Video Source: Youtube
Flag Source: CIA World Factbook
As the largest city in Kenya, Nairobi presents the best selection of restaurants and activities in the entire country, making this city a tourist hub. Spend your day exploring the markets, feeding a giraffe, or eating like a carnivore at one of the world’s most famous game meat restaurants. Nairobi’s appeal lies with its diversity. You can feel close to nature while exploring a national park and you can participate in one of East Africa’s bustling metropolises by shopping in the city center.
As a conscientious traveler, make your journey worthwhile by witnessing (you may want to witness) the harsh reality of Africa’s second-largest urban slum or support local workingwomen by touring a bead factory. In the evenings, you can grab a bite to eat at one of Nairobi’s many fine restaurants b
efore going out dancing or to hear live music.
Take advantage of the tourism opportunities Nairobi presents, it would be a mistake to visit Kenya and skip (Nairobi) this amazing city. We recommend you take a few days to shed your jetlag and take some time to explore Kenya’s capital. Nairobi is a growing city with a diverse populace, so come see what one of Africa’s most prominent cities is all about.
The Top 10: What to Do in Nairobi
1. Nairobi National Park:
With giraffes in one direction and skyscrapers in the other, this park is the only protected area in the world in close proximity to a capital city (it’s seven kilometers from Nairobi). More than 400 species of birds having been observed—as well as leopards, lions, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, black rhinos, and more—the Nairobi National Park is worth a day’s visit. We recommend that you ask your hotel for the names of reputable touring companies that can take you through the park. You will need to take a valid passport to the park’s entrance in order to be granted entry. (+254-20-600800; email@example.com)
2. David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust:
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust specializes in raising orphaned elephants and black rhinos and reintroducing them to the wild. Every morning, visitors can watch the elephants be fed and bathed. Few sights are more charming than that of these young creatures interacting with the center’s staff, and the daily program provides you with insight into the techniques and rationale for the center’s goals.
3. Giraffe Center:
Ever kissed a giraffe? It might serve you well. Giraffes have foot-long tongues that get plenty of sunlight during feeding times, and the animals have eaten acacia tree thorns for generations. Thus, giraffe saliva has antiseptic, sunproofing properties, so don’t be afraid of a smooch here or there! The center is home to the endangered Rothschild giraffe, and in addition to getting close to the animals, visitors can spend some time learning about the center’s history and mission. We guarantee that the Giraffe Center will provide you with one of the best photo opportunities of your trip.
As the second-largest urban slum in Africa, sociologists and urban planners have studied Kibera for years in the fight against poverty. Speak to your hotel staff and ask for their recommendation of a guide who can take you through the slum. Please remember that Kibera is home to around one million people, so a visit should be conducted respectfully. Excessive photography or disregard for people’s property will likely result in an unfriendly welcome from Kibera’s residents. However, it has been our experience that respect and kindness will be returned in kind.
5. Kazuri Beads:
Kazuri is Swahili for “small and beautiful,” and that is a perfect way to describe Kazuri beads. Local workers handcraft each bead out of clay from Mount Kenya. The majority of the factory’s craftsmen are from the nearby slums, and Kazuri beads provides them with a respectable income and childcare support. There is an excellent free tour through the factory which we highly recommend taking. The freshly-made beads sold in the gift shop make for an wonderful souvenir.
6. Carnivore Restaurant:
Hungry for some ostrich? Crocodile? Zebra? Popular with groups returning from safari, this all-you-can-eat specialty restaurant is a necessity for the carnivore inside you.
7. Nairobi National Museum:
For an interesting overview of Kenya through the millennia, visit the Nairobi National Museum. You can check out displays about various Kenyan tribes, prehistoric artifacts from the area (including three million year-old footprints!), and more than 900 stuffed birds and animals.
8. Snake Park:
Located at the Nairobi National Museum, this is a great place to check out animals that are slimy and slithery. Full of snakes, lizards, crocodiles and alligators, the Snake Park only takes a few hours to see and is a very cool way to see all of the animals that you may miss (by choice) during the rest of your time in Kenya. Do not miss the Puff Adder and Black Mamba, two of the deadliest snakes in Africa.
9. Masai Market:
Your trip to Nairobi will not be complete without bringing home some awesome souvenirs. The Masai Market, located in the city center, is full of handmade goods sold by Masai men and women. We recommend buying a handmade konga, the blunt wooden tool used by the Masai to hunt animals and protect their livestock. Regardless of what you purchase, we know you will enjoy the bustling atmosphere of the Masai Market.
10. Nairobi Arboretum:
Covering more than seventy acres, the Nairobi Arboretum is only three kilometers from the city center and is a great way to spend an afternoon. Walk under the beautiful trees, have a picnic, and keep an eye out for the monkeys! There are more than 350 different species of plant in the entire arboretum, and they are beautiful throughout the year.
When to Go
While Nairobi is pleasant year round, it is best to visit during the drier months, June through October. September and October are the driest and coolest months of the year.
Despite a close proximity to the equator, Nairobi’s weather is usually comfortable. March through May is the first rainy season, with April bringing the most rain, an average of 9.5 inches. November and December are also rainy, averaging 5.9 and 4.2 inches, respectively. The months of June through October are dry; July is the driest month, with an average rainfall of just .7 inches.