activity at my disposal, I obligingly took a shopping tour (I never shop on vacation) to the nearby artisan markets.

I picked up some handpainted beads for friends back home.

I picked up some hand painted beads for friends back home.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust & Elephant Orphanage

But as novel as the giraffes were, the baby elephants were the ones that melted my heart. Daily tours are given at the Elephant Orphanage, which oversee the rescue, socialization, and release of the orphaned elephants back into the wild. The elephants are paraded out once a day for feeding and sleep next door to their keepers’…because it’s traumatic enough to lose your mother/caretaker the first time around. The youngest elephant trailed behind her keeper, always reaching for his hand with her trunk.

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Can’t I adopt one and take it home with me? At the Elephant Orphanage.

The next morning, I sat down to the highlight of any stay at the Manor: breakfast with the giraffes. Or if you’re up early like me, the opportunity to enjoy them all to yourself from the privacy of your room.

I’ll have my eggs scrambled with a side of giraffe, please.

How to set a giraffe trap from the comfort of your bedroom window

  1. Spot giraffes in the wooded distance and make direct eye contact
  2. Lure them to your bedroom window with dessert. Molasses, corn and hay pellets welcome!
  3. Keep calm and carry on

Unlimited giraffe treats are at your disposal and the giraffes know it!

 

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3 responses to “Bedside manners at the Giraffe Manor

  1. Such a great post, thank you for sharing! I am about to go to Kenya for 9 months, and am so excited to visit the elephant orphanage and giraffe center (giraffes are my favorite animal!!!!). So glad to hear that you had an amazing trip!

    • Good luck and your journeys and I’m glad I was able to give you some pointers along the way! Wish I had more to share, but I just spent a few days there.

    • Good luck and your journeys and I’m glad I was able to give you some pointers along the way! Wish I had more to share, but I just spent a few days there.

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