Robin Moore is no stranger to wildlife. The Scottish-born photographer’s work has graced the pages of National Geographic Traveler and TIME and he is an associate fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers.
Moore’s latest efforts brought him just outside of Nairobi, Kenya to Giraffe Manor, famous for its resident herd of endangered Rothschild Giraffes. There are actually six species of this long-necked creature, with wild Rothschilds numbering in the low hundreds. The Manor offers the unique experience of rubbing shoulders with the giants as they peek their heads into the hotel dining room to share breakfast with guests.
“… East Africa is my favorite place to shoot on account of the wildlife, the landscapes, and the people,” said Moore. “This seemed to provide an exceptional opportunity to get up close with an endangered species and capture its interaction with people.”
As Moore was shooting the manor for promotional purposes, he made three visits over the course of a year, spending several nights each time. “I tried to capture the Manor ‘as is’ and therefore these were not set up specifically, I merely documented what was happening around me,” said Moore.
It’s common to assume these giants are gentle, as they approach people through the windows of the hotel quite casually. But if the barrier of the hotel walls are removed, guests are advised to proceed with caution as the giraffes can play rough. “They are fairly well habituated to people,” said Moore, “but you have to respect them as wild animals.” Moore pushed the limits a few times to get a shot, and was chased around a tree and nearly head-butted. “It was only funny because he missed,” said Moore.