Nairobi: Kenya’s Modern Capita, the Gateway To East Africa.

Nairobi is the capital of Kenya and the starting point for many safaris. The name Nairobi comes from the Maasai phrase “Enkare Nyarobe”, which means “a place of cool waters”. Nairobi started simply as a depot stop during the construction of the East African Railway (the Lunatic express) from Mombasa to Kampala in Uganda. As the railway line developed, so did Nairobi and before long it was the administrative center of operations of the British Protectorate.

Nairobi is now the hub for Kenya’s businesses and a major centre for commerce in Africa and it is the most densely inhabited city in East Africa, with an estimated city population of over four million inhabitants. The city skyline bristles with ultra-modern high rise buildings and is a tourism and commercial hub. Nairobi is a vibrant city with a mix of races and cultures, providing the visitor with several sightseeing options such as museums, a national park, golf courses, world-class hotels and resorts, stylish restaurants and posh night clubs to explore.

Nairobi might not be the reason people come to Kenya, but one shouldn’t overlook it as it a great place to tune into modern urban African life.

NAIROBI POPULAR SIGHTSEEINGS EXCURSIONS:

  1. The Nairobi National Park.

Nairobi National Park is only 7 kilometers away from the city centre; was established in 1946. Nairobi National Park is a unique ecosystem by being the only protected area in the world close to a capital city. The savannah ecosystem comprise of different vegetation types. Open grass plains with scattered acacia bush are predominant. The western side has a highland dry forest and a permanent river with a riverine forest. 

Major wildlife attractions are the Black rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, buffaloes, Giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, elands and diverse birdlife with over 400 species recorded.  Other attractions include the Ivory burning site Monument, Nairobi Safari Walk, the Orphanage and the walking trails at hippo pools.

  1. The National Museum

Nairobi National Museum is approximately 10 minutes drive from the Nairobi city centre and accessible both by public and private means. Built in 1929, this is the flagship museum for the National Museums of Kenya, housing celebrated collections of Kenya’s History including tribal artifacts that date back hundreds of years, Nature, Culture and Contemporary Art.

  1. The Nairobi Snake Park.

Nairobi Snake Park is one of attractions located adjacent to Nairobi National Museum in a serene environment with a spacious compound. The Snake Park is an ideal place for relaxation by our visitors to enjoy the cool breeze.  The Nairobi Snake Park was started in January 1961 to meet a popular attraction and to provide a research facility on reptiles and breeding of snakes.

Currently the Snake Park exhibits Invertebrates like Giant Snails, Baboon Spider ,Mombasa Train Millipede, Crayfish, Freshwater Prawns and Vertebrates like Fishes both Marine and Fresh water, Amphibians and Reptiles.

  1. Nairobi Gallery.

Located in the heart of Nairobi City, next to the Nyayo House is the Nairobi Gallery. Built in 1913, this was the Old PC’s office building fondly referred to as ‘Hatches, Matches and Dispatches’ because of the births, marriages and deaths that were recorded here.

Today, the building is a National Monument and serves as a museum holding temporary art exhibitions. 

 

  1. The Karen Blixen Museum.

Karen Blixen is located 18kms away from the city centre and it belongs to a different time period in the history of Kenya. Karen Blixen Museum was once the centre piece of a farm at the foot of the Ngong Hills owned by Danish Author Karen and her Swedish Husband, Baron Bror von Blixen Fincke. The farm house gained international fame with the release of the movie ‘Out of Africa’ an Oscar winning film based on Karen’s an autobiography by the same title.

The house is ideally located near the Karen Blixen Coffee Garden Restaurant, gallery and gift shop which echo themes of the museum. The Museum is open to the Public every day (9.30 am to 6pm) including weekends and public holidays. Guided tours are offered continuously.

  1. The Bomas of Kenya.

Boma means house or homestead and Bomas of Kenya here simply means tribes of Kenya. Bomas of Kenya was started in 1971 to Preserve, Maintain and Promote the Rich Diverse cultural values of various ethnic groups of Kenya and to act as a tourist attraction centre.

There are at least forty seven (47) different traditional dances collected from different tribes of Kenya at the Bomas of Kenya currently. The highlight of this tour is the colorful display of folk dances from various tribes performed in a splendid arena.

  1. The Giraffe Centre & Manor.

Giraffe Centre was founded in 1979 by the late Jock Leslie- Melvile, a Kenyan citizen of British descent and his wife the late Betty Leslie Melvile an American citizen.  Jock’s extra ordinary vision of creating an educational institution in conjunction with rescuing the endangered Rothschild giraffes resulted in the present day Giraffe Centre that has become a World famous Nature Education Centre.

Today Giraffe Centre provides the very best place to begin or end your safari or if in a conference or transit it worth coming close to wildlife from the bustle of the city where you feed giraffes with your own hands and for the adventurers and go getters, a classic kiss from the Daisy’s!

  1. The Daphne/ David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is charity, established in 1977 to honor to memory of a famous Naturalist, David Leslie William Sheldrick, the founder Warden of Tsavo East National Park in Kenya, where he served from its inception in 1948 until his transfer to Nairobi in 1976 to head the Planning Unit of the newly created Wildlife Conservation & Management Department.

 

Currently, Daphne Sheldrick runs the elephant orphanage, where she and her dedicated staff care for young orphaned elephants and rhinos which are later released back into the wild when they are ready. It’s worth visiting to see the humanitarian care to the wildlife and the heart it takes to care. They charge a small entrance fee and one can buy a souvenir or donate for the conservation.

  1. Mamba Village

Mamba Village is famous for its Crocodile Farm. The pens are home to an estimated 70 Nile crocodiles. Four Maasai Ostriches can also be found strutting around their pen with grace. Visitors often come into direct personal contact with them when given the opportunity to feed these gallant birds from their hands. The experience is always satisfying and exciting especially for children. Mamba village is also endowed as custodians of a myriad natural flora and fauna – which regularly attract a variety of bird species including king fisher’s, cormorants, Egyptian geese, ducks and the crested cranes, among others.

  1. The Carnivore Restaurant.

The Carnivore is referred to as Africa’s Greatest Eating Experience. The Carnivore is an amazing open-air meat specialty restaurant that has strikingly different food service and atmosphere to any other restaurant in Kenya. Whole joints of meat – legs of lamb and pork, haunches of exotic meat, rumps of beef, sirloins, racks of lamb, spare ribs, sausages, chicken wings, skewered kidneys, even crocodile, and other tasty morsels – are roasted on traditional Maasai swords over a huge, visually spectacular charcoal pit that dominates the entrance of the restaurant. They also cater for vegetarians.

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