Jambo! Are you planning a Nairobi vacation?
Whether you are planning a Nairobi vacation or in transit, Nairobi welcomes you with a big smile from the friendly Kenyan people and good weather all year round. Below are some places you should not forget to visit during your stay which range from food to culture and wildlife.
Nairobi National Park
by Carolina – My Global attitude
As Nairobi is the only capital city in the world with a game reserve, no Nairobi vacation is complete without a visit. Nairobi National Park is located only 7 kilometers from the city center and is easily accessible by public transport. You will find animals like lions, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, monkeys, cheetahs and leopards. Note that to spot a lion, it’s advisable to take an early morning game drive or late evening when they are not hiding in the bushes. Park fees charged are $50 and $25, for non-resident adults and children respectively.
Would you guess how it feels like kissing a giraffe? While on your Nairobi vacation, you don’t need to guess, you just gotta feel it. The Nairobi Giraffe Centre is a not-for-profit organization located 20 kilometers from Nairobi city center and is managed by Africa Fund for Endangered Wildlife Kenya Limited. During your visit, you’ll feed giraffes with pellets supplied by the helpers; learn about the different species of giraffes and other wildlife. You could also stroll or have your picnic lunch just across the giraffe center as you bird watch. Entrance donation is $10 for adult non-resident and $5 for non-resident children/students.
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
This orphanage rescues orphaned elephants and black rhinos, they care for them and later releases them into the wild. Most of these animals are orphaned as a result of poaching. Note that visitors are only allowed during feeding time which is every day between 11 AM- 12 PM. Entry charges are $7 which is paid cash at the orphanage. One can also foster an elephant from as low as $50 per year.
Karen Blixen Museum
Have you watched the movie ‘Out of Africa’ yet? It was filmed at Karen Blixen farm in Nairobi. Visit and learn about the colonial history of Kenya and the story of the Danish author Karen and her Swedish husband Baron Bror Von Blixen Finke. This museum, which is managed by the Museums of Kenya, opens Monday thru to Sundays including public holidays from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm. You can also have a taste of authentic Kenyan coffee at the Karen Blixen Coffee Garden & Cottages.
Nairobi National Museum
Learn about the history of Kenya, its culture and contemporary arts in this museum which is located just 10 minutes from the city center. One can access using both public and private transport. In the museum compound is a botanical garden by the stream with a variety of plants and insects. While on your Nairobi vacation, you’ll want to learn more about the culture and such, so check it out!
The Giraffe Manor
Sharing your breakfast with a giraffe sounds fancy eh? In this Boutique hotel in the Karen suburbs of Nairobi, the endangered Rothschild giraffes visit every morning and evening, poking their long necks through the windows ready to dine with you.
Bomas of Kenya
Spend your afternoon on your Nairobi vacation watching Kenyans from different tribes and communities shake their African booty like there’s no tomorrow. This happens every Monday to Friday from 2.30 PM- 4.00 PM and weekends from 3.30 PM to 5.15 PM. The Bomas of Kenya was an initiative to preserve the diverse culture that makes up Kenya.
Mamba village Nairobi
Mamba is Swahili for crocodiles. Mamba village is located in Karen neighborhood which is about 15 kilometers from Nairobi city center. This is home to over 70 Nile crocodile species ranging from newborns to adults. It is advisable to visit on Friday afternoon when the crocodiles are feeding. They also have a campsite and accommodation tents in case you want to stay overnight.
The national dish in Kenya is Nyama Choma (barbecued meat). This is mainly beef or goat and it’s served with Ugali (a thick porridge made from maize flour) or fries or roast potatoes and kachumbari (tomato salsa). If Nyama is not something you’d like, there are other varieties of dishes from all the 42 tribes in Kenya but it’s mostly something meaty or fish.
If the restaurant you visit serves alcoholic drinks, ask for original Kenyan beer, Tusker, and in order to sound more local, call it ‘Tusker baridi’ meaning a cold beer. Because of Kenya’s tropical climate, it is common for the bartender to ask one whether they prefer warm beer (at room temperature) or baridi (cold beer). Bon appetite!
Besides the crazy traffic, you will be assured of a great time in this fantastic city.
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