Nairobi City Guide
Founded in 1899 by colonial authorities during the building of the Uganda Railway, this East African city is one of Africa’s most diverse places. With a population of around four million, Nairobi is a very multicultural place and is the capital and largest city in Kenya. Cows are to be seen walking the streets in this city of diversity, with its slums, mansions, and fascinating modern colonial buildings. Nairobi has a temperate climate. The Maasai phrase “engare Nairobi” means “the place of cool waters” and describes Nairobi’s scenic nature perfectly.
The city is a bustling industrial base that keeps Nairobi business at the center of attention in East Africa. Nairobi is also famous for the Uganda Railway, the coming of which caused the population to quickly grow. Skyscrapers surround downtown Nairobi, and the New Central Bank Tower and KCB plaza in Upperhill are notable.
Things to do
Nairobi is known for its wildlife and tourists can see the lions, giraffes and elephants active at the Nairobi National Park. There are lush green hillsides at the Ngong Hills, and a Safari Walk (kind of zoo) in the Nairobi Central business district. Take an excursion to the Uhuru Gardens the largest memorial park in Kenya. There are statues, an impressive monument, and visitors can learn the interesting history of the freedom fighters in the war when the city struggled to gain independence.
Other interesting places to visit are the Nairobi Arboretum, Karuru Forest, African Heritage House, and the Nairobi River.
It is recommended to take a boda boda, a motorcycle taxi, to help avoid traffic jams. Many people walk along the streets in this city, which can interfere with traffic flow, so it’s good to be safe and watch for oncoming traffic. It’s recommended to avoid rush hour traffic, as it can be dangerous with the masses of traffic and people. You can also take a car or matatu buses. There is a combination of dirt roads and paved roads in Nairobi. Make sure to watch out for the pull carts!
Visitors might be surprised by the rush hour traffic. You often see animals like goats and cows walking along the side of the road, or crossing the street, or boda boda’s squeezing through a tight space, and cyclists rushing along in front of a bus.
What to eat
Try the Nyama Choma sliced meat with a side of salt – delicious! City Hawkers Market has fresh food and if nothing there takes your fancy, try out the street food. Two other popular foods are ugali and sukuma wiki. Ugali is a dish of corn flour and water, and is made with a mash potato or a dough-like consistency. Sukuma wiki is a dish made with greens, cassava leaves, or pumpkin leaves. Ethiopian food is also a good option in Nairobi.
Shopping in Nairobi
Shopping in Nairobi is a great thing to do. There are stores like those in the West, but it may have a different name. A popular place similar to Walmart is Nakumatt. There is an abundance of things to buy in this city, whether you shop at Nairobi’s open shopping market or their luxurious Safaricom Shop at Westgate. Wherever you go, you might find the perfect purchase. You will find handcrafted safari travel bags, African-wear, and souvenirs all around Nairobi to take home for yourself or as gifts for friends or family.
Nairobi has friendly people that are easy to talk to. It is common to see people smiling and engaging with one another. This city has a big Muslim population and you can see the Jamia Mosque Islamic place of prayer with its distinct architecture. It has silver domes and is a great example of its type.
Nairobi’s locals tend to speak English, Swahili, and Arabic languages.
Nairobi is bustling with new and up and coming music artists and dancers, and plenty of other creative-types. Those with an interest in fashion should look out for the Kikoy, a traditional hand-woven cloth worn in Kenya that you will see the locals wearing and selling in and around Nairobi.
Where to stay
With the variety of places to stay in Nairobi, you are not short of options. Let World Escape help you find your next bed and breakfast, vacation rental, or luxury apartment while visiting Kenya’s biggest city. It is recommended to stay at a place close to transportation and within the area of the tourist attractions you want to visit.
Whether you crave nightlife thrills or wildlife adventures, Nairobi leaves little to be desired. Explore colourful markets, international shopping and dining outlets, art venues and museums or escape the hustle and bustle with a trip to the nature reserves surrounding the city, where zebras and giraffes roam free. Book a Nairobi holiday apartment and dive into the heart and soul of Kenya.
Nairobi Vacation Rentals
Finding the right accommodation in a city like Nairobi can seem like a daunting task but our portfolio of self-catering and serviced rental apartments offers you a choice of handpicked properties throughout the “green city under the sun”.
Whether you travel on business or for leisure, you will find accommodation in prime locations. Pick from spacious townhouses in leafy Gigiri or rent a mod-conned apartment in the glassy high-rises of the city centre.
Rent an apartment in lively Westlands and enjoy the 24/7 shopping and dining offers, as well as the amazing nightlife in this entertainment district. Stay in leafy Langata, where you can choose from a mix of colonial homes and modern flats, and enjoy serenity in a tranquil, laid-back neighbourhood.
Nairobi Safaris and Accommodation
Fancy a safari? A little under an hour from the centre of Nairobi you find pristine nature.
Day trippers who seek a serene escape from modern life will find it in the Lake Naivasha area and at the Thika Falls, where waterfalls create a majestic, breathtaking natural scenery.
The nearest and most popular destination, however, is the Nairobi National Park surrounding the city. Here giraffes, wildebeest, zebras and lions roam free, while hundreds of species of wild birds nest in the trees and shrubs.
Visit the Giraffe Centre, the Elephant orphanage or the Mamba Village for a chance to get close to all the exotic animals. Bring your kids along and learn together about the animals, hold, pet and take snaps with their little ones.
Navigating the buzzing cityscape and touring the wilderness can leave you breathless but in your Nairobi home away from home you can catch your breath and recharge.
Pick your mod conned holiday home and enjoy unrivalled space, comfort and amenities. From Jacuzzi bathtubs to Wi-Fi, and from wheelchair accessible properties to private parking, you can have it all in Nairobi!