Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Incredible Giraffe Hotel of the World -part 2-

Earlier in March I introduced you to a very particular hotel in VietNam... today it will be in Kenya.

There is an incredible hotel called the Giraffe Manor. It seems to be a place for Giraffes while we humans are simply guests, or a place that has Giraffes for pets.

The first time I saw the pictures I thought they were not real. But they are!

Can you imagine having Breakfast at the Manor?

In that Manor all giraffes have names, you can even hug some of them and as crazy as it sounds you share your stays with them. All the comments I have read about it say the same thing: it is purely magical and unique! It is relaxation and disorientation guaranteed. Only downfall: the price. Well -- this is not very surprising but but but much of the revenue is used for the conservation of giraffes and other species, including the black rhinoceros and the African elephant.

The Giraffe Manor was built in 1932 by Sir David Duncan. It is surrounded by 140 acres of its own park and forest thirty minutes from the centre of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city.
In 1974 Jock and Betty Leslie-Melville bought the Manor. They moved two highly endangered baby Rothschild giraffes to the estate, where they thrived and have produced several further generations of giraffe.

When Jock died, Betty decided to open her house, now called The Giraffe Manor, to visitors. It is the only place in the world where you can feed and photograph the giraffe over your breakfast table and at the front door, and even from a bedroom window.

Betty Leslie-Melville (née McDonnell) who passed away in 2005 had  founded a conservation organization called the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife USA .She was The "giraffe lady" and called herself "a total giraffe junkie". Based on that article she was no ordinary person!

British photojournalist Marion Kaplan  while living in Africa for 20 years took many pictures ...and among those this one:  Betty Leslie Melville, conservationist, popular lecturer and writer, with the Rothschild giraffe, Marlon, at Giraffe Manor, Nairobi (1977).

Isn't it amazing? Isn't it beautiful?

I hope one day I can visit that place. I know I will be in awe. Just two weeks ago while visiting a Bioparc, I only had interest and eyes for the Giraffes. The way they walk, the way they care one for another, the way they share their feelings. I had never noticed before. True : my kids are teens now, it is not the same as visiting a zoo with toddlers who take all our attention. I probably missed all the charms of going to the zoo back then but it is not too late ^__^

The Giraffe Lady would have laughed most probably at our Little Sophie The Giraffe but I am also certain she would have liked her, knowing that Babies could grow with their own eco-friendly giraffey right from the start!

When Sophie Ha Girafa dreams...

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