Today is the last post about our honeymoon! I’ve hoped you’ve enjoyed following along and that they’ve helped those of you planning your own African safari trips. (If you’re playing catch-up, you can read parts one, two, three, and four and check out our itinerary and my packing list!)
We ended our honeymoon with two nights at Giraffe Manor, a property in Nairobi that’s been on my bucket list for as long as I’ve had one. It’s known for its resident giraffes who come up to the hotel to be fed grass pellets during breakfast (~6:00 a.m.) and afternoon tea (~4:00 p.m.). They’re quite friendly and very food-motivated, which makes for some pretty incredible photo opps!
How we got there:
We drove from Solio Lodge to Nanyuki Airport and flew to Wilson Airport in Nairobi. Giraffe Manor was a twenty-minute drive from the airport.
Where we stayed: Giraffe Manor
Beyond the giraffes (which surpassed my very high expectations), the property itself is like something out of a novel, with a stately ivy-covered facade and balconies and windows that open to greet the tallest giraffes. The staff were all delightful (though how could they not be working in such a special place?) and it was easily the most relaxing part of our trip, because everyone seems to crawl back into bed for a nap after an early breakfast with giraffes. We did group dinners both nights in the dining room and met the most fascinating people from around the world, from a Hong Kong dermatologist and her ophthalmologist husband to a Scottish couple who owns an Airbnb. I just can’t say enough good things about it!
We actually didn’t get to feed the giraffes (though we saw a few roaming the property outside the hotel gates) on our first day because our flight landed in the afternoon and we headed straight to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an elephant rescue sanctuary that our travel agent had mentioned. I was so moved by their work (seriously the stories on their website will break your heart) and decided to foster a baby elephant named Bada who was found alone without his mother and struggling to fit in with passing herds. Many of the elephants were orphaned when their parents were killed by poachers and the foundation does amazing work to care for injured elephants and reintegrate those who have been found alone. Watching the baby elephants run in from the forest to be fed their evening meal was just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!
We definitely got our giraffe fix on the last day of our honeymoon. We woke up early so we could be the first to scope out a table in the breakfast room where the giraffes poke their heads in for handfuls of the grass pellets placed in bowls around the room. I was so excited that I woke up an hour before my alarm! We fed the giraffes for a half hour and then sat down for coffee and breakfast, but the giraffes kept sticking their heads back in and looking for more treats. It was just a completely surreal experience and something that I’m not sure exists anywhere else (though if it does, please tell me so I can go!).
We relaxed for the rest of the day (okay and Will tried to teach me how to play chess…) until it was time for the giraffes to come back at tea time. This time we fed them from the lawn in front of the hotel. At one point my hat blew off and one of the giraffes took off running haha. I have some pretty funny videos on my phone! Then we freshened up for dinner and had one last group dinner (with different guests than the night before) before our early morning flight home the next day.
I hope I’ve answered lots of your questions about Giraffe Manor and the rest of our trip! In retrospect I can’t imagine having gone anywhere else for our honeymoon — it was the perfect mix of adventure, relaxation, and sightseeing and I can’t wait to go back someday (maybe even with our future children!). Feel free to comment with any additional questions and I’ll do my best to help. I can’t wait to live vicariously through all of your upcoming trips!