Although there’s a stereotype that most capitals are boring, this is certainly not the case with Nairobi.
The heart of Kenya is full of fantastic things to do, no matter if you are a traveler or local. Where else can you see skyscrapers in the background of a safari reserve? Or glistening rooftop bars above the busy city below? Or interesting museums to spend the entire day in? Nairobi has it all!
Once you’ve met all the Kenya visa requirements and booked a ticket, then Nairobi should definitely be on your itinerary. Let’s explore some of the places and things that make this city so wonderful:
Nairobi National Park
One of Kenya’s greatest treasures is its nature — thankfully, you don’t have to travel far from Nairobi to truly enjoy it.
Just over 4 miles (7 kilometers) from the city center is Nairobi National Park, the first national park in Kenya. Walking through the park, you can see creatures big and small, like lions, gazelles, buffaloes, warthogs, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes… and more than 400 species of various exotic birds!
A safari walk through Nairobi National Park is one of the most popular activities, especially for those who have just started to travel through Africa. It gives visitors the chance to get to know the wildlife and flora and fauna of the continent in a fun and engaging way.
Although there are plenty of interesting spots in the park, a guest favorite is the Hippo Pool.
A hiking trail weaves around the pools, where you can see the life of the hippos with your own eyes.
The Giraffe Centre
A few miles east of Nairobi National Park is another fantastic nature reserve called the Giraffe Centre. Here travelers can learn more about giraffes and get to know these majestic animals better, as well as have the unique opportunity to hand feed them!
The first inhabitants of the park were two giraffe cubs, which the owners rescued back in 1979. Since that time, the Giraffe Centre has grown to include seven female and three male giraffes, including Rothschild’s giraffe, the most endangered breed.
The territory of the reserve, where the center is located, occupies more than 90 acres of land. There are hiking trails here, including along the Gogo River. Besides the dozen giraffes, you can also see the resident warthogs ‘patrolling’ the property!
The Maasai Market
The Maasai Market is not only a great place to get some souvenirs for friends and family, but to also get to know the Maasai culture and chat with the locals.
This open-air market offers souvenirs and trinkets for all tastes: you can find traditional Maasai handicrafts to decorate your home, as well as beautiful jewelry, colorful clothes, and artisanal goods.
Before you grab your wallet and head over to the market, it’s important to note that the market moves around the city and can be found at specific locations on different days. For example, the Maasai Market is located in the Capital Centre on Wednesdays, at the Village Market in Gigiri on Fridays, and The High Court parking lot on Saturdays.
Karen Blixen Museum
The Karen Blixen Museum is a museum in honor of the eponymous world famous Danish writer, where she lived and took inspiration for her bestselling book, “Out of Africa.”
The museum contains Blixen’s personal belongings, including photographs, books, furniture, and even a coffee dryer, as the author originally wanted to open a coffee plantation near the house. Many of the pieces of furniture that the writer sold upon leaving were bought back and now form part of the museum’s exposition.
Even if one is not familiar with the works of the writer, they will surely enjoy the interior and atmosphere of this estate, which was lovingly restored to capture the atmosphere of those times.
Nairobi National Museum
Where else can you get an in-depth look at Kenyan history and culture than at this museum?
The National Museum has some of the finest and most unique collections in the entire country, including cultural heritage items from various Kenyan tribes, whimsical illustrations by famed conservationist Joy Adamson, an extensive collection of birds of East Africa, and more.
These significant artifacts uncover the rich history and the diversity of the country, and are a must-see while in Nairobi.
Last but certainly not least, Nairobi should definitely be on your itinerary because it is a paradise for foodies!
No matter where you look, there are plenty of mouth-watering restaurants, cafes, and bistros to work up your appetite.
One of the most popular restaurants in Nairobi for both locals and tourists is Carnivore, which serves an impressive amount of meat (hence the name!). For something a little more traditional, K’Osewe Ranalo Foods serves up delicious and homemade local Kenyan food.
Craving some coffee after a hike or museum? Although there are plenty of cafes around the city, Sigiria Cafe is a must-visit.
Have we inspired you to visit Nairobi?