What to do in Nairobi
Kenya is one of the most exotically beautiful travel destinations in the world; with three unique contrasting cities and very warm and welcoming people.
Most tourists usually visit the coastal city of Mombasa to enjoy the weather. While others the lakeside city of Kisumu which happens to be a short drive from the equator. Our focus will be on the capital city - Nairobi. Often cited as the place to be, and fondly referred to as ‘the city in the sun’. Bear in mind that the phrase in no way reflects the year round weather in the city.
There are a tonne of activities to do in Nairobi; whether you’re visiting or a native of the place. Not to mention countless places and food joints to sample. Did I mention that you’ll have a view of tall sky scrapers at every angle you turn in the metropolis? There are also the bustling streets and buzzing nightlife for you to experience.
While in the city you’ll get your pick of what to do with the only constraints possibly being time or resources. I’ll highlight some of the places you can have on your itenary but this list is far from exhaustive:
For Nature, Wildlife and Heritage
- Nairobi Safari Walk. A recreational wildlife conservation facility which is only about 7km from the CBD.
- Nairobi National Museum which is a short walk from Nairobi Safari Park. While at the National Museum you’ll get a chance to visit the Nairobi Snake Park where you’ll see both dangerous and harmless reptiles.
- Nairobi Giraffe Centre. Which as the name suggests is home to giraffes. You’ll get a chance to feed the giraffes as you snap photos with them.
- National Archives. A popular landmark located in the CBD. The serene environment inside may come as a shock. The silence making you forget for a moment that you’re in the middle of the bustling CBD. The archives contains tonnes of records illuminating Kenya’s history.
- Mamba Village. 'Mamba' is a Swahili word which means crocodile. As the name suggests, you’ll get to see crocodiles sun bathing and feeding at the establishment.
- Kenyatta International Conference Centre simply abbreviated as KICC. The KICC helipad offers a breathtaking view of the entire city. The only catch is you’ll have to climb a flight of stairs to get to the helipad.
- Karura Forest. Where you can enjoy a walk in nature or if you’re up for it cycle a bicycle through the marked terrain.
There are entrance fees at all these establishments.
There are also various joints within the vicinities offering a variety of local cuisines and drinks you can sample afterwards.
In case you can’t find your way, Google Maps come in handy.
When we visit new places, we often like to carry souvenirs and shop for essentials here and there. The city has you covered with malls, markets, sprawling shops and even expos. For the expos you need to know when and where they are happening.
The Maasai Market
The Maasai culture is one of the most renown Kenyan ethnicity. Their souvenirs and culture being popular both on a local and global scale. If you chance upon an open air Maasai market, you’ll get to browse through curios, jewelry, paintings, wood carvings and fabric. You can then have your pick of whatever tickles your fancy. Don’t forget to drive a bargain while at it.
One of Kenya’s leading shopping malls. It offers a variety of local and international outlets. It also has an open air food court, cinema and a bowling alley. Alternatively you could head to Two Rivers Mall or Garden City among others. They all are very accessible from town.
For Arts, Culture and Sports
If you have a need for speed, you could go Go-Karting on Langata Road next to Splash Water World. Or zip lining in various spots and establishments with your compadres. You could also go ice skating at Panari Sky Centre which is only a few minutes from the airport in one of the grandest hotels.
There is also Ngong Race Course. The only horse racing course in the entire East Africa. In addition to being a thoroughbred racing venue, it hosts other events like Concours d’Elégance, Shaggy Dog Show and Beer fest. It recently hosted the biggest beer festival in Kenya. A two-day event dubbed The Tusker Oktobafest. The event presented by Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) was a musical, arts and dance showcase featuring an all Kenyan lineup.
Some of the most popular theatrical power houses include Alliance Française, Goethe Institute, Kenya National Theatre and Phoenix Players. They showcase plays and shows almost on a daily basis in the evening. The themes range from entertaining political and marital satire to human rights activism and social good.
Then there is K1 Flea Market where you can enjoy brunch after 10 a.m on Sundays. There is usually live music all day into the evening and while at it you can shop for fashion items, organic beauty products and jewelry. It is relatively child friendly if you don’t plan on staying till after dark.
Finally for sports there are various football matches and rugby tournaments in various locations on and off. Some are free and open to the public while in most instances you need to buy a ticket.
The World Intellectual Property Organisation recently ranked Kenya as one of the top tech hubs in Sub-Saharan Africa. With the thriving innovation attributed to countless start-ups and easy access to micro-finance. Kenya is branded the Silicon Savannah with many tech start-ups, hubs, and a growing number of co-working spaces. To get a sense of some discussions in the tech ecosystem checkout meet ups of various tech groups in or near Nairobi.
That’s all for today. Stay tuned for details on the upcoming GDG DevFest Nairobi 2019 (Assemble Intelligence). This year promises to be bigger, better and more interactive. We have a line up of amazing speakers and more.