Africa is glittered with a number of iconic hotel and travel resorts, but few are as instantly recognisable as Kenya’s Giraffe Manor.
The Giraffe Manor, an exclusive boutique hotel in Nairobi, is a must-visit African accommodation that travellers from across the globe flock to visit yearly. Along with offering world-class accommodation facilities, the resort is famous for, yup, you guessed it, co-habiting with a herd of giraffes.
Nowhere else in the world (no, really, there’s no other place on Earth) can you have your breakfast interrupted by a giraffe biting the bacon off your plate.
The popular Kenyan resort was the subject of hot topic this week after the Manor’s general manager admitted that due to the impact of Covid-19 on the travel and tourism industry in Kenya (as is the case in other countries), the Giraffe Manor stakeholders had been forced to explore as many options as possible to keep their books balanced. Speaking on the hardships which the resort had befallen, Mary Lever-Morrison said:
“Naturally, this has had an impact on our business. We had to see people leave early from their holidays and we had to lock down the manor and put everybody into quarantine.
“It has a domino effect in the sense that that affects our ability to fundraise for causes that are dear to our hearts, such as conservation of giraffes, but also wildlife in all the parts of Kenya.
“We’re very much a sustainable company with a lot of projects that help support communities, conservation projects – when the guests aren’t here; we’re not able to do that. So, it has an effect!”
It is the next suggestion which became a topic of contention as Lever-Morrison hinted that Giraffe Manor could remain operational with some help from local tourists.
: “Fortunately for Giraffe Manor, we’re in a city where we have a big base of people who still like to travel and experience these things.
“So, we have a reopening plan in place right now, and we’re hoping to welcome some of the residents of the city who might not have been able to enjoy it before because we do experience such high occupancies.”
This suggestion didn’t land well in some sectors of Kenyan Twitter, as many claimed that the Manor had established itself as an exclusionary resort in its rise to fame. Some hinted that because Giraffe Manor only benefited from and catered to foreign travelers in years gone by, they were finding it hard to believe that they had Kenyans’ best interests at heart.
In fact, these comments couldn’t have come at a worse time. While the world is (rightfully) outraged at racist practices, Kenyans took to the timeline to remind the world of the alleged racist treatment they had suffered at Giraffe Manor:
Amidst these allegations and complaints, it has been business as usual on The Giraffe Manor’s social media accounts – without a hint of a reply in sight. Do you live in Kenya? Do you believe it is time for Giraffe Manor’s owners to respond to allegations of exclusionary practices?