FREDERICKSBURG, Texas — I never thought I would ever be licked in the face by a giraffe. It happened to me twice within about 30 minutes of arriving at "Longneck Manor." The only place in the United States where you can sleep near giraffes.
"I've been thinking about doing this for a long time" says owner Rick Boranji. The former Houston Zoo director says he has always had a passion for animals.
Boranji's resume reads like animal royalty. He spent 15 years as the Director of the Houston Zoo. Before that, he helped design and build Disney's Animal Kingdom. And before that, he was with the San Diego Zoo.
"I first saw the idea on a trip to Africa and always thought, 'Why can't we do that here?'" Boranji said he had to wait until retirement, but his dream has come to fruition.
Longneck Manor has one suite guests can rent, nightly. After someone posted a 15 second video on TikTok, it went viral. Now, he says his phone won't stop ringing and the place is booked through 2023.
It is an amazing experience to feed the animals and get so close to them. It is also run as a non-profit. All the money goes to helping conservation efforts. If you are interested in checking out "Longneck Manor" click here for their website.