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Giraffe Manor on the receiving end after ‘re-opening for Kenyans’

Giraffe Manor, one of the most exclusive hotels in the upmarket Karen neighbourhood, has come under fire from a section of Kenyans after it announced that it is re-opening after closing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Those who are bashing the facility seem to be angered by the fact that the hotel that previously shunned the locals, is only now opening its doors for them since there are no more foreign tourists flying into the country due to the coronavirus.

The backlash has come from Kenyans who recounted discriminatory experiences at the hotel due to policies which are seen to be disadvantageous to Africans.

PR practitioner Anyiko Owoko recounted her own experience of how when she once sought to have breakfast at the hotel she was informed of a policy that required them to pay up to Sh60,000 ($600) for unnecessary add-ons like an airport transfer, car and chauffeur.

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Dear Giraffe Manor Management @thesafaricollection You are cancelled & we don’t need to be welcomed into Giraffe Manor, only now that you need KENYANS because all your white rich guests can’t travel into your establishment because of the Corona. My friend @smilesbeckwith [a travel consultant and owner of a travel company] tried to book a stay with you, last year between Sept and Oct, we called your establishment to inquire if we could stay a night – there was no space available because you were booked out, completely understandable. But 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. . 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. No thanks, I don’t want to come to your establishment and urge all Kenyans to cancel and boycott your establishment that has made it terribly difficult for Kenyans to access. You obviously have the right to run your property the way you deem fit and even have policies that benefit your business structure, just don’t include Kenyans now only because you need us and you wouldn’t have had it that way earlier. YOUR OWN POST SHOWS THAT YOU WERE NOT OPEN TO ALL KENYANS BEFORE! WHY “NOW OPEN TO KENYANS.” . #BoycottgiraffeManor Instead Go to Nairobi National Park, Maasai Mara and especially Samburu national reserve and all conservancies/parks in Kenya to see Giraffes and you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for it. After all, this is our heritage.

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This opened a floodgate of discriminatory incidents that many other Kenyans have experienced at Giraffe Manor.