The name Nairobi translated from Maasai language means ‘the place of cool waters’ – however it is popularly known as the ‘Green City in the Sun’ and is relentlessly expanding. Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi is one of the largest and most influential cities in Africa, an important commercial and financial regional hub. Nevertheless, decades of regular international flights have made Nairobi the supreme gateway to East Africa, and since the vast majority of Kenya safaris start or end here, a safari pit stop in Nairobi is almost certain.
Nairobi has two main airports: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, for all international travel, and Wilson Airport, which handles the domestic and safari circuit flights. While they are not very far apart, traffic can mean that the transfer between the two takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
Holidays to Nairobi hold a number of attractions, the Nairobi National Museum being one of them. A good starter to exploring the city, the museum is home to some superb exhibitions: the prehistory section is particularly striking. Nairobi's Karen Blixen Museum is also worth a visit - named after the baroness from whom it takes its name, Blixen was the author of the well-known book 'Out of Africa'. With her story so remarkable and engaging the chance to step back in time is not to be missed.
To begin the wildlife adventure post safari, Nairobi National Park and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust are good places to start. The national park is Nairobi's principal attraction and set only 7km outside of the city centre. Lion sightings are good and there's the chance to see vast numbers of plains game, elephant being the exception. However, you can get up close to the gentle giants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Orphaned baby elephant, and sometimes rhino, call the trust home. They are hand reared by keepers before their eventual release back into the wild in Ithumba, Tsavo East National park.
Other attractions include; feed a giraffe by hand at the Giraffe Centre, taste ‘Nyama Choma’ at the famous Carnivore restaurant or pick up artisan pieces at a local market.