Things to do in Nairobi
Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya and also a very important hub in East Africa. The city is normally the starting point of many safari adventures across East Africa region. Nairobi used to be a watering place for the nomadic Maasai people as they herded their cattle. In the late 1890s Nairobi became a supply depot for the Kenya-Uganda Railway construction. It was originally named “Enkare Nairobi” meaning “place of cool waters” in Maasai language.
Initially Mombasa was the capital of the British protectorate, but in 1905 it shifted to Nairobi and the city grew around administration and tourism. As the British settlers started to explore the region, they started using Nairobi as their first port of entry. Hotels started coming up with the main occupants being the British game hunters.
Nairobi is still the safari capital of the Africa, but urbanization has quickly caught up with the city. Nairobi has lately expanded due to rapid urbanization becoming one of the largest city in Africa. It is considered as the city that never sleeps and is thriving place with amazing things to do for any traveller wishing to sample the city.
Nairobi has a tropical highland climate. At sitting at an altitude of 1,795 metres above sea level, evenings may be cool, especially between June and August cold season, when the temperature can drop to 9 °C. The warmest part of the year is from December to March, when temperatures average the mid-twenties during the day. The mean maximum temperature for this period is 28 °C. The city enjoys two rainy seasons, but rainfall can be moderate. The cloudiest part of the year is just after the first rainy season, when, until September, conditions are usually overcast with slight drizzle. As Nairobi is situated close to the equator, the differences between the seasons are minimal. The seasons are referred to as the rainy season and dry season.
Things to do
David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage
The David Sheldrick Trust runs a sanctuary in the park that takes care of orphaned elephant and rhino calves, and later releases them back into the wilderness. Orphaned and injured young animals are rescued and taken to the sanctuary from all over Kenya. The sanctuary is located close to the Nairobi National park’s main entrance. It was set up by Daphne Sheldrick after the death of her husband David Sheldrick the pioneer anti-poaching warden of Tsavo National Park.
Nairobi National Park & Nairobi Safari Walk
Nairobi National Park was established in 1946, the national park was the first to be established in Kenya. It is located approximately 7 kilometers south of the centre of Nairobi. It gives visitors a chance to indulge in a real African safari experience at the footsteps of a major urban city. Kenya’s capital city, with an electric fence separating the park’s wildlife from the metropolis. Nairobi’s skyscrapers can be seen from the park.
Nairobi National Park is perhaps best known for its significant black rhino population. This is the best place to see these endangered animals in their native environment. There are no elephants in this national park, but four of the “Big Five” are represented here (lions, leopards, buffalo and rhinos). Other wildlife commonly seen in the national park include giraffes, elands, zebras and wildebeest. As well, hippos and crocodiles can often be spotted along the Embakasi River.
The concentration of wildlife in the park is greatest in the dry season, when areas outside the park have dried up. Small dams built along the Mbagathi River give the park more water resources than these outside areas. They attract water dependent herbivores during the dry season. The park is the northern limit for wildlife migrations in the dry season.The park has a high diversity of bird species, with up to 500 permanent and migratory species in the park.Dams have created a man-made habitat for birds and aquatic species.
Nairobi Safari Walk is a protected Animal Orphanage. It neighbours Nairobi National Park with the main gate being about 30 m away. With its raised wooden boardwalk that allows for uninterrupted views of the animals, the Safari Walk is a show case for Kenya’s Parks and Reserves, allowing visitors to discover what they can expect to see across the country. Visitors can see a sample of the country’s rich animal life including the rare bongo, white rhino and albino zebra as well as big cats, antelopes and primates. It is also home to some 150 species of indigenous trees.
the Giraffe Centre, located in Langata, Nairobi, is a non profit organization whose main objective is to provide conservation education to school children and the youth of Kenya.
this is a giraffe conservation project and an educational centre, has conservation and educational programmes for Kenyan children. The centre breeds a small herd of Rothschild Giraffes, which are endangered.
Located 5 kilometres from Nairobi’s city centre, the Giraffe Centre offers visitors the opportunity to get closest to the giraffes and also have an opportunity to feed them.
Nairobi Mamba Village
Nairobi Mamba Village resort, located in Nairobi’s leafy Karen suburb, about 13 km away from the city center. It is set on a 30 acres land and Mamba Village is famous for its Crocodile Farm. There are more than 70 Nile crocodiles in this farm and there also Maasai Ostriches and visitors often come into direct personal contact with them when given the opportunity to feed these gallant birds.
National Museum and Snake Park
The National Museum is the best and biggest museum in Kenya, located only at 1 km walk from the city centre.The museum collects and preserves a vast treasure of cultural heritage, geological information and natural-history exhibits. For nature lovers you’ll find a big collections of bird and wildlife species.
Nairobi Snake Park is one of the NMK attractions located adjacent to Nairobi National Museum and is extremely popular with visitors. Opened in 1961, the Nairobi Snake Park is a distinct herpetology attraction that works to promote and preserve the snakes and reptiles that are found in Kenya. The snakes were first located at the Nairobi National Museum entrance, but later the museum trustees acquired land in front of the museum and along the Nairobi River that now serves as a botanical garden and location for live snake exhibits.
The Snake Park has some beautiful snake species, including the puff adder, black mamba, Egyptian cobra, African rock python and Gaboon viper (with 4cm-long fangs, the longest in the world). There are also local fish species, lizards, turtles and some sad-looking crocodiles. Watch for the elephant fossil on the way down from the museum
Karen Blixen Museum
The museum is located 10 kilometers from the city center in the wealthy suburb of Karen.
The museum got its name from its Danish owner Karen Blixen and stands as a marvellous reflection of what Kenya was like many years ago. Karen Blixen, a famous author, artist and poet lived here while setting up her coffee farm at the foot of the Ngong Hills. Although the property is historically breathtaking, the most memorable part of visiting the museum is the house. Built in 1910, the bungalow-style home features a red tile roof, wood paneling and the original furniture and kitchen. The museum is open every day for guided tours and special events may be held at the site.
Kazuri Beads and Pottery Centre
Kazuri Beads is located in Karen – Nairobi. Kazuri, which means “small and beautiful” in Swahili, began in 1975 as a tiny workshop by Lady Susan Wood with an aim of providing regular employment for single and needy mothers in the area. The workshop deals with processing clay to produce beautiful jewellery such as necklaces, bangles etc
Kazuri Beads employs over 300 mostly single women now. The factory is located on parts of the former Karen Blixen Estate
Bomas of Kenya
Bomas of Kenya was established in 1971 in Langata by the government to preserve, maintain and promote Kenyan Culture through entertainment programmes, ‘Boma’ means ‘An African Homestead’. Bomas displays traditional villages of several Kenyan tribes, visitors can see exhibits of traditional Kenyan homes, artifacts, daily performances of dances and music.
Karura Forest Reserve is an urban upland forest on the outskirts of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. The forest offers eco-friendly opportunities for Kenyans and visitors to enjoy a leafy green escape from the hustle and bustle of the city to walk, to jog, or simply to sit quietly and experience the serenity of nature in all its diversity. The forest has great trails. All Trails has 5 great hiking trails, trail running trails, walking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers. There are 3 moderate trails in Karura Forest ranging from 6.6 to 11.3 km and from 1,652 to 1,721 meters above sea level.
Located on the southern side of Nairobi National Park. Here, recycled glass is melted down and hand blown. Visitors are treated to a show of the enchanting glass blowing process used to make kitchenware, ornaments, chandeliers, and other items.