Visiting Nairobi

Inside info

Nairobi, known as the ‘Green City in the Sun’, is the capital city of Kenya, and is also one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. The origins of the name Nairobi comes from the Massai phrase, ‘Enkare Nyorobi’ meaning the ‘place of cool waters’. It is Kenya’s cultural, economic and administrative centre with a very important tourist industry and is blessed with plenty of wildlife making it the perfect safari destination. No visit to Nairobi would be complete without a trip to Nairobi National Park which is one of the city’s main tourist attractions. Established in 1946, it was one of the country’s first parks. It is located 7 kilometres from the city and only a fence separates the park’s wildlife from the metropolis. It has also recently been designated as a rhinoceros sanctuary. Over 50 rhinos were moved to the park from remote parts of the country where poaching was rife. Apart from rhinos, there are plenty of other wildlife such as monkeys, birds, hippos and crocodiles. It is a unique experience admiring the wildlife with the city’s skyscrapers in the background.A great way to learn more about the different tribal groups of Kenya is by visiting Bomas of Kenya which is a tourist village and displays traditional villages of several Kenyan tribes. The purpose of the village is to preserve and promote the rich cultural values of Kenyan tribal groups. Bomas of Kenya organises daily cultural shows showcasing artistic talent through music, dance, games, theatre and much more. A visit to the ‘Giraffe Centre’ is a must. Comprising over 100 acres of forest, this giraffe sanctuary has also been kept intact for many other animals such as leopards and hyenas which you may come across during a stroll within the forest. You can get up close and personal with the giraffes and feed them at eye level from a raised platform. A guide book can also be purchased at the gift shop which provides information on the various species of flora and fauna that you will discover during a walk through the forest. (For more information: http://giraffecenter.org)

Travel review

Last year for my 30th birthday, my husband treated me to a week in Nairobi. What was great about it was the mixture of a bustling city with nature. Our first stop was the Nairobi National Park and we were both very pleasantly surprised as we hadn’t expected to see so many animals in a park situated within a city. We saw zebras, rhinos, lions and plenty of other animals. However, seeing that it is a national park and not a zoo, there may be times when you don’t get to see any animals as they move around freely-we were extremely lucky. We spent a couple of hours at The Village Market which is a shopping centre and isn’t very interesting in itself. However, the Maasai Market which is held there on Fridays is well worth a visit. It’s a great place to go to shop for souvenirs at really reasonable prices, although be prepared to bargain. The market sells everything from Maasai beaded jewellery to masks. A great restaurant to go to is Habesha which serves Ethiopian food. The restaurant has a very homely feel to it which is what we really enjoyed about it. The service was efficient and the waiters really helpful and friendly. The portions are quite large and it was really good value for money. We recommend sitting outside by the fire pits which creates a very cosy atmosphere. However, I advise to book in advance as it’s a very popular restaurant even during the week.

Did you know ?

Nairobi is the only city in the world with a national park.

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