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Giraffe Manor
Giraffe Manor
Giraffe Manor
Giraffe Manor
Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor: Information from the owner

General information

No. of rooms
Check-in time
12:00 noon
Check-out time
10:00 am

About this information

All the information on this page is supplied to us directly from the lodge owner and reflects their view, not ours.

For Expert Africa's view, see our own full report on Giraffe Manor, which contains our own observations and views.

Last updated by Owner
10 Jan 2024
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Facilities at Giraffe Manor

Property facilities
24-hour Security, Bar, Gym, Internet Access (Complimentary), Laundry Service (Complimentary), Library, Mobile Connectivity, Pool, Restaurant, Spa, TV Room
Room facilities
Dressing Gowns, En-Suite, Fireplace, Hair Dryer, Internet Access (Complimentary), Laundry Service (Complimentary), Mosquito Nets, Safe, Shower, Tea / Coffee
Activities on site
Boules, Fine Dining, High Tea, Massages
Nearby activities
Animal Encounters, Cultural Tours, Game Viewing, Helicopter Rides, Horse Riding, Museums, Safaris

Room types at Giraffe Manor

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The giraffe named Arlene was born in June 1994 but sadly passed away due to natural causes in early April 2012. She was petite in size but that did not deter her from sharing her affection with visitors. Arlene was named after Arlene Burzinski who was head of the British Airways Conservation projects which provide the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) with a tremendous amount of support. Although Burzinski has left British Airways, she continues to be on the board of directors at AFEW. Arlene’s room is approximately 28 square-metres in size and is located on the upper floor of the Garden Manor. Its quirky-shaped bathroom with bathtub, shower and vintage toilet, along with its cosy feel, make it a favourite of the Giraffe Manor team. The room has a king-sized four poster bed so is ideal for couples. It overlooks the courtyard between the main manor house and the Garden Manor with views beyond to the sanctuary forest. The giraffes do not have access to Arlene but the room offers wonderful views of the giraffes when they come to the manor for breakfast in the morning. It is worth noting that the stairway up to Salma’s room is a little bit steep and thus not ideal for guests with less mobility.

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Betty-the-giraffe was born in 2000 and came to Giraffe Manor in 2002. She is one of the smallest and prettiest giraffes here but she is also the shyest. Betty is named after Betty Leslie-Melville, otherwise known as “The Giraffe Lady”. Betty Leslie-Melville and her husband Jock purchased the manor in the 1970s and she always said that the purchase of the stately home in a leafy suburb of Nairobi changed her life. The same week that the couple moved in to the manor, they learned about the plight of the Rothschild’s giraffe and decided to do whatever they could to conserve them. Today, the breeding and conservation programme that continues on the grounds of the manor remains Betty’s legacy.

In the room named after Betty, you will find Betty’s portrait hanging on the wall. It is a lovely, 32 square-metre south-facing room in the original manor house which was built in 1932. It has a king sized bed, fireplace and adjoining balcony from which the giraffes can be fed. The en-suite bathroom remains to this day in its original, quirky Art Deco style. We have opted not to modernise it as we prefer to embrace the period feel and protect the heritage of the building since so few tributes to Kenya’s past architecture remain. This room cannot be made into a twin and is therefore ideal for couples.

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Daisy II was named after the original Daisy Rothschild, who was hand-raised by Jock and Betty Leslie-Melville. Her last calf, Ibrahim, was born in October 2011. Helen, her daughter, was born right here in front of the manor in August 2009. She also had other calves including Frank who was released at two years of age into Lake Nakuru National Park in December 2008. The Leslie-Melvilles wrote a book about their experience with the first giraffe, “Raising Daisy Rothschild”, which became an international bestseller and helped to raise money to move the last of the extremely endangered Rothschild’s herd to the safety of Kenya’s national parks. There have since been two more Daisys at the manor and it is Daisy IV who remains with us today. She was born in August 2009 and is identifiable by her right ear which is missing its pointed tip.

Daisy’s room is approximately 24 square-metres in size and has westward views towards the Ngong Hills. It is one of only two rooms at Giraffe Manor with a balcony from which you can feed the giraffes when they visit in the early morning looking for treats. The room can accommodate either a couple or two singles (can be a double or a twin). The en-suite facilities consist of twin sinks and a spacious shower.

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Edd-the-giraffe, son to Jock and Lynn, was born here at Giraffe Manor in July 2011 and is now the dominant male and father to all the young calves presently roaming the sanctuary grounds. He enjoys being fed from Jock’s room more than anywhere else and is a gentle giant who will happily welcome a hug in exchange for a few pellets. He is easily recognisable as the largest giraffe here and by the way his offspring hurry out of the way in deference to him when he arrives on scene. Edd’s room is amongst the newest rooms at the manor having been recently built and added to the Garden Manor section of the property in April 2017. It is a ground-floor room of 39 square-metres with striking stained-glass windows above an enormous super-king-sized bed. There is also a sofa in the room which can pull out into a bed for a child if needed. The en-suite facilities consist of a corner bathtub, a large double shower and twin sinks. Although the giraffes do not have access to Edd’s room, guests can enjoy the room’s outdoor veranda area furnished with its own private bar.

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In 1911, Denys Finch Hatton travelled to British East Africa with money left to him by his deceased uncle. He bought some land on the western side of the Rift Valley near to what is now Eldoret. He met Karen Blixen at the Muthaiga Club in 1918 and when Karen got divorced in 1925, Denys moved into her house where he lived until a few weeks before his final flight in May 1931 when he crashed his beloved Gypsy Moth in Tsavo National Park. As per Finch Hatton’s wishes, Blixen buried him in the Ngong Hills. The room named after him is on the ground floor of the Garden Manor from where you’ll often see the legs of our spotted residents when you open the curtains in the early morning as they come looking for treats from the rooms above and the adjoining dining room. This ground-floor room of 74 square-metres has a king-sized bed and two single beds in a loft area which is accessed by a small spiral staircase. There is also a small day bed which can accommodate a third child if needed. The en-suite facilities have a uniquely large double-headed shower, twin sinks and a bathtub. There is a fireplace which keeps the space wonderfully warm on the chillier Nairobi nights and a small seating area.

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Helen-the-giraffe was born in front of the manor on 1st August 2009 but she sadly passed away in May 2015. Helen was a natural leader but she was also extremely naughty! She was the daughter of Daisy II. Helen was named after a catholic sister who was a friend of Betty Leslie-Melville who bought the manor with her husband Jock in the 1970s and began the giraffe breeding programme. Sister Helen was based in Tanzania and was responsible for bringing Betty to Africa for the first time. At 43 square-metres, this large corner room in the Garden Manor is one of the most spacious and is often visited by hungry giraffes looking for treats in the morning. Guests who stay here are most welcome to feed them from Helen’s windows before breakfast. The room has two four poster beds which can be put together to make a large double bed or separated for two singles. The room is large enough to accommodate a baby cot if required upon request. The en-suite facilities consist of twin sinks, a bathtub and shower. Helen’s room has views towards the Ngong Hills to the west as well as southward views over the giraffe sanctuary and forest. On a very clear day, one can even see Mount Kilimanjaro’s snowy peak in the distance from this room.

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Jock-the-giraffe was named after Jock Leslie-Melville; he lived to be 22 years-old, 19 feet tall and was responsible for fathering over twenty calves, most of which have now been successfully released into Kenya’s national parks. He sadly passed away in July 2009. This lovely south-facing room is still frequented by giraffes looking for treats in the early morning hours. There are pellets in the room from which the giraffes can be fed from the window just like the Leslie-Melvilles once did with the very first giraffes they raised at the manor. From Jock’s room you can also see the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) Giraffe Centre and headquarters, which was founded by Jock when he bought the manor in the 1970s.

Jock’s room is approximately 28 square-metres in size and can accommodate either a couple or two singles (double or a twin). It has a fireplace and both a bathtub and shower in the en-suite facilities as well as twin sinks.

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Karen Blixen came to Kenya from Denmark to marry her friend, Baron Bror von Blixen Fincke, and start a dairy farm. However, when she arrived in the country she found, much to her surprise, that the Baron had invested in coffee instead. Whilst her attempts at growing coffee failed, her courage and stamina earned her enormous respect from those around her. The Danish government gave Blixen’s house to the Kenyan government as an independence gift in 1964. In 1985 when her autobiography ‘Out of Africa’ became an Academy Award-winning Hollywood film, the house was turned into a museum.

The 113 square-metre Karen Blixen room at Giraffe Manor is located on the top floor of the main manor house. Its spacious balcony enjoys lovely south-facing views and provides guests with the opportunity to feed the giraffes in the early morning hours. This two-bedroomed suite – the largest of all the rooms at the manor – was rebuilt and moved to its new location in 2019. Each bedroom has its own en-suite facilities with bathtub, shower and twin sinks. The master bedroom has a king-sized four poster bed, whilst the second bedroom has two single four poster beds and a small daybed which can accommodate a young child. The room also has a spacious lounge with a fireplace and a writing desk. This delightful suite is adorned with a little piece of history; a dressing table and wardrobe that were both from Karen Blixen’s original guest bedroom. The mother of Jock Leslie-Melville (who bought the manor in the 1970s) was a friend of Karen’s and the furniture was given to her as a parting gift when Karen returned to Denmark in 1931.

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Kelly-the-giraffe was born in Nakuru National Park and was brought to the Giraffe Centre in 2002. She is nicknamed Grace Kelly due to her aloof and graceful nature! She is easily recognisable due to her light coat and large ossicone on her forehead. She is often the first to arrive for treats and the last to leave and she has become infamous as the resident “head-butter” so be careful to always stay in front of her. Kelly was named after Kelly O’Connell, an avid US-based wildlife supporter and one of the directors of The African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW). Kelly’s room is located upstairs in the Garden Manor, is approximately 45 square-metres in size and is beautifully appointed with traditional cane furnishings and a striking stained-glass wall in the bathroom. The room has three single beds, two of which can be put together to accommodate a couple if preferred. It also has a fireplace and views towards the south over the sanctuary forest. The en-suite facilities consist of a bathtub, shower and twin sinks. Guests can feed giraffes from Kelly’s window as they often come to visit this room in the early morning hours before breakfast.

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Lynn’s room is named after a giraffe who was, for many years, the guardian of our herd of Rothschild’s giraffes. Born in 1996, she was blessed with five calves whilst here at the sanctuary. We loved her kind, solid and reliable nature. Lynn-the-giraffe, who sadly died in 2015, was named after Lynn Sherr, an award-winning news correspondent for the ABC news programme 20/20. An avid admirer of giraffes, she has often stayed at the Manor. Sherr’s book, ’Tall Blondes’, illustrates her love and knowledge of the animals and, in our view, is the definitive work on giraffe.

The room of the same name is located on the ground floor of the main manor and, though one finds it hard to imagine now, it was once the original manor house kitchen. The space was cleverly converted into a beautiful 47 square-metre room in 2019 with a decadent en-suite bathroom including bathtub, shower and twin sinks. The bed can convert between a double or two singles and the room can be accessed via the old service staircase or from the ground level for guests who may have mobility challenges. There is a small veranda with access to a larger, covered outdoor seating area where guests can enjoy feeding the giraffes who amble past.

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Back in 1932 when the manor was first built as a private residence, the rooms were naturally created according to the original family’s needs and in keeping with the style of a traditional Scottish hunting lodge. Some rooms were large and stately, whilst others were more modest in size. Marlon’s room is a combination of what used to be two small children’s or nanny bedrooms. Once upon a time, these two rooms were known to our guests as Lynn and Marlon. However, in June of 2019 we removed the wall in order to create a delightfully spacious single room that is now the new and upgraded Marlon.

This 36 square-metre bedroom has twin beds that can be converted into a large double bed. There is also an adjoining sitting room with a sofa that can convert into a bed for a child. An east-facing balcony at the foot of the master bed offers guests the opportunity to feed our elegant, long-necked friends as they pass by. It’s the perfect giraffe friendly height! The spacious master bathroom has a shower and there is another compact shower and toilet at the opposite end of the room, ideal for an accompanying child. Guests who stay in Marlon enjoy the privilege of staying in the room named after one of the manor’s original giraffes. Her namesake was everyone’s favourite godfather, Marlon Brando, a friend of the previous Giraffe Manor owners.

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Salma-the-giraffe was born here at Giraffe Manor in November 2011. She is Betty’s daughter and although she is friendly, she is also a bit shy and we attribute this to the fact that she was attacked by a lion that had wandered away from Nairobi National Park when she was only a year old. Salma still bears the scars of this attack and is one tough lady who has also survived the unfortunate loss of two calves, both of whom died shortly after they were born. Salma’s room is amongst the newest rooms at the manor having been recently built and added to the Garden Manor section of the property in April 2017. It is located on the top floor of the Garden Manor and enjoys south-facing views over the lunch courtyard and sanctuary forest beyond. The room is 35 square-metres and can be either a double or a twin. It also has a sofa which converts to a bed that is suitable for a child if needed. The en-suite facilities consist of a bathtub, shower and single sink. Salma has a private balcony with chairs and table from where guests can enjoy wonderful views of the giraffes approaching the manor in the early morning. Although the giraffes do not have access to Salma’s room, it is a quiet room offering privacy and understated comfort to guests who need to catch up on some rest after a long flight or busy safari. It is worth noting that the stairway up to Salma’s room is a little bit steep and thus not ideal for guests with less mobility.

Activities at Giraffe Manor

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Included in your stay at the manor is access to the AFEW Giraffe Centre which is a gentle stroll across the front lawn of the house. The centre has some interesting background information about the rare Rothschild’s giraffes and a small nature trail for stretching your legs.

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A traditional afternoon tea at the manor is a delightful occasion not to be missed. Relax in the tranquil gardens with a giraffe or two in view, as you enjoy a tasty assortment of cookies, cakes, sandwiches, scones and fruit platters. There will be plenty of opportunities to feed and interact with the giraffes during this experience and the team are adept at helping everyone snap the perfect photo memory.

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Waking up to breakfast with a giraffe is a unique and unforgettable experience. Depending on where you are staying, you will have breakfast either in the main manor or in the Garden Manor breakfast room, but don’t worry, the giraffes know exactly where to find you. Watch out for their long inquisitive tongues as they investigate what’s on offer; luckily, it’s nutritious dried pellets of grass that they’re after, and not your pancakes!

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Enjoy a game of chess at any time. We have a lovely handmade chess board, which of course features giraffes, as well as lions, cheetah, zebras and rhinos in place of the traditional figures!

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Daisy’s Café is located at The Retreat, our wellness centre right next door to Giraffe Manor. Here you’ll find a vibrant menu of freshly prepared snacks and meals as well as a fully stocked bar. Our expert chef loves to use nutritious, locally sourced ingredients (many of which are grown in the veggie garden) to create nourishing farm to fork style dishes. Dine al fresco in the leafy surroundings of our garden terrace, or under the vaulted ceilings of the café. All food and drinks consumed at Daisy’s are charged as extras to Giraffe Manor guests and are payable direct or can be added to your room bill.

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Our luscious lawns are perfectly suited to a leisurely game of croquet or boules, and we have both here at the manor. Over at The Retreat, we have giant Jenga which is great fun for all the family. Our friendly staff will be happy to assist you in setting up the games. They are best enjoyed during the daytime, when the giraffes are out browsing in the sanctuary.

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Matbronze Art Gallery & Foundry features a display of over 600 hand cast bronze sculptures by wildlife artist Denis Mathews. From tiny lion cub paw prints to life sized crocodiles, the sculptures are impressive and fascinating to look at in their accurate representation of a diverse range of Kenya’s wildlife. There is also an art gallery exhibiting a selection of local artists and a delightful garden café serving delicious homemade snacks and meals.


African art is hitting the global art scene in a big way. The Circle Art Agency is Nairobi’s premier modern art gallery and offers a fantastic outing for collectors and enthusiasts alike. We recommend pre-booking your visit. Avid art enthusiasts can also book a private appointment to visit the gallery if the opening times are unsuitable, although this must be booked in advance and is subject to availability.


A fun art studio to visit exhibiting a range of artwork in different media from local artists, including fine arts, block print, etching and palette knife painting. There are currently five artists in residence who you can meet, each of whom create, exhibit and sell their work from here. If there is a particular artist you would like to meet, then we recommend you call ahead of time to ensure they’re available during your visit.

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Malo stables offer fantastic forest rides with views of the Ngong Hills. The horses are highly trained and the hosts extremely professional. There are a variety of riding options available that could include an alfresco lunch after a lovely ride through the forest at an extra cost. We recommend you book in advance and note that a 50% deposit is required to secure the booking.

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Step back in time at the Karen Blixen Museum, which offers a glimpse into Kenya’s history. Once the farmhouse of Baroness Karen Blixen and her Swedish Husband, Baron Bror von Blixen Fincke, the house gained international fame through the Oscar-winning film ‘Out of Africa’ which is based on her autobiography of the same name. The museum provides guided tours of the house and beautifully serene grounds and gives you a sense of the style of Karen Blixen’s home with a number of original pieces of furniture still in place. There is a small gift shop and stunning views over the Ngong Hills. This visit is short, but worth it if you have an interest in Kenya’s past.


This one-of-a-kind museum gallery is packed with arts and crafts from communities all over Africa and includes paintings, beadwork, textiles and carvings. Built in the 1970s, the house has a unique history and became one of the first pan-African galleries when it was co-founded by American Alan Donovan together with the former vice-president of Kenya, Mr. Joseph Murumbi and his wife. Enjoy a tour of the house and grounds and take in the captivating views over Nairobi National Park. Tours must be pre-booked and can include meals if desired. Please note that credit cards are not accepted.


Visit the Nairobi National Museum for an education in Kenya’s wonderfully rich heritage. Afterwards, you can take a stroll through the museum’s botanical gardens. This activity takes up half a day as the museum is in a different area of Nairobi to Giraffe Manor, so travel there can take up to an hour depending on traffic. The museum contains a fabulous and extensive collection of stuffed birds, so worth a visit for any budding ornithologists.

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This iconic park is the only national park within the limits of a capital city. It is home to a diverse array of wildlife including lions, leopards, buffalos, zebra, antelopes, giraffe and over 400 species of birds. Once inside the park, it really does feel like you have left the city behind. Sunset over the Ngong Hills and vast vistas stretching down over acacia-dotted plains are evocative of the spirit of Africa. Although fenced on three sides, the 117 square kilometre park is open to the south and teeming with wildlife.

Giraffe Manor has one open sided 4 x 4 vehicle for game viewing in Nairobi National Park. This is bookable on an exclusive basis only for single groups of up to six guests checked-in at Giraffe Manor or The Retreat. We recommend pre-booking to ensure availability, as the vehicle cannot be shared with other guests.

Please note that game drives cannot be combined with arrival or departure transfers. If you would like to visit the park outside of check-in times, we are very happy to help you arrange a private vehicle and guide for your Nairobi National Park experience.

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Fragrant and filled with light, the orchid house is a delightful hidden corner of the manor. Reading, meditating or sketching one of the 150 orchids that grow there can be a soothing escape. If a romantic, candlelit dining experience amongst the foliage appeals to you, then we would love to make it happen. Please note that this activity is subject to availability and may not always be possible.

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Unwind after a long journey or at the end of an exciting safari adventure in our soothing spa area complete with a traditional sauna, steam room and bubbling hot tub for you to enjoy. You can also utilise the fully equipped gym that looks out onto the garden and has everything you need for a full-body workout.

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Indulge in a little retail therapy and discover some of our talented local artisans. Shopping in Nairobi is fun and we know exactly where to find all manner of locally crafted goodies right on our doorstep. From beaded leather belts and sandals to beautifully carved wooden bowls, jewellery, traditional masks, woven baskets, Maasai blankets and more. Here’s our pick of the best local shops for finding unique gifts and goodies to take home:


Formerly known as Kazuri Beads, Kobe Tough is just a stone’s through away from the manor and offers great free factory tours to see exactly how their ceramic beads are produced. There’s a shop selling their handmade jewellery and beaded leather goods, all of which supports single mothers, widows and orphans in Kenya.


Just five minutes from the manor, here you’ll find a collection of shops all under one roof selling a range of jewellery, homeware, clothing and more, including the bright designs and extremely popular Kenya Kanga products! It’s become a local hangout with a great café and small children’s play area.


This collection of Kenyan curios (souvenirs) has everything you could want all under one roof, from fridge magnets to magnificent beaded masks. Just ten minutes away from the manor for a quick trip, although easy to get lost in for hours.


This is a brilliant social enterprise that upcycles old flip-flops found on beaches and waterways in Kenya by making them into unique and functional art pieces. It aims to raise awareness of the state of our oceans and visits to the shop enable a glimpse behind the scenes at how their brightly coloured flip flop art is crafted.


Slightly further than those listed above, but still within half an hour’s drive from the manor, this is another collection of local shops with two eateries frequented by Nairobi residents. Here you’ll find a range of home décor and household accessories, as well as a small bronze sculpture gallery.


If you prefer to maximise your time at the manor, we have our own Giraffe Manor Shop on site with a range of carefully selected, unique items all handmade by talented local artisans. There are also several nearby shopping malls with large supermarkets, pharmacies and other shops for those that need.

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Glide through our 21 metre infinity pool which looks out over the giraffe sanctuary. Our lovable herd of Rothschild’s giraffes are able to wander up to the end of the pool, so you might have a long-legged spectator or two! The poolside deck with sun loungers is a lovely space for relaxation and listening to the birdsong floating down from the surrounding trees.

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The Retreat’s spa offers a range of massage and beauty treatments designed to restore your body’s natural balance and soothe away your stress. We use products by Healing Earth, a premium organic brand inspired by ancient African healing traditions.

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Visit Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage on the edge of Nairobi National Park where you can foster a baby elephant and watch the keepers feed and interact with them. Elephant adoption costs US$ 50 (per couple adopting) and foster parents are sent regular updates and photos of their elephant. Visiting hour takes place daily at 11:00 am and must be booked in advance via their website. Visiting requires a donation of US$ 20 per adult or US$ 5 for children under 12, payable in cash on the day of your visit.

In addition to the donation, you will also be required to pay full entry fees for Nairobi National Park where the orphanage is located. This is done via the online government platform e-Citizen using a Visa/Mastercard and your guide can help you to complete this on the morning of your visit.

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