Surrounded by 140 acres of indigenous bush, the Giraffe Manor, a small exclusive hotel just outside Nairobi, has a resident herd of giraffe who have a tendency to stick their long necks into everything. The butler, in fact, kicks off happy hour each night by offering nuts to Daisy, a 20-foot endangered Rothschild giraffe, and her clan.
In 1974, Jock Leslie Melville and his American wife Betty, concerned about the rare Rothschild giraffes whose natural habitat in western Kenya was disappearing, bought the 15-acre manor (they later added 105 additional acres), moved in Daisy and a partner and started the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife.
After Jock died in 1984, Betty opened the giraffe reserve and its faux Scottish hunting lodge to the public. Giraffe Manor has six bedrooms, one furnished with the furniture of writer Karen Blixen, the dining room is lit by candles only and meals are made with organic fruits and vegetables. Outside, with views of Mount Kilimanjaro to the south, warthogs strut their stuff next to the giraffes. Guests have included Johnny Carson, Walter Cronkite, Brooke Shields, Stephen Sondheim and Sir Mick Jagger.
Stick your neck into their website at www.giraffemanor.com.