Kenya is a stunning country. The statistics of tourists who fly in on a daily basis is a true testament to this fact. While most tourists flock the coastal region for Sandy beaches and go further into Maasai Mara for wildlife, Nairobi city is also a sight to behold on its own.
Popularly known as the ‘Green city in the sun’s, Nairobi is a vibrant metropolis and capital city of Kenya. Its name is derived from a Maasai phrase ‘Enkare’ which means ‘a place of cool waters’, a reference to the Nairobi River which flows through the city.
Nairobi city has a sheer beauty that is simply breathtaking, full of culture, historically rich and also boasts of a few wildlife parks and sanctuaries. From wild animals roaming so close to the CBD, thrilling entertainment joints, beautiful skyline, rich history collection in museums and art centres, wildlife conservation centres to world-class hotels, Nairobi is truly a gem to explore.
Here are a few things to do while visiting Nairobi, or you live here and would like to get out and have some fun:
1. Visit Nairobi national park
The park is located approximately 7 kilometres (4 mi) south of the centre of Nairobi, with an electric fence separating the park’s wildlife from the metropolis. Nairobi’s skyscrapers can be seen from the park. Wide-open grass plains and backdrop of the city scrapers scattered acacia bush play host to a wide variety of wildlife including the endangered black rhino, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, buffaloes, giraffes and a diverse birdlife with over 400 species recorded. Visitors can enjoy the park’s picnic sites, three campsites and the walking trails for hikers.
Where else are you going to find wild animals so close to the city centre? This is what makes Nairobi so unique.
2. Marvel at rare species at Nairobi Safari Walk
The Nairobi Safari Walk is closest to the wild as you can get. It has a raised wooden boardwalk that allows for uninterrupted views of the animals. It is a breathtaking showcase 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 local trees.
3. Kiss and feed a giraffe at the Giraffe Centre
The Giraffe Center is located in Lang’ata, approximately 20 kilometres from the centre of Nairobi, Kenya. It was established in order to protect the endangered giraffe, which is found only in the grasslands of East Africa.
The centre runs a breeding program for Rothschild giraffes (one of the rarest species of giraffe) and releases them into the wild.
It’s a good place to make unique memories. From feeding giraffes, taking selfies with them up-close (they are very photogenic!), getting your hand licked and getting a sloppy kiss. What else could you ask for from Mother Nature?
4. Feeding baby elephants at the Elephant Orphanage
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT) operates the most successful orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world. They rescue orphaned elephants, raise and protect them. The most common reasons for getting orphaned being: Mothers poached, falling into wells, and human/wildlife conflict.
The animals are fed in turns, which is the most amazing thing to witness. You can watch each little one slurp and gargle their milk. Then, you’ll have time to watch the elephants play. You find out how old they were when they arrived at the orphanage, where they were rescued from, and what got them into trouble.
5. Away from wildlife, visit the Ngong Racecourse
The Ngong Race Course and Golf Park is the only horse racing course in East Africa. It is situated on Ngong Road towards Karen and has the most beautiful grounds, offering a tranquil setting away from the hustle and bustle of Nairobi.
The Racecourse is a very popular wedding destination and annually hosts many other functions such as the Christmas Craft Fair, Concours d’Elégance, Beerfest, Shaggy Dog Show, Heart to Heart Fun Day, including visiting South African Johnny Clegg and his band. There are restaurants to cater for everyone, with adequate & secure parking, as well as washrooms.
These events usually are full house and provide the perfect day out in an environment of leisure and networking opportunities.
6. See the infamous Nairobi skyline at the KICC helipad
The Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) is a state corporation KICC and the largest Convention centre in Eastern Africa with the capacity to hold a large number of delegates. Apart from business, it has a rooftop that offers one a unique chance to view all of Nairobi and its environs.
The view is magnificent, for those who are not afraid of heights and the sunsets there are the most beautiful sightings you will ever see. Gives real meaning to the phrase ‘city in the sun’.
7. Skate away at the Panari Sky Centre
The Panari Sky Center is a sleek modern shopping centre and hotel in Nairobi, located along Mombasa Road, a few minutes from the airport. It houses a number of boutiques, banks, and an entertainment centre that includes East Africa’s first ice skating rink!
The Solar Ice Rink at Panari is the only one of its kind in East and Central Africa. It measures 32 × 12 meters with an ice skating surface area of 15,000 square feet. It is totally enclosed with ice temperature at -25oC and the air temperature inside the hall is 12oC. The rink can accommodate 200 skaters at any time.
8. Watch local plays
For the love of Arts and Culture, enjoy local plays at some of the most popular theatrical powerhouses in Nairobi; Alliance Francois, Kenya National Theatre and Phoenix Players. There are frequent plays, almost every evening. The plays are very entertaining with political and marital satire being the main theme.
9. Have a taste of Kenya’s heritage at the Nairobi Museum and Kenya National Archives
The Nairobi National Museum is the flagship brand for the National Museums of Kenya. Located on Museum Hill, the museum showcases Kenya’s rich Heritage with four distinct themes representing Kenya’s Culture, Nature, History and Contemporary Art.
Other attractions within the compound include the Snake Park and Botanical Gardens as well as a State of the Art Auditorium that occasionally hosts concerts, film shows and other events. Dining and shopping facilities await you after your tour with us in our commercial wing.
The Kenya National Archives is a national treasure located right in the heart of the city along Moi Avenue. This centrally located collection contains historic photographs, Kenyan crafts and paintings. It is one of the most popular buildings in the city which most people argue that if it was ever repainted or moved, a lot of people would get lost.
10. Experience Nairobi’s vibrant nightlife
The nightlife in Nairobi is one for the books. There is no party like a Nairobi party. Most popular joints in the city are ever full every other day of the week. Starting from the city centre to the outskirts in Westlands, Nairobi West and Lang’ata, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to exceptional bars, restaurants and clubs.
And you cannot fail to dine at one of Nairobi’s most revered open-air restaurant, the Carnivore. Enjoy world-class ambience and finger-licking game meat of your choice.
Nairobi is simply outstanding. So many places to see, each unique in its own way. The list is endless.