Nairobi City Kenya

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Nairobi City Kenya

Nairobi City Kenya: Nairobi is known as the ‘Safari Capital of Africa ‘ and is Kenya’s capital city and the largest travel hub in East Africa. Almost every East African safari will start in Nairobi; as such, Jomo Kenyatta is serviced by airlines worldwide. To local Kenyans, Nairobi is known as the ‘Green City in the Sun‘, due to its numerous tree-covered parks and leafy suburbs.

Nairobi Location: Nairobi is located just south of the equator in south-central Kenya. At about 1,795m (5,889 ft) above sea level, the city sits on the bank of the Nairobi River. North-west from coastal Mombasa, Nairobi is adjacent to the eastern side of the Great Rift Valley. On clear days, Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro are visible from the city. The Masai Mara Game Reserve lies to the west.

Visiting Kenya’s bustling, multicultural city of Nairobi is an often surprising experience that combines safari wildlife and African culture with a distinctly modern and cosmopolitan twist. Museums, parks, markets, and other tourist attractions are just a small part of Nairobi’s colorful and multicultural character. Home to over 5 million people, Nairobi is one of Africa’s fastest-growing cities.

Nairobi developed around the City Square in the Central Business District, which is bordered by Uhuru and Central Park. The City Square features many of Nairobi’s most important and impressive buildings, including the City Hall, the Kenyan Parliament buildings, the Holy Family Cathedral, the Nairobi Law Courts, and the Kenyatta Conference Centre. 

Nairobi is divided into the constituencies of Makadara, Kamukunji, Starehe, Langata, Dagoretti, Westlands, Kasarani, and Embakasi. Over 90% of Nairobi residents work in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area, in formal and informal sectors. 

Nairobi Highlights & top attractions: Nairobi National Park  | Karen Blixen Museum | Giraffe Centre | Giraffe Manor | Nairobi Central Business District | Uhuru Gardens | Sheldrick Wildlife Trust | Kazuri Beads Factory | Parliament House | Prestige Plaza | Nairobi Gallery | Nairobi’s markets and Nairobi Railway Museum

Nairobi Wildlife: To see wildlife in Nairobi you can visit the Nairobi National Park for the Big 5 – minus elephant, and the full host of plains game like wildebeest, gazelles, zebra, eland, hippos, and waterbuck. To get up close and personal the Giraffe Centre and elephant orphanage at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust are not to be missed.

Best Time to Visit Nairobi: Nairobi’s best months are from January to February and then again from June to September when daytime temperatures hover between 22 and 25 degrees Celsius. Your visit to Nairobi is likely to coincide with your safari itinerary.

The peak season safari months in Kenya are from June to October, coinciding with the dry season and therefore the best game viewing. Generally, the days are sunny, and the clear sky makes moving around the city comfortable and easy.

Nairobi Weather & Climate: Nairobi has a sub-tropical climate, but at 1,795 meters (5,889 ft) above sea level, evenings may be cool, especially between June and July, when the temperature can drop to 5 °C (41 °F). The hottest time of year is from December to March when the mercury climbs into the high 20s with the average daytime temperature at 28 degrees Celcius. 

Nairobi Rainy Season: Kenya experiences two rainy seasons, the long rains and the ‘short rains’. In Kenya, the ‘long rains’ fall in spring from March to May while the ‘short rains’ fall from mid-October to mid-December. April and November are the wettest months respectively.

Where to Stay in Nairobi: Nairobi Luxury Hotels | Nairobi Budget Hotels

Brief History of Nairobi: Nairobi started as a railway depot in 1899 soon becoming the capital of British East Africa after the British moved their administrative headquarters from coastal Mombasa to the cooler town of Nairobi. This swampy area was originally named after a watering hole called “Ewaso Nai´beri”, which means “a place of cool waters” in Maasai.

The British renamed it Nairobi, being unable to pronounce the complex original name. Then, in the early 1900s, Nairobi was burnt down and completely rebuilt after a plague outbreak. Under British colonial rule, the city served as an administrative and tourist hub for big game hunters, until the Mau Mau rebellion and Kenyan independence in 1963, when Nairobi became the capital of the new republic.

Nairobi’s population expanded rapidly after Kenya gained independence with the city’s fast growth placing pressure on the infrastructure, which town planning has since helped to alleviate.

Nairobi City Kenya

Nairobi – The capital city of Kenya

Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya. Founded in the late 1890s as a British camp during the construction of the Mombasa-Uganda railway, it served as a British Provincial capital from 1899 to 1905 before becoming the capital city of Kenya in 1963.

The name “Nairobi” comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyirobi, which translates to “the place of cool waters”. Today, it is a metropolitan city popularly known as the “Green City in the Sun”. Besides being the economic powerhouse of the East African region, Nairobi is the only capital city in the world with a National park within its precincts.

Nairobi city is served by Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the largest and busiest Airport in East Africa. Wilson Airport serves scheduled domestic flights to other towns in Kenya and to tourist destinations such as parks and game reserves.

Nairobi is situated between the cities of Kampala and Mombasa. The Ngong Hills, located to the west of the city, are the most prominent geographical features in the city. Mount Kenya lies north of the city while Mount Kilimanjaro is due southeast.

Nairobi History

The history of Nairobi began with the Lunatic or “Looney” Express. In 1899, when the builders of the “Lunatic Express” railway line decided to set up camp at “Ewaso Nai´beri”, (Nairobi). They likely had no idea that they had just sown the seeds of what would become the largest city in the region. They chose to camp in this place for two main reasons:

It was cool and well-supplied with water. It is no wonder that the local Maasai people had named it “Ewaso Nai´beri” meaning “a place of cool waters”. The cool temperature was a welcome relief from the hot Mombasa coastal sun the British had to contend with as they built the railway line from Mombasa to Uganda.

It offered an escape from the man-eaters. The fact that “Ewaso Nai´beri” (Nairobi) was a swampland reduced the likelihood of an encounter with lions. During the construction of a bridge at Tsavo a year earlier, two very large male lions killed and ate more than 135 railway workers.

This railway line, meant to connect the East African interior with the rest of the world, had been named the “Lunatic Express” by skeptics doubting its economic worth.

The Looney Express camp gave rise to the town that would later become the City of Nairobi.

Nairobi Hotels

Nairobi Nightlife Guide

Nairobi is known for its vibrant nightlife with leading signature & contemporary restaurants, clubs, pubs, lounges & bars, cinemas, and casinos. Whether in search of something quiet, something traditional, something eclectic… Nairobi has it all.

Nairobi Shopping

Shopping in Nairobi is fun, easy, convenient, and safe. With plenty of modern shopping malls, grocery stores, open-air markets, convenience stores, and supermarkets located throughout the city, you will find enough choices to fit your budget and taste.

Yaya Centre – Location: Along Argwing Kodhek Road.

The Mall – Location: ln Westlands, along Waiyaki way, Sarit Centre – Location: In Westlands, Westlands/Parklands road.

Westgate — Location: ln Westlands, along Mwanzi Rd.

Village Market – Location: In Gigiri, along Limuru Diamond Plaza – Location: In Parklands, along 4th Parklands Avenue.

Africa Heritage is a gallery and retail shop at the entrance to the Carnivore selling artifacts inspired by the designs of Africa. Also available are textiles, sculptures, and arts of Africa as well as a clothing boutique and craft shop. Another feature of the shopping area is the Gallery which sells wrought iron sculptures by the internationally acclaimed local artist Kioko Mwitiki.

Maasai Market
is an open-air market ideal for African handicrafts, jewelry, and souvenirs like beaded jewelry, batiks, baskets, sculptures, and paintings. It features in designated areas during the week.

Nairobi Population

Geographically, Nairobi now occupies approximately 425 square miles (684 sq. km). According to statistics released at the beginning of the year, the current population of Nairobi city is approximately 5.541 million.

Nairobi City Tours & Day Safaris

For many visitors to Kenya, Nairobi is simply a transit point en route to the country’s world-famous game reserves or idyllic coastal resorts.

There are plenty of attractions to keep tourists content for a day or two of sightseeing.  Some of the city’s top attractions include; The David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Nairobi National Park, and the Nairobi National Museum.

Other places of interest include; Giraffe Center, Kibera Slum Tour, Kazuri Beads Factory and Pottery Center, Karen Blixen Museum, Shopping in Nairobi, etc.

Kindly Click Here to see all the tours available for Nairobi.

Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park is the oldest of Kenya’s national parks. It is known for its Black Rhino Sanctuary and, despite bordering the city, it is home to lions, leopards, and hyenas as well as many other Kenyan animals.

Its closeness to Nairobi also means it is very accessible to Kenyans and tourists alike who want to experience a safari without having to travel and stay overnight elsewhere.

Situated around the Embakasi River, Nairobi National Park has herds of buffalo and a concentrated population of ostriches. It is also a good place to experience the wildebeest migration in the summer months and to see four of the “Big Five” African animals.

Nairobi National Park History and Overview

Nairobi National Park was established in 1946. It gives visitors a chance to indulge in pure African safari in the footsteps of a major urban center. It is tiny in comparison to many of Kenya’s other national parks and shows how Kenya was in its natural state when the City of Nairobi was just becoming established over 100 years ago.

Nairobi National Park is perhaps best known for its significant black rhino sanctuary. This is the best place to see these endangered animals in their native environment.

There are no elephants in this national park, but four of the “Big Five” can be seen here (lions, leopards, buffalo, and rhinos). Other wildlife commonly seen in the national park include giraffes, elands, zebras, and wildebeest.

As well, hippos and crocodiles can often be spotted along the Embakasi River. Nairobi National Park attracts over 150,000 visitors who come to the park every year to see the native African wildlife.

Carry a notebook and a spotter’s guide, as well as plenty of water when you go on safari.

Nairobi National Park – Weather and Climate

The best season for visitors to Nairobi park is from July through March when the climate is mainly dry and sunny. The rainy season is from April through June. During this time, transport is difficult and it is nearly impossible to view the animals on safari.

There may also be some rain from October to December. How to get to Nairobi National Park

By road: Nairobi National Park is only 7km from Nairobi’s city center via Langata Road and visitors can get there by private or public mass transport.

By Air: You arrive through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Wilson Airports.

What to see and what to do at Nairobi National Park

The annual wildebeest and zebra migration takes place from July to October when 1.5 million animals migrate in search of water and grazing. The best time to see this incredible movement is in July and August.

The endangered black rhinoceros is protected here and the park supplies black rhinos to other national parks. Other major wildlife attractions in the park include the lion, cheetah, leopards, buffaloes, giraffes, hyenas,s and zebras.

There are also sanctuaries for rhino breeding, nature trails, hippo pools, and an animal orphanage.

Take a game drive to see four of the “Big Five” – lions, leopards, buffalo, and rhinos, but no elephants.

Walking trails can be enjoyed, along with five picnic sites.

Bird watching is popular here, with 400 species recorded.

Turtle and tortoise watching can also be enjoyed.

The park is open for game viewing, bush dinners, film production, and weddings.

Nairobi National Park Accommodation: Hotels and Lodges

There is no accommodation or lodges in the park, but lodging is plenty in Nairobi city which is less than 10 km away from the park. Check out this list of great hotels where you can stay in Kenya including High-End to Budget Hotels in Nairobi.

Best time to visit Nairobi National Park, entrance rates, and fees

The high season is July through March when over 100,000 visitors enjoy seeing the Kenya wildlife in its natural habitat. Avoid the rainy months of March through May.

The best times for viewing are early and late in the day, as animals tend to sleep in the hot midday sun.

Nairobi National Park covers just 117km² (44 square miles) and consists of typical, original Kenyan landscape such as plains, forests, steep gorges, and lush vegetation along the banks of the Embakasi River.

It has a high-altitude, savannah landscape with acacia trees dotting the open plains. The park is located just outside of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, and its boundary adjoins the city’s industrial area.

The protection of animals such as lions, leopards, and rhinos, as well as the black rhino conservation program, so close to a major city sometimes results in conflicts between the local Maasai tribe and the city’s four million inhabitants.

There are further problems as development continues and air pollution from the nearby industrial area increases. It is quite odd to see a giraffe grazing against the distant backdrop of high-rise buildings!

Nairobi Restaurants

Nairobi is a culinary melting pot with a good variety of cuisine types available. Restaurants in Nairobi cater to all budgets and tastes with dishes from virtually all corners of the globe.

All continents are aptly represented, and what is most impressive is the authentic touch that characterizes these dishes

The choices are numerous with options for fine dining or casual eats with dining establishments ranging from five-star hotels to restaurants offering takeaway services.

Great places to dine in Nairobi range from fast food restaurants to restaurants where you can enjoy authentic Kenyan cuisine.

Across the city and into the suburbs, there are plenty of regular and fine dining venues. Enjoy Chinese, Japanese, Indian, American, French, European flair, and more.

Chinese and Japanese Restaurants

* Bamboo; situated at Zen gardens, Lower Kabete Road
* August Moon; situated at the food court, Westgate Mall
* Taste of China; is situated inside the stylish Prime Apartments at the very end of Rhapta Road, Westlands.

Continental Restaurants

* Alabaster Lounge
* Half Past One Café
* Jade Coffee and Tea House

French Cuisine Restaurants

* Le Rustique
* Ambiance Restaurant
* Piano Bar at Captains Club Casino

Italian Restaurants

* La Dolce Vita
* La Prudna D’oro
* La Grigla Restaurant

Indian Restaurants

* Haandi Udupi
* Anghiti Westlands & Muthaiga
* Open House Karen & Westlands

Arabian Restaurants

* Café Habibi and Sheesha lounge

Booking & Reservations Nairobi City Kenya Contact

Mobile: + 254-721-242-711
WhatsApp: +254-721-242-711
Reservations: +254 718-179-967

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