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Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city is the major financial, business, and political hub of Africa. It is generally safe to explore the metropolis during the daylight, but at night, there are some parts that are too risky for visiting tourists. Nevertheless, it is one of the hottest destinations that should be on your 2019 bucket list.

Here are the top things to do in Nairobi, Kenya:

Tour the Nairobi National Museum

This museum and its location showcase the pillars of Kenya’s heritage- history, culture, contemporary arts, and nature. It has amazing ethnological exhibits of mammal and bird, botanical gardens, art gallery, snake park, as well as eating/shopping centers.

Nairobi National Museum
Nairobi National Museum | Photo by meaduva under creative commons

Visit the Karen Blixen Museum

This is the famous farmhouse of Danish writer Karen Blixen, the heroine of Out of Africa movie. She and her husband lived there from 1917-1931. After they divorced, she chose to remain on the farm and continue to write her memoirs. The house was preserved and eventually turned into a museum to immortalize the author’s love for Africa. Admission is KSh 1200.

Karen Blixen Museum
Karen Blixen Museum | Photo by Alexander Leisser under creative commons

Explore the Nairobi National Park

Nairobi is the only city in the world with a full-fledged safari park that showcases lions, rhinos, giraffes, leopards, and buffalos as well as other species of African mammals. It is a spectacular place to enjoy nature, do “Safari Walks”, engage in traditional game drives, or have a picnic.

Nairobi National Park

Adopt an Orphan Infant  Elephant

For $50, you can adopt a young elephant at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. This animal rehabilitation center has been nurturing orphan rhinos and elephants since 1977. To date, it has hand-raised more than 150 baby elephants. Visiting tourists can view the animals being fed between 11 a.m – 12 p.m. every day.

Feed an Endangered Rothschild Giraffe

Get close and personal with long-necked creatures at the Giraffe Center, a world-class breeding and conservation center that is run by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife. Visitors can feed, kiss, and stroke the gorgeous giraffes while standing on top of a wooden platform.

Enjoy Coffee at the Legendary Thorn Tree Cafe

This bistro-style, open-air cafe is located at the Stanley Hotel, one of the iconic structures in Nairobi. It became the stopover place of traders and adventurers who wanted to take a rest, sipped authentic Ethiopian coffee and tacked messages for fellow travelers in the Acacia tree (eventually a message board) in the center of the coffee shop.

Legendary Thorn Tree Cafe
Legendary Thorn Tree Cafe | Photo by Richard Portsmouth under creatove commons

Try Nairobi’s Tusker Beer

One of the top things to do in Nairobi, Kenya is to try their craft beers, especially the Tusker. This locally-brewed beer is a nice thirst-quencher after a tiring exploration. It is made of barley from Maasai Mara, spring water from the Aberdare Mountains, and local yeast. The best place to visit is The Brew Bistro and Lounge on Ngong’ Road, which has an in-house beer brewery and extensive cocktail options.

Tusker Beer
Tusker Beer | Photo by Mike Fleming under creative commons

Shop Genuine African Items

Nairobi is a shopping district for locally handcrafted items, souvenirs, and unique artworks. You can buy a lot of them at the City Market, Maasai Market (held in different locations),  Utamaduni Craft Center, Spinners Web, Marula Studios, Kazuri Beads, and Shopping Malls.

Ride the Matatu

Experience Nairobi’s way of life by riding as the locals do. The Matatus are the predominant public transport in the city with brightly-colored exteriors with paintings of noted personalities like Osama Bin Laden, Michael Jackson, or Kung-Fu heroes. They are also characterized with funny slogans, blaring sound system, and TV screens. Be ready to be squashed and jostled when the driver races to beat his fellow drivers through the journey.

Matatu | Photo by shankar s. under creative commons

Taste the Authentic Kenyan Cuisine in Nairobi

The city is the melting pot of local and international African Restaurants which offer the popular nyama choma (roasted meat), irio (peas and potatoes), githeri (beans and corn), ugali (cornmeal), kachumbari (tomato and onion salad), and mutura (sausage).

Tips When In Nairobi

  • Always take a local guide when you are exploring Nairobi.
  • Be street-smart and protect your valuables from pickpockets.
  • Always know the cost of every trip before going to avoid being fleeced by drivers.
  • Bring sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • Take lots of long-sleeved blouses and Sarong because they serve a lot of purpose during your visit to Nairobi.
  • Always travel with proper insurance coverage.

Now, it’s time to book your next trip to Africa and enjoy these top things to do in Nairobi, Kenya.

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