One of Africa’s most cosmopolitan cities, the Kenyan capital is far more than simply a useful launch point for safaris in the country. Spend a night or two in Nairobi, either at the start or end of your vacation in Kenya, and you’ll discover a wealth of cultural and natural sights.
The buzzing Central Business District is worth exploring to see suited businessmen walking alongside traditionally-dressed Masai on busy thoroughfares beside the Kenyan parliament building and National Gallery.
A short distance north, the National Museum of Kenya sits within lush forested hills, and has one of the most important collections relating to human evolution in the world. Meanwhile, in the southern suburbs, there’s the famous elephant orphanage of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, recently visited by King Charles III during his state visit to Kenya.
In same area, the Karen Blixen Museum tells the story of the Out of Africa author in her former home, within ten minutes’ drive of the grassy plains of Nairobi National Park. Close enough to have the city’s skyscrapers as a backdrop, it’s easily combined with a night at Giraffe Manor.
An elegant stately home dating to the 1930s, boutique stays and superb service are trumped by the resident highly-endangered Rothschild’s giraffes, known for putting their long necks through the five-star hotel’s windows.
Meanwhile, Nairobi National Park contains an impressive array of popular species, from lion to hippo, and has the highest density of black rhino of any Kenyan national park, with over 70 individuals. Only the lack of elephants prevents it being named a Big Five park in its own right. Even so, Nairobi is rightly called ‘the world’s only wildlife capital.’