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Kenyan Vacation Compounds Make Nature Easier to Swallow

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Kenya is a perennial favorite for the safari set. What with its established wildlife preserves and stable-for-Africa government, tourists continue to flock to the East African republic, despite unrest in neighboring Sudan and Somalia. It used to be that getting up close to the Kenyan wildlife meant spending days on dusty roads out in the bush, sleeping in tents, and—no matter what the luxe tour operators liked to claim—generally roughing it. Well no longer. Giraffe Manor, a 1932 stone mansion erected for a British toffee heir, enjoys the elegance and creature comforts of a classic manor house. Most impressively, a friendly herd of giraffes has taken up residence on the 12-acre property. And friendly is no understatement. The spindly beasts apparently stick their necks in the windows looking for breakfast treats. Okay, so there isn't much wild about the wildlife, but for the lazy safari tourist ready to shell out $500 per night, these fancy digs fit the bill. For those looking for a slightly less-domesticated, still-cushy safari experience, check out the buffed-up bush classics after the jump.

? The Kanzi House at Campi ya Kanzi is a rare rental villa on a traditional tent safari camp. Located on a bluff, with panoramic views of a distant Mount Kilimanjaro, Kanzi House provides enclosed accommodations for 10 finicky travelers. It also features a rain-fed, 60-foot swimming pool and jacuzzi, and a private guide assigned to take care of guests' every need. This sort of luxury and personal service is rare on the Serengeti, and so are the rarified prices. Kanzi House goes for $6,900 per night, with a three-night minimum stay.

? More affordable options abound on the Kenyan coast. The Forest Dream cottages, constructed in 2004, were built in the thatched-roof style common on the rim of the Indian Ocean. Designed as a contiguous resort, the suites are now being offered for sale—around $245K—or for rent. The units, which start at $1,160 per month, share substantial resort amenities including an on-site restaurant, a tennis court, and a swimming pool with underwater sound system, massage jets, and a water slide. Located on Kenya's remote south coast, Forest Dream sits just a six-minute drive from a small air strip.

· Giraffe Manor [official site]
· Giraffe Manor [airBnb]
· Kanzi House [official site]
· Forest Dream Cottages [official site]
· Forest Dream Luxury Resort [Vivun]