Nairobi Travel Guide
The boisterous, invigorating capital of Kenya is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. However, if you can deal with the risks, you’ll find a fascinating glimpse into the potential model of future African cities. Nairobi, or ‘Nairobbery’ as it’s affectionately known, is commonly used as a jumping off point for Kenyan safaris, but there’s more to do in the capital than you’d expect.
The city’s central district is where most of the action takes place, and offers the best view of an African city on the rise. This is also where most visitors eat, drink and sleep due to the concentration of foreigner-friendly amenities. Kenyatta avenue is a tree-lined slice of prosperous tranquility, lined with trendy cafés and shops. But this is just a façade, because after dark Nairobi becomes a truly dangerous place to wander about.
Most of the city’s highlights are concentrated in the central district, making it convenient to see as much of the cultural side of Nairobi as you want. Just outside the city limits are a number of excellent nature and wildlife parks which will give you a taste of an African safari if you don’t plan to undertake the real thing.****
AFEW Giraffe Center: just a few miles from the city center is this excellent educational conservatory for the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe, where these majestic animals can be hand fed and experienced close up.
Karen Blixen’s House and Museum: for a look at what life was like during the colonial days in the early 1900s, check out the famous author’s farmhouse which has been preserved as a museum to the period.
Nairobi National Park: small but impressive, this African wildlife park offers the closest thing you will find to a real safari without heading deep into the bush.
National Archives: more than just documents, this surprisingly comprehensive museum exhibits the handicrafts, art, weaponry and musical instruments of the indigenous local tribes.
National Museum of Kenya: recently renovated, this excellent museum exhaustively traces the amazing history of humanity, which has its roots in the immediate region, through cultural and anthropological exhibits.
Uhuru Park: wonderfully entertaining by day and downright dangerous at night, Nairobi’s central park is a great place to get out, relax and meet some of the locals (hopefully not at gunpoint).