Giraffe Manor, a luxurious hotel in Karen that hosts a number of giraffes was on the receiving end of Kenyans’ wrath over the weekend after ‘re-openning for Kenyans’.
Traditionally, the hotel has been reserved for foreign tourists who visit the country, and any local/black Kenyan who tries to book the hotel is frustrated, according to Kenyans who shared their experiences online.
PR practitioner Anyiko Owoko recounted her own experience of how she was required to pay Ksh60,000 for breakfast alone. The management said the money would cater for airport transfer, car and chauffeur.
However, Ms Anyiko did not need all these, but the hotel could not listen to her.
“When we requested to come have breakfast and just see the giraffes we were slapped with an exorbitant rate [over 600 USD] which included a driver, chauffeur, airport transfer and a vehicle BUT when we requested to pay only for the breakfast and to see giraffes and not have to pay for the car and airport transfer because we are Kenyans and commuting from the city, your bookings department refused and said that we had to pay the full amount because it is your policy,” she says.
She adds,”For the longest time, your policy has been to have these type of pricing that only benefit non-Kenyans and tourists coming from outside Kenya. I wonder why all over sudden you are welcoming Kenyans into your establishment. Is it because you now need us for your business to survive? You would not have invited us had it not been for the fact that your business, just like all others, is suffering because of the Covid restrictions.”
Ms Owoko is one of the few Kenyans who have had bad experiences with the hotel, and her post sparked fury with Kenyans who promised not to visit the facility.
Here are some reactions:-
Talking of giraffes… There are plenty of them on the Garissa – Wajir route. If you are lucky you will even see the white giraffes, no need of going to Giraffe Manor where you will he treated like a second class citizen… My two cents 😊😊😊
— MUHAMMAD ONYANGO ® (@Moha001_Onyango) June 7, 2020
We should go where we are wanted, yes.
But one thing we should never allow is an institution to use Target Market nonsense to lock out any race.
We should speak out against @giraffe_manor racism whether we can afford to dine there or not.
— Kinyanjui Kombani (@KKombani) June 8, 2020
Today was the day people decided to have a conversation about the Giraffe Manor.
For years I always wondered why such establishments were given preferential treatment by the state. Why would the state arrest Kenyans for domesticating baboons but let this buffoonary slide? pic.twitter.com/hpVV5JEklS
— So African (@Mx_chichi) June 7, 2020
Been trying hard not to give this much attention. But here we are. The nerve.. Ati 'now open to Kenyans.' That statement alone discredits you 100%. Serious bs. Yaani.. 🤦♀️. Shame on you Giraffe Manor. pic.twitter.com/xn3fFi4h80
— MONICA (@msciru_nganga) June 7, 2020
Giraffe Manor is a symbol of racism, imperialism, & internalised racism. The current owners Mikey & Tanya Carr-Hartley are 4th generation Kenyans. Their great-grandparents came to Kenya to colonize Kenyans & colonize our great-grandparents sufficiently. pic.twitter.com/k8fGT2XwOM
— So African (@Mx_chichi) June 7, 2020
Giraffe manor is the tip of the iceberg. There are so many white owned conservancies, lodges in Kenya that only allow foreign visitors, and are usually "fully booked" 2 years in advance, even Airbnbs that cancel if they find out you're Kenyan…
Lakini Covid-19 ni nani? 😂
— Kimani (@1briankimani) June 7, 2020
Y'all who don't want people to speak about the racism/discrimination at The Giraffe Manor because we can't afford visiting there or we might never set foot there are the same people who don't relate to systematic oppression because it's not affecting them. SMH
— Cyanide Edzil (@ednahjacksons) June 7, 2020