Nairobi is the largest city in Kenya and the capital city as well. It holds plenty of historical and cultural secrets and is famous for having the Nairobi National Park, the only game reserve in the world that is found within a city. With many interesting things to do, from excellent museums to casual walks in the nearby Ngong Hills, Nairobi is a wonderful place to stay or a perfect base from which to explore the area.
The name Nairobi originates from a Maasai phrase, Enkare Nairobi, which means ‘cool water’, and it is the name of a nearby river. Nairobi is also well known as the ‘Green City in the Sun’. With well over 3 million inhabitants it is a bustling establishment in the African Great Lakes region, and is considered as one of the most prominent cities in Africa in terms of business and finance. Nairobi is also the 14th largest city on the continent.
The city has plenty of options for accommodation and an excellent selection of restaurants. Parks and gardens are scattered throughout, such as the Uhuru Park that borders the central business district. Nairobi is located between the two smaller cities of Kampala and Mombasa and has several dramatic geological features nearby. On clear days, both Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro can be seen from the city, and the beautiful Ngong Hills are just to the west.
Nearby Nairobi are some fantastic national parks, including the famous and ever-popular Masai Mara National Reserve, the Amboseli National Reserve at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, and the Tsavo National Park. The Lake Nakuru National Park is well-known for its millions of pink flamingos and the Samburu National Reserve is popular for its Sarara Singing Wells.
Nairobi has a busy airport, by the name of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. It is the largest airport in the eastern and central parts of Africa with around 6 million passengers per year.
If you would like to explore one of Africa’s largest and most important cities, as well as be nearby to some fantastic opportunities for viewing wildlife, then Nairobi is definitely the place to be. Let us help you find the perfect accommodation in Nairobi and devise a brilliant travel itinerary that includes all the things you would like to do and the places you would like to go. We would love to be a part of your Kenyan adventure!
The Nairobi National Park
Imagine having a wildlife park virtually on your doorstep! Well, this is how fortunate the residents and visitors of Nairobi are. Just 7 kilometres from the city centre you will find this protected area with rhino, zebras, giraffes, ostriches, buffaloes, gazelles, cheetah and lions. There also over 400 species of birds. There are several main attractions available at the Nairobi National Park. Visitors can enjoy the Nairobi Safari Walk and the walking trails that surround the Hippo Pools. There is also a historic location with a monument that marks the area where 12 tons of elephant tusks and rhino horns were burned in 1989.
The Giraffe Centre
The Giraffe Centre has a lovely visitor centre with lots of information and offers a 1.5 kilometre self-guided forest walk in the nearby nature reserve. The highlight of the centre, however, is a raised platform that allows you to feed the giraffes at eye level. Nowhere else will you be able to get so close to a giraffe’s head and get such amazing photos of this tall animal chewing up special pellets. The Giraffe Centre is on the edge of the Nairobi National Park.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Before or after you visit the Nairobi National Park stop for a while at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to see some baby elephants and rhinos. The organization can be found at the gates of the national park, and it cares for young, orphaned elephants and rhinos. You will have a great time interacting with these adorable creatures as they play in the mud and drink their huge baby bottles!
The Nairobi National Museum displays a large collection of historical and cultural articles, as well as biological items, including over 900 stuffed birds and mammals and prehistoric bones and fossils. The Geology Gallery includes information about volcanoes and tectonic plates, and adjacent to the museum, the Snake Park is full of live critters.
The home of Karen Blixen, author of ‘Out of Africa’, is now a museum, and various things she owned, such as books and furniture, are on display. She lived in the house from 1917 to 1931. The home is now referred to as the Karen Blixen Museum. A third museum that is recommended is the Railway Museum, with beautiful models of trains and ships, photographs of the Uganda Railway when it was first constructed and much more.
Just outside of Kenya there is an amazing living museum called the Bomas of Kenya. It is a village with the traditional homesteads and bomas of each of Kenya’s tribes and each reflects the culture of a major ethnic group. There is also a large theatre where traditional songs and dances can be enjoyed. This is the perfect place to learn more about the art, music and lifestyle of the colourful Kenyan tribes and is a great outing for the whole family.
Additional attractions include the Kenyatta International Centre, the National Archives building and the Ngong Hills, where you can go on several different walking trails to enjoy beautiful views and perhaps even see some wildlife, such as buffalo, bushbuck, gazelles and baboons.