The GHID Blog

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International Interior Decor: Nairobi's Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor Just Outside of Nairobi, Africa (photos from Tamimi, unless specified otherwise)

Have you ever heard of Giraffe Manor in Africa? It's a magical place that sits only 20 kilometers (about 12 miles) outside of Nairobi on 12 acres of private land and is surrounded by more than 140 acres of indigenous forest, where the wild giraffes come to drop into the high windows for a quick treat. The boutique hotel is well known for its regular visiting herd of endangered Rothschild giraffe, who welcomed four new giraffes in September of last year. Giraffe Manor is now on my bucket list of places to go visit, not only the grounds are stunning and the idea of being so close to giraffes makes me eager to check off of my list, but the interiors of the 1930s Manor make anyone want to stay and learn the history of each piece of interior decor.

History of Giraffe Manor...

According to Wikipedia, the Manor was modeled off of a Scottish hunting lodge, and was constructed in 1932 by Sir David Duncann - a member of the Mackintosh family of Mackintosh's Toffee - on 150 acres of land running down to the Mbagathi River, the southern boundary of the city of Nairobi. In the 1960s, the Manor was purchased by a local investor who leased it to a succession of people and sat unoccupied. In 1974, the Manor was purchased by Betty Leslie-Melville and her husband Jock, along with 15 acres of the original 150 acres. Since then, 60 additional acres have also been purchased and an additional 40 acres gifted by Peter Beard (being used to form part of his "Hog Ranch") has brought the total acreage of the Manor up to 115 acres. (I encourage you to read the entire history of Giraffe Manor on Wikipedia).

Outside Giraffe Manor


Inside Giraffe Manor

It's lovely to see the trust that the Manor staff has built with the giraffes, but honestly there is something quite enchanting about this place that cannot be pinpointed; could be the Nairobi backdrop, 180 species that surround the walls of the Manor, feeding giraffes while eating your breakfast, being thousands of miles from your home. Let's take a virtual tour of the interiors of the 1930s hotel and see how they embody a "Scottish hunting lodge."

Manor Interiors

Giraffe Manor has incorporated mixed textures and patterns throughout their interior decor to help create an eclectic and comfortable space for their world traveling guests. You'll notice that the textures and surfaces vary: gold floor lamps with the green cased lamp shades, wooden and glass coffee table, as well as the eclectic collection of chairs. I've noticed - and happen to like - that rather then accessorizing with too much home décor, they keep surfaces simple by bringing fresh and vibrant colored flowers into the Manor to liven up the space. I can only assume that the staff picks them from the surrounding 150 acres early in the morning when the wildlife starts to awaken for the day. :)



What isn't to love about this space? The tall ceilings with the exposed wooden beams, the wrapped leather and carved wood furniture, the naturally aged stone fireplace with the whimsical sheer canopy bed make this room a place that I could see myself getting all too comfortable. The best part about this beautiful room is that you know that if you climb up the spiral staircase and peer out that window, you're guaranteed to see for miles across Nairobi and see the tall giraffe snacking on vegetation. Sigh.

Formal Dining Room


The two toned wooden paneled walls and chevron-like wooden flooring add so much charm and richness to this space. The dining table and reupholstered chairs add a contemporary feeling and make me want to say and feast on the delicious food that the Manor has to offer. One thing that I noticed about the Manor is that the longer you stare at photos of the Manor, the more detail and aspects of the rooms you come to love.


I am so obsessed with the hand-carved wooden mirror, detailed wooden credenza topped with patinaed vessel sinks make me wild (no pun intended ) about this wash room. As I continued my tour through Giraffe Manor, I'm noticing that common elements that are used throughout are patina accessories and wood, which in my humble opinion really tickle my aesthetics.


Get The Giraffe Manor Look

Often times, we're asked how to incorporate art and accessories that clients pick up from abroad. If you go to Nairobi to visit Giraffe Manor, I would highly recommend supporting local and purchase gorgeous pieces you can bring home to create stunning and comfortable space. If I were you, I would focus on hand-made goods, like rugs, artwork you can frame or hand-carved wood.

Other Spaces With Giraffes

I hope you've enjoyed the tour of inside and outside of Giraffe Manor, because I had a blast writing this blog and learning more about Giraffe Manor. Did you ever think the interiors of a Manor near Nairobi could be so beautiful, yet so simple and detailed at the same time?

I encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments section!

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