Things to Do
Nairobi is Kenya’s capital city. In addition to its urban core, the city has Nairobi National Park, a large game reserve known for breeding endangered black rhinos and home to giraffes, zebras and lions. Next to it is a well-regarded elephant orphanage operated by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Nairobi is also often used as a jumping-off point for safari trips elsewhere in Kenya.
Airbnb now offers experiences through their site, and you can book a great walking tour of downtown this way.
Hang out at the Giraffe Conservation Center: Right next to elephant orphanage and worth visiting both!
Explore the Karura Forest: A great place to walk around or rent a bike. Make sure to stop at the river cafe for delicious bites.
Nairobi National Park: Leave early in the morning and go see animals start their day, any driver can take you there.
Shop at the Maasi Market: Check for the location (here) of a colorful daily market to get a multitude of African art pieces
Visit an Elephant Orphanage: Learn about the efforts to preserve the at-risk African elephant population. This conservation center is working hard to help baby elephants who were separated from their mothers, often because of poaching or disease.
Safari: Generally you leave from Nairobi for a safari experience, and fly in and out of Wilson. You can spend as little as 2 days or as much as 5 weeks depending on the tour. You'll spend the days driving through the grassland looking for the big game animals of Africa! Be prepare to sit a lot, but if you have the patience it is an incredible experience. We recommend Maasai Mara Park during migration season. Typically the resort fee includes all activities and tips for your guides.
Other awesome parks:
Tsavo: 12k elephants in this park, huge animals and great place to see diverse animals.
Marsabit: Volcanoes and crater lakes.
Samburu: Don’t go in the summer, it's too hot, otherwise it's great. Interesting culture.
Places to Eat
Cedars: Lebanese food, romantic space, upscale. Fun for a special night.
Chowpaty: Delicious Indian cuisine with lots of vegetarian options.
Diamond Plaza: Perfect spot to shop for quick and authentic Indian food on the cheap. Live like a local and enjoy this community epicenter.
Java: Coffee shop and quick bite spot, perfect for breakfast or lunch on the go. This is a chain restaurant so there are many all over the city.
Le Grenier a Pan: French bakery with delicious pastries and treats. With warm and genuine decoration, traditional ovens, and beautiful things on display, try their famous traditional crusty baguette.
Kenyan foods to try:
Ugali: Corn meal. Eaten with most meals.
Chapati: Because of the big Indian influence in Kenya this is great place to try it – this is the Indian dish with a Kenya twist.
Mandazi: Donut without frosting, a breakfast pastry.
Nyama Choma: Kenya's unofficial national dish – often made with goat meat.
Local Beer: Tusker
Places to Drink
J’s Fresh Bar and Kitchen: Tea lights, wooden decor, and trendy drinks. Live music almost every day.
Brew Bistro: They brew their own hand-crafted beer on site.
Places to Stay
Nairobi offers a wide range of places to stay – from urban to rustic – you just choose the kind of experience you want! If you choose to stay in the city center, many of the activities are on the outskirts of the central area. Some of the notable neighborhoods include Lavington, Kileleshwa, Kilimani, Hurlingham, Valley Arcade, Thompson Estate, and Maziwa. Alternatively, if you’re only going to the giraffe center, the elephant orphanage and Nairobi National Park you can stay in Karen.
Uber: When you order, you need to call the driver to confirm immediately and say “Hello, are you coming?” …If they give you a hard time, tell them to either arrive quickly or you will cancel the ride. There is sometimes a back-and-forth but this is how it’s done in Kenya.
Matatus: These are privately owned minibuses, although pick-up trucks and estate cars were in the past pressed into service as share taxis. As of 2014, there are more than 20,000 individual matatu in Kenya. They are local colorful buses, and an experience in and of itself.
Safety: Take Ubers between locations - walking is fine in some selected areas but definitely avoid walking at night. Most of the time everything in Nairobi is fine, but if you do choose to walk at night, or have an encounter in the day time, with a less than pleasant individual (getting mugged or harassed), it is almost always about material items - and is best to give them your goods. The most likely negative experiences happen in the central business district. When walking around, don’t have large cameras or expensive items in plain sight.
Don’t drink tap water – stick with bottled water.