Questions re Giraffe Manor / Sheldrick Orphanage

Jul 5th, 2007, 06:27 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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Questions re Giraffe Manor / Sheldrick Orphanage

Hopefully someone has some answers to a few specific questions.

My wife and I are taking our 24 yr. old niece on a safari to northern Tanzania and Rwanda at the end of the year. Originally our plans were to stay the whole time in Kenya, and before the plans changed we really got excited about having a night at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi.

Now our only opportunity to to visit Giraffe Manor would be during an 10 hour layover in Nairobi before we fly home. We arrive at NBO in Nairobi from Kigali at noon and fly out again at 10:15 p.m., so we are planning things to do. One thing we really want to do during the layover is visit the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage (we intend to adopt 3 elephants before we arrive) and have a private visit with our adopted babies in the afternoon. I think that occurs at about 5:00 p.m. when the elephants are returning to their night pens.

My question is, does anyone with knowledge of the Giraffe Manor schedules know if we could squeeze in a day room there? My thoughts are to head to the Carnivore for lunch when we land in Nairobi, then over to Giraffe Manor and get our day room, relax until we go to Sheldrick, then return to Giraffe Manor for dinner and freshining up before heading to the airport and our international flight.

My concern is that the best time to be at Giraffe Manor (other than morning) may be the same as the time we are visiting Sheldrick. I'm not sure how long we get to stay at Sheldrick, but I do know sunset is at about 6:30 p.m. and the hour before sunset is probably the best time at Giraffe Manor as well. (I know that we can visit the Giraffe Center at any time, but the experience doesn't seem anywhere near what you would get at Giraffe Manor, and the idea of a relaxing shower and change of clothes in a nice room before heading to the airport is a bonus.)

Any way these both can be done? I wouldn't think about it except I know all three places are close to each other. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
sevendown is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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The Giraffe Center is on the same grounds as the Giraffe Manor. You can see the Manor hourse from where you visit with the giraffes.

A day-room at GM will be very expensive, if it's even available. Lots of the hotels are not offering day-rooms during the peak travel times. As a backup you may want to choose any number of other nearby small hotels for a day-room (if available) and just visit the Giraffe Center. There's House of Waine, Macushla House, Blixen Coffee Lodge and Ngong House. Ngong House would be as expensive at Giraffe Manor. The others are a bit more reasonable; dinner which isn't included in rate would be inexpensive.

You can probably arrange with your ground operator to take you to visit your ellee adoptees at 5pm, back to hotel of choice for dinner and then to the airport for homebound flight.


sandi is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 09:38 AM
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I think the best way to find out if there is availability at the giraffe manor is to contact them. As far as I know you would be paying the going rate for a full night.

What were you hoping to experience at the manor? The giraffe will wander over to the manor (during the day) whenever they think there's a chance of getting treats.

Not sure what time the educational center closes, but I don't think there's a 'best' time of the day to be there.

The manor arranged a visit to the Sheldrick orphanage for the guests.

Otherwise, I think Sandi has offered a pretty good alternative.

Bon Voyage!
Femi is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 04:00 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Giraffe Manor has been pretty booked so you definitely want to check with them. It is also not inexpensive. Last year I had the same amount of time that you are speaking of in your email. I did the day room at GM but was a bit disappointed as the real action with the giraffes happens in the morning. It is then that they stick their heads in the window. One did wander over for a treat but It was very catch as catch can. YOu can go to the Center thugh and see / feed them. Going to Sheldrick's at 5 pm when the "kids" come in for supper and sleep was a GREAT treat and one not to be missed. When you see how dedicated the keepers are to their charges and how little they have you will be moved deeply. this year when I go back I am going to make sure I plan to do something very generous for them. I also went to the Blixen House and the Kazuri Bead Factory (GREAT. It was a whirl wind 7 hours but GREAT. Have a wonderful time!
13moons is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 04:12 PM
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Hi 13 Moons. We are visiting our adopted elephants in August. What do you suggest we bring for the keepers? Money, warm clothes, blankets? Didn't get a reply when I asked the orphanage.
Novak is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 04:33 PM
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Hi Novak,

Something that may well interest you as you are an ele sponsor is an interview I conducted with Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick for, giving an insight into her life and what led to the foundation of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. A truly remarkable person. The interview can be found here:

And more recently Safaritalk has published South African author Fransje Van Riel's article on Dame Daphne which can be found here:

Matt_from_England is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 06:56 PM
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Thanks Femi. Yes, I understand that I should contact GM to determine availability. Actually I already have a reservation for the night we will be there (Jan. 5) that I made last January when we thought we were spending our whole trip in Kenya. But GM did not open its 2008 books until just today and they sent me an email today saying they are now ready to confirm my reservation and need a deposit to hold my room. I wanted to ask advice on here before I wrote back and cancelled or asked that my reservation be changed to a day room.

The GM website says that a day room is $110 US, but to be honest I am not sure if that is per person or room. If it is per person it is quite expensive.

As 13 moons noted, I had heard elsewhere that morning is the best time at GM, and that the giraffes are at the Giraffe Center during the day. So my only reason for going would be to wander the grounds or sit at the manor and feed the giraffes around dinner time -- if that is even possible. Basically to have a more private/personal experience than at the Giraffe Center. It sounds like it is possible, but not certain.

13 moons -- You can probably answer my question better than anyone. What time do you visit the elephants in the evening (is it 5:00 ??) and how long do you stay? If it is an hour or more, it would probably be getting dark by the time we leave and there would not be enough time to have any quality time with the giraffes at GM. In that case, I guess that settling for the Giraffe Center during the day would be a decent plan B.
sevendown is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 08:50 PM
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I'm just back from 3 weeks in East Africa, including a few days in Nairobi with Kennedy. Regarding the Sheldrick Centre... e-mail them that you are coming and get a confirmation that you can visit. Also, be aware that all members of your party will have to be "foster parents" to visit in the evening. As to the keeper gifts... I wanted to get them gifts per suggestions here on the Board... blankets, etc. Kennedy asked if I really wanted to know what they needed and I said "Yes!" The answer is MONEY. We got the keepers together and gave the head keeper our monetary gift for him to distribute. That way, they can buy what they need. We also tipped the guy that showed us around.
ShayTay is offline  
Jul 6th, 2007, 04:14 AM
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The $110 is per person.
sandi is offline  
Jul 7th, 2007, 03:27 AM
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Glad to read you are home safely. Looking forward to your report, particularly about your visit to the Hadzabe. Hope you start a new thread now that the board is back to normal and you've had time to rest up from all your travels.
QueenofDaNile is offline  
Jul 7th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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This is so exciting! I am going to Kenya in January. When should I sign up to foster the elephant? I am very interested in visiting with them. Can anyone give me more details about the visit? How long do you get to stay? I am assuming you get to pet them, right?
Dr_Andrea is offline  
Jul 7th, 2007, 12:26 PM
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You can sign up at any time. Once you've done so, e-mail the center as to when you'll be visiting and they should give you permission to visit in the evening (about 5pm) when the babies come in for dinner. If you sponsor one of the nursery babies, you'll probably get to "meet" it. Yes, you get to pet them, especially the youngest ones, who are really curious about you. We probably spent about an hour there.
ShayTay is offline  
Jul 7th, 2007, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Consider also visiting Thomas Barnardo Orphanage for children in Nairobi and supporting the children. It is a life changing experience to see these beautiful babies that are abandoned and children in their home. They need lots of support. When we visited we saw 3-4 babies in each oversized crib. Maybe not adoption but certainly financial help is needed.
betharwein is offline  
Jul 8th, 2007, 09:44 AM
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Hi! I stayed at Giraffe Manor on my trip to Kenya and it was really great...I loved seeing the giraffes in the morning! They weren't around much in the afternoon when I was there. Personally I would have lunch at Giraffe Manor so you can spend a bit more time there when it's early. You could visit the orphanage in the afternoon (the ellie babies are soooo cute!!!) and then have dinner at the Carnivore.

MoiraS is offline  
Jul 8th, 2007, 12:17 PM
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Moira -- That is a perfect suggestion (lunch at Giraffe Manor) but I was under the impression that the giraffes are at the Giraffe Center during the day. It sounds from your post that you didn't see much in the afternoon. Other than seeing the grounds at lunch, do you think we will see any/many giraffes if we eat lunch there?
sevendown is offline  
Jul 8th, 2007, 12:21 PM
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Also, is it possible to take lunch there if you are not a guest (renting a room for some duration)?
sevendown is offline  
Jul 8th, 2007, 05:14 PM
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you may want to call the Oakwood Hotel located in Nairobi Town Center and ask them about your plans, tell them a recent guest Floridian referred you and explain what you want. They are very kind folks and very reasonably priced.
Telephone numbers for Oakwood are 220592 and 220593 (add 020 if
calling within Kenya but outside Nairobi; add 254-20 if calling from outside Kenya).
cwoods is offline  
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