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.
Kenya is set to host the fifth annual edition of the China Trade Week (CTW) expo in June this year. The much-anticipated event will be held at the iconic Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) on 5th-7th June for Phase 1 and 10th-12th June for Phase 2, 9:00-18:00 on Day 1 & 2 and 9:00-16:00 on Day 3.
It is a free entry event and all are welcome to take part in forums that are sure to change your life, business-wise.
According to data from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, imports from China between May 2017, and June 2018 constituted 22% of the total country’s imports, elevating China as Kenya’s largest trading partner. A notable Chinese project in Kenya is the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) which is now on the verge of linking Nairobi to Naivasha in its second phase.
Kenya is regarded as the regional hub for trade and finance in East Africa, and many large corporations have their headquarters in Nairobi. An ideal location where Longonot Serviced Apartments is located.
On the other hand, China’s GDP has risen from 54 trillion to 80 trillion Yuan over the past five years as the Communist giant maintained its rank as the world’s largest economy and contributed over 20 percent on the global economic growth. China is a powerful international actor as the most populous country, the world’s largest economy by purchasing power parity, according to the IMF.
It is the world’s fastest-growing major economy with growth rates averaging 10 percent over the past 30 years. The country is a global hub for manufacturing, and is the largest manufacturing economy in the world, as well as the largest exporter of goods in the world and the second largest importer of goods.
The CTW, therefore, seeks to connect Kenyan businesses with the most innovative Chinese firms, manufacturers, information and communications technology (ICT) providers and stakeholders.
More than 30,000 visitors are expected as the CTW Kenya has received strong tailwinds from the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in April in Beijing to create a new silk road based on shared growth and collaboration. The event will host 600 exhibitors, a business to business matchmaking area as well as two parallel conference sessions.
The event is open to business owners, professional buyers, wholesalers, or import/export organizations who are seeking new sources for their products from China. Kenyans are expected to show up in large numbers to see what China has to offer and learn from high flying Chinese manufacturers and suppliers.
If you have always wanted to start a business and you don’t know where to begin or you happen to have a business plan but you just need motivation or funds, this is your chance. The CTW is your best bet to actualizing your goals and learning from the best.
According to the organizers, phase one which runs from June 5th to 7th will host industries in the building material, heating ventilation and air condition, lighting, construction materials, water and environmental treatment, furniture and interior, textiles and print, packaging and plastics.
The second phase which runs from June 10th to 12th will host consumer goods, automobile and auto parts, electrical, ICT and agricultural sectors. The parallel conference topics in the expo will cover subjects relevant to traders, import and export firms, and consumer and capital goods producers.
You don’t have to go through the hustle of meeting imposter investors online, risking your savings to fraudsters or travelling all the way to China to try your luck. The CTW is bringing China to you! Take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to obtain skills, direct connections and seal lucrative business deals to help you secure your future and contribute to the economy of our nation.
And while in Nairobi, we encourage you to visit our luxurious serviced apartments in the CBD, off Harry Thuku Road for extended stays. Visit www.longonotplace.co.ke and check out some of the apartments we have.
Written by: Michelle Nzilani, Actuate Digital Writer
Well-funded developers are increasingly pouring big doses of investment into construction of serviced apartments in Nairobi as they seek to meet the rising demand for such facilities.
Serviced apartments are proving especially popular with multinationals operating in Kenya, whose workforces – largely millennials – are largely capitalising on serviced residences in Nairobi – piling more pressure on the few high quality apartments available in the city.
This trend is sparking new investments, ranging from five-star hotel-based residences to high-end serviced apartments, in prime locations across the city as investors race to meet the rising demand for non-hotel accommodation among travellers
Prit Shah, sales manager of Vaal Real Estate, said in an interview that Nairobi serviced apartments have registered a three-year average occupancy of 72 per cent compared to a 52 per cent average for short-stay hotels, mainly due to the flexibility and freedom afforded by these dwellings.
“In terms of a home away from home, a serviced apartment will give you that but a hotel can’t. You get a kitchen; you can cook your meal. With a hotel, it is not possible. So we have seen a very big rise with the occupancy for serviced apartments compared to traditional hotels,” Mr Shah said.
According to Vaal Real Estate, Nairobi boasted 4,582 serviced apartments last year – nearly double the figure in 2013 – with Westlands supplying 37 per cent of these residences due to its vast offering of business, entertainment, and social amenities. Kilimani followed at 28 per cent, with the city centre and Upper Hill supplying nine and six per cent of Nairobi serviced apartments respectively.
By Joy Makena
The hospitality sector could be primed for good returns next year after 22,000 wealthy elite readers of America’s Global Traveler magazine named Kenya as the world’s best tourism destination.
In a statement issued at the conclusion of the Global Traveler (GT) readers’ survey, the influential magazine said frequent premium travellers who spend an average 60 nights per year in hotels — mostly four to five star properties — and about 72 percent who regularly travel in first and business class were impressed by Kenya’s offerings.
“It is an amazing accomplishment to celebrate the 15th year of our annual survey alongside my team and the winning companies,” said GT publisher-chief executive Francis Gallagher.
Kenya is set to be crowned during a cocktail reception at The Peninsula Beverly Hills, California, where its unique offerings: from its wildlife and safaris to its leisure beaches and emerging experience packages across counties will be unveiled.
The award could also benefit Kenya Airways, which was declared the third best airline in Africa by GT readers.
KQ now operates a 14-hour direct Nairobi-New York flight five times a week. The survey honours airlines, hotels, loyalty programmes, and travel-related products in more than 80 categories where GT’s readers vote for their favourites in the world of travel in an open-ended survey published in GT’s magazine and on its website.
The best 10 destinations after Kenya were Mexico, Ireland, South Africa, India, Australia, Israel, Hong Kong, Brazil and Spain.
Kenya hosted the global American Travel Agents Association annual congress last year.
About 2,000 travel agents from America and Europe attended the forum.
Last October, Mombasa hosted the 79th Skal International World Congress that brought together 500 hospitality investors and operators.
“This well-travelled, savvy group truly knows the stand-out stars of the industry and it is our honour to celebrate them once again,” said Mr. Gallagher.
By JAMES KARIUKI