There are some great places to visit in Nairobi – such as the national park or Sheldrick’s Wildlife Orphanage - so a night or two can be interesting even though most people just pass through.
Nairobi is often considered to be the gateway to East Africa. Most visitors to Kenya will end up having at least one night here due to flight schedules. It’s a hectic cosmopolitan city but has accessible wildlife at Nairobi National Park, a stone’s throw from the city where you can even spend a night or two.
Two of the most popular places to visit in the city are the Giraffe Centre and the Sheldrick’s Wildlife Orphanage which are very close to each other.
- The Giraffe Centre: At the Giraffe Centre you can feed rescued giraffes from a viewing platform. This is about as close as you can get to a giraffe anywhere. Beware the long slobbery tongue as they stretch towards you to take the food pellets.
- Sheldrick’s Wildlife Orphanage: This is definitely a ‘must visit’. The centre is a world-leading facility in animal conservation. Rescued orphan elephants are looked after alongside some other animals such as kudu and wildebeest, and are nursed back to full health and slowly re-integrated into the wild – a process that takes years. Visitors can see the elephants at feeding time and hear about the amazing work the centre does. You can even adopt an elephant. You can’t take it with you but you’ll receive regular updates on the progress of your little elephant! Highly recommended.
- Nairobi National Park: Probably the only national park with a cityscape as a backdrop! Seeing a rhino or an elephant with a skyscraper in the distance seems very odd. It’s a great choice if you have a night in Nairobi but don’t really want to be in a city – go wild instead!
- Giraffe Manor: For something totally different, just outside the city is the famous Giraffe Manor with its own herd of Rothschild giraffe in the grounds. They usually stick their heads into the breakfast room to say hello! You need to book this boutique hotel well in advance.
- More things to do in Nairobi: Explore Kenyan culture and visit one of the many colourful markets. Shop for hand-made ceramic jewellery, colourful clothing and fabric. You could pay a visit to the Nairobi National Museum and the Karen Blixen Museum and delve deeper into the local culture.
- Eating out: Nairobi and its suburbs have some excellent restaurants including the world-famous Carnivore Restaurant. Here huge joints of meat (including ostrich and crocodile) are cooked on Maasai swords over a huge charcoal pit and then carved at your table. There are plenty of other top-notch eateries to choose from with all diets catered for.