Do

Take tea with a giraffe familyNairobi, Kenya

You’ve probably seen the photographs of surprised guests eating breakfast while a tall intruder pokes its head through the window. The venue is Giraffe Manor, a stately home converted into a boutique hotel in the lush suburb of Lang’ata in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. There are, however, only a dozen rooms, so it’s not always easy to get a booking, particularly if you’re on a last-minute jaunt.

Never fear, you can still commune with these amazing animals as the sun sets behind the Ngong Hills and afternoon tea is served on the terrace. Cups of tea in fine china, tiny finger sandwiches, scones with jam and fresh cream and trays of sweet delicacies are laid out for the two-legged guests.

As tasty as the morsels might be, they definitely play second fiddle to the main attraction. The residents of the neighbouring Giraffe Center – a group of 10 endangered Rothschild giraffes – lope across to nibble at the pellets their trusty keepers have on hand. Everyone gets a go to hand them over to Daisy, Betty and friends, as well as have a photograph or 10 taken with the very friendly giraffes.

It’s tempting to want to spend your entire time getting to know your new tall acquaintances, but put a few cakes on your plate, take a seat beneath an umbrella and take in the whole scene. Cheeky warthogs, who quite clearly know they’re not allowed near the terrace, wait until the keepers aren’t watching and try to make a sneaky entrance.

A two-day stay at Giraffe Manor, including all meals, local drinks, return airport transfers and giraffe feeding, costs around US$585 per person, twin share.

Bench Africa
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Africa experts Bench Africa can create a tailor-made itinerary to include the world-famous Giraffe Manor.

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Tags: animal encounter, into the wild, kenya, nairobi, unusual experience, wildlife

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