On Safari: An African Safari-Themed Tablescape

Welcome to the 399th Tablescape Thursday!

When I was on safari in Kenya last September, I stayed in romantic Giraffe Manor for one of  the nights I was there. Giraffe Manor, built in 1938 in the style of a Scottish Hunting Lodge, is truly like something out of a storybook. The Rothschild Giraffe is endangered and the good folks at Giraffe Manor are doing what they can to increase the population.

Did you see the new baby that was born recently to Kelly, one of the giraffes at Giraffe Manor? You can see a photo of him on the Giraffe Manor Instagram page here: Giraffe Manor. Scroll down a bit to see the baby since they’ve added a number of photos to their page since he was born.

Giraffe Manor, The Safari Collection

Photo from Giraffe Manor Website


Through the door of the breakfast room at Giraffe Manor is a beautiful garden. In the garden I stumbled across an adorable little gift shop filled with tempting giraffe-themed goodies.

Breakfast with Daisy at Giraffe Manor, Kenya


After I returned from Africa, I created a post answering a lot of the questions I got about the trip. In that post I also shared photos of some of the souvenirs I brought back. (See that post here: Answering Your Safari Questions and What I Brought Back From Kenya)

Among the souvenirs were six giraffe glasses I purchased in the gift shop during my visit. I hand carried them all back in a cute giraffe tote purchased in the gift shop that same day. I hoped one day to create a safari-themed table in honor of my visit to Giraffe Manor.

Giraffe Wine Glass


Fearing rain, the hardwood flooring company that was scheduled to re-varnish the porch floor, delayed their work until the forecast is showing no rain. Of course, it didn’t rain a single drop the last two days, despite the forecast predicting otherwise. So, I brought the chairs I had taken out to the garage back in and created a whimsical Safari-themed table.

Safari Table Setting with Giraffe Chargers & Giraffe Glasses


The beautiful table runner is actually a scarf/wrap, a lovely gift from my sweet friend, Linda. Isn’t it wonderful!

African Safari Table Setting


When setting a table, shop your house. It’s amazing what pieces we already have that can serve a dual purpose and work beautifully in a table setting.

Giraffe Chargers, Animal Napkin Rings, Giraffe Glasses, Safari Tablescape


For this table I had three components I knew I’d be using for sure: giraffe chargers, animal napkin rings and the giraffe glasses from Giraffe Manor. I started with those three and filled in from there. Giraffe Chargers are available here: Giraffe Chargers.

African Safari Table with Animal Themed Table Runner


The little wood animals you see perched on each plate are actually a gift I brought back for my grandson. He’s still a bit too young for those, so I’m saving them for him until he’s a little older. They would make nice little gifts for each dinner guest to take back home, if this was a dinner party table setting.

Safari Table Setting with Velvet Edged Linen Napkins


The napkin rings are available here: Animal Napkin Rings

African Safari Animal Napkin Rings


The red-velvet edged napkins are from Pier 1 several years ago. I’ve used them quite a bit for Christmas table settings. The plum-colored napkins I’ve had for ages but rarely use. They seem to fit well into this table with the deep browns and reds. I think I found those in either HomeGoods or Pier 1.

African Style Scarf Wrap in Safari Themed Table Setting


The dinner plates were a gift from Noritake a few years back. The color is “Chocolate” and they are from their Colorwave Collection available here: Noritake Colorwave Dinnerware. They have a chocolate-brown edging all the way around.

Whimsical Safari Tablescape


Do you recognize the salad plates?

Alpine Toile Salad Plates in a Safari Table Setting


I found those in Pottery Barn last fall and used them in this previous Thanksgiving table setting. (See more of that Table Setting here: Thanksgiving Table with Spode Woodland)

Thanksgiving Table With Whimsical Turkey Centerpiece_wm


Here’s a close-up from that previous Thanksgiving tablescape.

Pottery Barn Alpine Toile Plates


I wasn’t sure which salad plates to use when I first started working on this table, but then the toile plates popped into my head. I had no idea when I bought them that they would be so versatile, but I really do love how they look in this animal/safari themed table.

Pottery Barn Alpine Toile Plates


The red in the plates guided my flatware choice. (Flatware is available here: Red Flatware)

I shopped the house for pieces I could use in the center of the table. The porch table is very narrow but hopefully this centerpiece will give you some ideas if you ever wish to create a safari-themed tablescape.

Safari Table Setting with Noritake Colorwave and Alpine Toile Dinnerware


The animal-rimmed bowl is a hand-carved piece I brought back from Kenya. I’ll have to share the story of what I had to go through to bring it (and the hand-carved animals you see at each place setting) back. It’s funny to think about now, but not so funny at the time! Ha!

African Safari Table Setting with Safari Themed Centerpiece


For the centerpiece, I incorporated in the camera/laptop bag I purchased for the trip to Africa. I love this bag and would buy it again in a heartbeat. It has a great padded insert that kept my camera, lenses and laptop safe during the many plane rides it took to get out to the bush. (Bag is available here: Camera-Laptop Bag)


Giraffe Etched Glasses from Giraffe Manor for Safari Table Setting


I tucked in my travel journal and a leopard print scarf I purchased for the trip. I ended up not wearing the scarf because I later learned that it’s recommended you not wear animal print clothing while on safari. I read it can confuse animals. An animal-print scarf may have been okay (as opposed to a whole shirt) but I decided to just leave it behind.

I also added in my binoculars and a few books I purchased for that trip. These are the best binoculars I have ever owned. After they arrived, I donated my others. Binoculars have improved so much over the years, had no idea how much until I purchased these. I guess it’s like cameras and everything else. If you’re in need of an excellent pair of binoculars for bird watching or taking to concerts and sports games, you’ll find them here: Binoculars.

I tucked a map of Africa underneath the bowl. Of course, you must have an “antique” magnifying glass to read your safari map. πŸ˜‰ The magnifying glass, purchased a few years back, normally lives atop a stack of books in my living room. Update: Just noticed that the magnifying glass is still available here: Magnifying Glass.

African Safari Themed Tablescape Table Setting


I would love to have had a large, antiquish-looking map of Africa to put under the whole centerpiece. Wouldn’t that be beautiful layered atop the animal print table runner? Note to self: Check eBay for oldish looking map of Africa.

On Safari, An African Safari Themed Table


You may remember seeing the magnifying glass before when I used it in a “Cozy Mystery” table setting here: In the Library With a Candlestick: A Cozy Mystery Table Setting.

A Cozy Mystery Table Setting 3


If you ever have an opportunity to visit Africa, do it!

African Safari Table Setting with Safari Themed Centerpiece


To date, it’s my most favorite trip ever, even more than the trip to Italy last October and more than the one I just took to Holland and Belgium. I loved those trips but words just can’t describe the experience of visiting Africa, going on safari and visiting Giraffe Manor. I’d love to go back some day! I am still going through all the photos I took of the animals we saw there, but you can see a few videos I shared on my YouTube channel here: YouTube

African Safari Table Setting


Looking forward to the beautiful tables shared for this week’s Tablescape Thursday!

Safari Table Setting with Giraffe Chargers & Giraffe Glasses


If you are participating in Tablescape Thursday, please be sure to add your permalink below, and not your general blog address.To get your permalink, click on your post name, then copy and paste the address showing in the address bar, into the “url” box when you link up. You’ll need to include a link in your post back to the party to link up and participate.

That’s so visitors to your blog will be able to find the party and the other Tablescape Thursday participants. Requiring a link back also prevents businesses and scammers from linking up to sell their products. (Yep, that really happens, unfortunately.)

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Please do not link up table settings that were just recently shared in the last few weeks for Tablescape Thursday.

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  1. Susan, what a gorgeous African Safari table…every element is perfect. I really like that bag and need to check that out before our next trip. Thanks for hosting and Happy Thursday! Pam @ Everyday Living

    • Thanks so much, Pam! I love that bag much more than any regular ole camera bag I’ve had in the past. All the little pockets on the front and sides are great for carrying an extra lens, a mouse or memory cards and cords.

  2. I love this Susan! Using your camera bag was a great inspiration. I have those giraffe chargers and completely forget that I do! I need to get them out and use them. Your grandson will love those wood animals- what a great keepsake. The scarf table topper and the PB dishes are perfect for this! Too bad about them not starting the work on the wood flooring. We’re hoping for some rain that we may or may not get.

    • I saw those chargers in the Giraffe Manor gift shop when I was there but they were quite expensive. I was so happy to find them for less once I was back home. I love their texture, almost looks like fur. Thanks, Liz! I’m going to wait until he’s old enough to understand where they came from, so that may be be a few years.

  3. Love, Love, Love this tablescape!

  4. What a perfect tablescape and a perfect reminder of your wonderful trip, Susan. Those stems are fabulous, and I love the way you incorporated all the other necessities for a safari. I am coveting that gorgeous wooden bowl with the animals marching around the edge. The salad plates are the perfect added touch. Thank you for hosting.

  5. How fun! I love the safari theme! πŸ˜‰

  6. Your table is AMAZING!!! I love how it turned out. What fun memories for you.

  7. Beautiful! Sit me down for a post safari chat with a gin and tonic. Gorgeous table setting and fun ideas for “shopping the house”.
    Thank you for sharing your tips and tricks!

  8. It’s like going on your trip again! Love it!

  9. Julie in NC says

    Absolutely PERFECT! I love all of the clever elements you incorporated into your tablescape, ensuring a wonderful safari theme!

  10. Well…your tablescape just took me away…it is absolutely “Safaricalifragilisticexpialidocious!!! franki

  11. Absolutely loved this tablescape and the little animals are adorable.

  12. Entertaining Women says

    Although I normally use “just a touch” of animal print in clothing or decor, your Safari Table has captured my heart. The balance that you achieved in your centerpiece is perfection, and I absolutely adore the colors that you’ve utilized. The browns and reds, in particular, are stunning. I can tell that this design included a whole lot of love as you revisited your magnificent journey. Thanks for hosting us and thanks for inviting to sit at your table. Cherry Kay

  13. This has to be your best tablescape to date. Absolutely beautiful, fun, exciting and OOAK! Love it!

  14. Such a fun table! You have inspired me to go on a safari for tablescapes through my cupboards.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  15. All of the pieces here work so well together! Absolutely beautiful!

  16. Great safari tablescape. I love everything you used. How special to use the lovely glasses and wooden carved bowl you brought back. I’m going back to refresh my memory about the drama with the bowl.
    I think your idea about a vintage map of Africa would be great. I will share something I learned that was easy and is not as expensive as Ebay. You can google vintage maps and some can be copied. I had my Paris map that I chose on line run off at Office Depot. You can read about it here: http://livingwiththanksgiving.blogspot.com/2014/01/enlarging-vintage-map.html

  17. Just beautiful and perfect. I knew when I signed up for this blog it was going to cost me mega bucks. LOL I love china and tablescapes. We just didn’t call it that way back when. Found some interesting things at GW yesterday from an estate. How sad the kids and grandchildren donate things collected over a lifetime.
    Good job.

    • Myrna, you are too funny! Okay, I’ll only post really ugly things so you won’t be tempted. πŸ˜‰ I know what you mean about seeing things in GW and places like that. I guess some of the things we see may have belonged to someone who didn’t have children, or their children just have different tastes.

  18. Thanks so much for providing the sources!!! I have animal print plates and will find that post to link up today since I don’t have a new table set. LOOOOVE this! You thought of every detail!!!!

    • Thanks, Pinky! Wish my table was a tad bigger so things don’t have to be so tight, but I couldn’t resist leaving anything out. πŸ™‚

  19. I found my post and tried to link up but it says I don’t have a link back to here. But I do!?? I’ll keep trying….

    • Pinky, thanks for letting me know. If the link in your post is a live link that goes back to BNOTP, I don’t know why it did that. It should be there now, though.

  20. Susan, I think your safari table is pure fun! I agree that shopping the house for centerpiece details is a great idea and also lots of fun. Love the souveniers you purchased and brought back home. I still have and use a few of the souveniers that I purchased when a chid on family vacations. Now, my souveniers are always items that I can use in our home, especially table top items. πŸ˜‰

  21. My very favorite Susan! Now I want to plan our next trip…..and Giraffe Manor is a must see.

  22. Oh that looks so exotic, interesting, but still cozy. It almost seems like someone carried it all in the centerpiece bag and set up in a camp-like atmosphere. And how gorgeous is that runner!!!

  23. Hi Susan, This is just the type of table I love to set and also love to sit at — full of fun, memorabilia and interesting dishes! I have not been on a safari yet, but it is on the definite to do list. I enjoyed your photos and description of your time at Giraffe Manor. They are just the sweetest creatures. Linda

  24. I love this table! I have often thought of using a wrap as a table runner but never have. you have given me the confidence to try a wrap. Sheila

  25. Cyndi Raines says

    I just KNEW the Africa trip was your favorite and mine too! There was just something extra magical about it – the giraffes, the safari, the campfire – I was right there with you the whole time! haha You sure have put on the miles this past year, all very enjoyable trips, but Africa was THE best! πŸ™‚ Thanks Susan and yes, your table is awesome too!

    • I know, there’s really no way to describe it until you experience it. lol I have a funny story about that Cyndi, I kind of panicked. I walked around all last year thinking I was 59 and I was upset that I was about to hit the milestone age of 60 and had never traveled. So I booked the Italy trip and then took off for Africa before the Italy tripped arrived. I wanted to make up for all that lost time. Then sometime toward the end of the year I was visiting the doctor and had to fill out some forms and that’s when it dawned on me that I was actually 58. So this year I’m getting to be 59 all over again. lol It’s pretty bad when you can’t keep up with your own age!

  26. bobbi duncan says

    Great way to relive your trip–what fun! Love all the perfectly incorporated elements. Enjoyed the safari collection, and that baby giraffe is sooooo adorable! Isn’t that just the way with weather forecasts?

    • Thanks, Bobbi! Yep, of course it’s sunny without a cloud in the sky today and I think tomorrow will be the same way, but they don’t work on the weekends. I hate this is being drawn out because I just want to get the porch back to normal. I need Mother Nature to cooperate, though! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

  27. The tablescape looks beautiful! I love the textures and mixture of elements… (how sweet of you to make that just for this post and then have to haul it all out again for the floor guys… and energetic of you) πŸ˜‰

  28. Linda Page says

    Oh my…you have outdone yourself on this one. Love, love, love it! Everything is perfect. I love the carved animals and animal napkin rings on each plate. Wow! I am so glad the scarf worked out. It looks great on your table. I’m jealous!!!!!

  29. Unique idea. It looks so safari! Well done.

  30. Wow, your pictures from that trip are spectacular! Touching a giraffe – a safari is truly a “bucket list” thing for me so I am amazed and thrilled to see this! And your table is adorable – especially love the runner!

    Thanks for hosting!


  31. eo jordan says

    Many many years ago, my husband was in the Peace Corps in Kenya.. as a teacher.. He had some interesting stories!! He would always shake out his shoes before he put them on … spiders.. One spider was so large that he could see it urinating! We have a photo somewhere…. Anyway.. I do theme Xmas trees.. and one is the African tree.. with all African animals, etc.. and a Santa hat w/ leopard “fur”.. instead of the white.. ha.. Some ornaments are from Africa.. Just an idea for your holiday…

    • Wow! That is freaky! Had no ideas the spiders could be that BIG! I’m kinda glad I didn’t know that when I was over there. lol Your Christmas tree sounds wonderful…love that idea!

  32. Glad to see you do a post trip theme tablescape. I’ve done a Vermont breakfast, Paris, Germany, dinner on the Baltic, etc. My recent favorite was a My Fair Lady dinner before going to the play. Hope your travels continue to inspire you.

  33. Delphine Topper says

    Hi Susan! I really enjoyed your Fall Tablescape that also led me to your Safari Tablescape. We, like you, like to travel and pick up momentos from all over, but then I wonder what to do with these things when we home because they don’t usually fit my decor. So, I turned a guest bedroom into our travel/jungle room. I have a map with pins for all of the places we have been to, and decorated it with pictures and all things”travel”. I tried to send pics on here but I guess I can’t figure out how. The room provides a lot of interest for guests. Glad to hear you weren’t as cold as I was in Ireland. You were much better prepared. I was in Northern Ireland and didn’t even know about that Beleek factory!!

    • Delphine, I would love to see that room and your travel map…it sounds wonderful! You can email photos to: [email protected]

      Yeah, it was never very cold, just very rainy toward the start of the trip. I can see how it could get very cold, though!

  34. When I was on safari in Kenya last September, I stayed in romantic Giraffe Manor for one of the nights I was there. Giraffe Manor, built in 1938 in the style of a Scottish Hunting Lodge, is truly like something out of a storybook. The Rothschild Giraffe is endangered and the good folks at Giraffe Manor are doing what they can to increase the population.

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