Nairobi is the capital of Kenya and is also the largest city in East Africa. It is the political and commercial centre for the country and is growing and developing at a rapid pace. Nicknamed the “safari capital of the world”, Nairobi makes a great base for exploring the area and is buzzing with cultural events, shopping and an international restaurant scene. Visitors should be street-smart and avoid carrying valuables or visiting out-of-the-way areas.
One of the best introductions to Kenya is to visit the National Museum as it has huge collections of Kenya’s birds and wildlife on display and geological displays showing the formation and details about the Rift Valley. There are cultural exhibits, historical artifacts and ethnic paintings which give a great overview of Kenya for those staying in a holiday home in Nairobi. The National Archives showcases tribal weapons and old photographs and the Railway Museum traces colonial history including the building of the “Lunatic Express”, so named because of the huge investment needed to link Mombasa to Kampala by rail. Shopping in Nairobi’s Moi Avenue is good for cheap ethnic souvenirs and handicrafts but be prepared to haggle over the price. Dining out can be a superb cosmopolitan experience with every conceivable cuisine represented. The Carnivore Restaurant is well known for its “nyama choma” which is roast meat from camel, ostrich, crocodile and other exotic meats. Ride to the top of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre to admire the city's skyline and the views across the national park
A tour of Nairobi should include City Square with its government buildings, Memorial Park and the Norfolk Hotel, Nairobi’s oldest building. The Nairobi National Park is within easy reach of the city and although small, covering just 113 km ² (44 square miles), is has lions, cheetahs, buffalo, hippo, rhino, giraffe and crocodiles along with 400 bird species. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is also open for an hour each day for visitors to see the orphaned elephants and rhinos which are hand reared before being released back into the wild. The AFEW Giraffe Centre is another excellent attraction for seeing the rare Rothschild giraffes.
Nairobi has plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures all year round with daytime highs between 21-26°C (70-79°F). July is the coolest month and February and March are the hottest. However, Nairobi has a rainy season from March to May and again in November, which tourists are best to avoid.
The Jomo Kenyatta (NBO) International Airport is 15km (9 miles) southeast of Nairobi city centre and is the busiest airport in central Africa with regular international flights all over the world. There is a Metro Shuttle to transport visitors into the city, or get a taxi outside that airport to your Nairobi holiday home, but be sure to agree on a price before getting in!