Explore Nairobi in a Day or Two
Nairobi is probably Africa’s most significant city outside South Africa. It was established on a greenfield site by the British because it was high (1,795 m) and therefore cooler, with fewer mosquitos and with a good water supply.
Since those early days it has developed into a city with some triumphs and some shames – like allcities in the world. It has developed its own character and has a vibrant arts culture, world class literary scene and some unique things to see. Here are some of the less-obvious things to do:-
Explore Nairobi – Karen Blixen Museum
“I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills” for those lovers of “Out of Africa” the museum will take you back in time to breathe the spirit of the writer and the lives she immortalized.
Explore Nairobi – The Giraffe Centre
Say hellow to a rare Rothschild giraffe, at eye level, mano-y-mano! The grounds of a colonial manor have been set aside for the exclusive use of these elegant masters of slow-motion. There is a tower which you can climb and feed grass nuts directly to a Rothschild’s and it’s starling how long a giraffe’s tongue is! This is also where the outstanding Giraffe Manor is.
Explore Nairobi – Daphne Sheldrake’s Elephant Orphanage
The tragic shame is that this place is required in the first place, but it is. Poaching is rife and the innocent casualty is often baby elephants that are orphaned when their mothers are slaughtered. They arrive at this wonderful establishment traumatized and scarred and are gradually nursed back to health. At restricted times each day, guests are able to get hands-on experiemce with orphaned elephants and rhino calves. This is where Daphne Sheldrick has perfected the raising and re-integration of orphaned elephants back into the wild. Open to the public from 11.00am until 12.00 daily.
Explore Nairobi – Utumaduni
Utamaduni means “cultural heritage” and is a converted house containing a number of individual shops. Each one is dedicated to a particular art form, or particular tribe or a particular artist. The standard of work is excellent and wandering through is a pleasure and above all, it’s hassle-free. There is also an outdoor restaurant called “The Veranda’, ideal for lunch.
Explore Nairobi – Kazuri Beads workshop
East Africa is renowned for its beads, and this little workshop takes that heritage and adds a modern twist all its own: necklaces, bracelets and ceramics – this is the place to go.
Explore Nairobi – Matbronze Wildlife sculpture
If you don’t feel like weighing down your luggage with a bronze sculpture, you can watch a little of the creation process, including smelting and lost-wax casting. It’s not cheap, but the craftsmanship is superb. For example, a leopard’s footprint ashtray is around $150 and a 25 cm elephant and baby $8,000. Ouch!