Kissing the planet’s tallest animal

20 Sep, 2015

Diaphanous strings of saliva separated us as we pulled apart. My first giraffe kiss was way more memorable than the first awkwardly teenage attempt with an equally gawky youth. With fuzzy furry lips, four centimetre wide dark velvet eyes framed by the world’s longest eyelashes, how could this not be a kiss of a lifetime. Admittedly Ed was only keen to kiss if it involved plucking a delicious cube of compressed oat hay and molasses from my puckered lips.

Our captivation began the moment we drove in through the gates of The Giraffe Manor and our sedan taxi almost passed between a giraffe’s legs. For twenty-four hours, we were to have the rare opportunity to get close to this resident herd of Rothschild’s giraffes. These extraordinary creatures become even more remarkable when you barely reach their knee height. This, the planet’s tallest animal deals only in superlatives – the longest legs, the longest necks, the heaviest femurs, the longest nerve in the animal kingdom (at four and a half metres) and a heart that weighs eleven kilograms. This privileged encounter will challenge you to find words – even in superlatives – that aptly describe the experience.

The Giraffe Manor is special and grand and resonates a sense of occasion. Feel free to dress for dinner, you will not feel out of place. Seemingly effortlessly but clearly very intentionally, the team have created a homely spirit. No reception desk, no check-in, a swift few details concluded on iPads over a drink and you find yourself in a room from your dreams. The home-from-home touches continue with bowls of roses, cosy nooks of books and sofas, and bespoke cosmetics to make every pore smile. The generous drink’s cabinets are there to dip into but rarely will you be crafting your own concoctions as the vigilant yet unobtrusive staff seem to intuit your every thought. Evening drinks are taken around fireplaces, terraces and verandas and a happy degree of enthusiastic guest interaction is yours to participate in as much or as little feels comfortable. Dinners are communal three course affairs with excellent wines and plenty of story swapping but can be a taken ‘alone’ in a romantic corner of the manor’s ample spaces.

The real eighteen foot high moment is when you come face to knee with the giraffes. Attracted by the tapping of food bowls, these lofty souls emerge from one hundred acres of parkland at an ambling walk. Purposeful and graceful, they poke their long necks and enormous heads through the generous doors and windows of the breakfast room in quiet expectation of treats. This is your moment to touch that velvet muzzle, proffer a pellet, secure a kiss and feel your heart sing with an interspecies moment. The staff’s proficiency with all makes and models of Canon, Nikon, iPhone, Samsung and co will make sure that the moment is recorded forever. You can relax and enjoy and know that eyelash batting has new meaning when your partners’ lashes are the longest in the world.
Phone them and make a date for a kiss
+254 731 914 732

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