Top 5 things to do in Nairobi
Rather than simply walking through the airport, Kenya’s capital today homes an array of interesting museums, sanctuaries, animal interactions and experiences that makes it a destination in itself, rather than simply a place to ‘pass through’. With world-famous hotels such as Giraffe Manor, and flawless five-star service provided in the likes of Hemingways, luxury accommodation in Nairobi has really set the bar for African cities. However it’s not only the accommodation that’s encouraged guests to stay and explore, but also the range of things to do...
1. Daphne Sheldrick elephant orphanage
In memory of her husband, David, Daphne Shedrick set up this elephant orphanage and animal sanctuary to encourage and home elephant conservation projects around the world. On a visit to the orphanage, you can watch the baby elephants being fed by bottle, play together in the mud pools, and for $50 a year, you can even adopt an elephant! The orphanage, which today, is the most successful orphan-elephant rescue programme in the world, is rated highest on things to do in Nairobi. This is not only because of the up-close encounters you get on the day, but also because you can get a real sense of the fantastic work that the team has, and continues to do.
2. The giraffe centre
As the world-famous Giraffe Manor is extremely popular and difficult to get into (fully booked for a year or so), it is still possible to see the work that goes into protecting the highly endangered Rothschild giraffes. At the giraffe centre, a raised wooden structure is a base for you to observe, hand-feed or even kiss one of the giraffes. Further to these memorable encounters with the friendly giants, you’ll get to see the importance of the work that the non-profit organisation called African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Kenya (AFEW) do.
3. Visit one of Kenya’s first estates
Just a short drive from the heart of Nairobi is Kiambethu Farm. In 1910, it was bought and farmed by AB McDonell – the first person to grow, make and sell tea commercially in Kenya. Today, Kenya is one of the world’s leading tea exporter and prides itself in the production of black tea, so a visit to the farm is definitely worth doing if you’re interested. It is set within beautiful gardens and acres of tea and indigenous forest, where the Colobus monkey has well and truly made home!
4. Karen Blixen museum
Known best for her novel Out of Africa, the Karen Blixen Museum was once the home of the Danish author between the years of 1914 and 1931. Set amongst beautifully-kept gardens, the museum is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon, wandering around the grounds and the old colonial house. There is also a camp in the Mara called Karen Blixen Camp, which offers a truly 'Out of Africa' experience.
5. Explore the urban forest of Nairobi
Located approximately 5 kilometres from the hustling city of Nairobi lies an urban forest named Karura. The forest sits on a bed of volcanic rock and wildlife in the forest include varies species of monkey, bush babies and bush pigs. The forest now homes nature trails for walking, running and biking, as well as ancient caves and waterfalls to be explored, which attracts those looking for some lush scenery outside of the concrete jungle.