Tucked away behind Giraffe Manor is a small pocket of paradise which we call the Orchid House. This unassuming greenhouse is home to over 10 species of orchid and offers our guests a delightful space to relax and unwind.

In 2013, Giraffe Manor’s owners Tanya and Mikey Carr-Hartley decided that the vases of cut flowers adorning the manor needed to be more sustainable. The seeds were therefore sown for the creation of an orchid house and since then we have been growing and nurturing our own collection of these ancient and exquisite plants.

‘It is truly a pleasure to see growing plants in the house and gardens’ ~ Tanya Carr-Hartley

Even though our collection is still young, we have taken part in the Kenya Orchid Show and even won a couple of prizes. Considering that orchids have the tiniest seeds in the world (as small as a speck of dust) and are notoriously difficult to cultivate, this was quite an achievement.

Tanya’s love for orchids started as a young girl growing up in Kenya:

‘Many childhood days were spent clambering up trees in the African bush to photograph orchids, my mother always wanted to find out what exactly they were…and so begun the passion of loving orchids! Luckily in Mikey I found a partner who also loved to build his knowledge of the plants, and it became a way for us both to unwind. We found it very relaxing to pot, source and embark upon creating our own orchid collection.’ Tanya Carr-Hartley

Tanya and Mikey’s first collection of orchids were developed for Ol Jogi ranch in Laikipia, twenty years ago. On an orchid adventure, they travelled to Singapore and purchased over 150 plants and spent the next three years building the collection. Most of these orchids were non-indigenous but proved to be a wonderful springboard for an ever-growing passion.

There are over 25,000 species of wild orchid in the world – that’s five times the number of mammal species.

Plants are good for the soul and it is a must for guests staying at the manor to find a moment to visit our little Orchid House haven. Inside the Orchid House, you will find a small table with chairs, an easel, and over 150 orchids. Guests can relax and read a book, paint, sketch or even enjoy a candlelit romantic dinner, all whilst breathing in the invigorating aroma of the beautiful flowers.