One of the major cities in Kenya from the perspective of tourism, Nairobi also serves as the largest city and capital of Kenya. Lovingly called as ‘Green City in the Sun’, Nairobi is the second-largest city by population in the African Great Lakes region after Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and 14th-largest city in Africa. A political and financial center, the history of the city goes back to 1899, when the city was founded by the colonial authorities in British East Africa, as a rail depot on the Uganda Railway. The country got its independence in 1962, post which Nairobi was declared as the capital. Spreading on an area of 696 km2, the city is located at an elevation of 1,661 meters above sea level and more than 3.36 million call Nairobi their home. The natives of the city are referred to as ‘Nairobians’ and Bantu Swahili language and English are the two official and working languages spoken the city.
Flights coming to Nairobi, land at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, which serves Nairobi. This is the largest airport in East and Central Africa and is the 9th busiest airport in Africa in terms of passenger traffic. The airport directly serves intercontinental passengers from Europe and Asia. Wilson Airport and Eastleigh Airport are two smaller airports in Nairobi. Nairobi experiences a subtropical highland climate which is marked by 2 seasons – the wet season and the dry season. The months from December to March are the warmest month and the maximum temperature is 24 °C. The city remains cool during the rest of the year with June-July being the coolest months and temperature can dip to as low as 10 °C. The city has 2 rainy seasons with moderate rainfall. The city can be visited anytime of the year, however, January to February and June to September is the peak tourist season. East African Arts Festival, Easter, Eid al-Fitr, International Camel Derby and Festival, Mombasa Carnival, Jamhuri Day, Christmas and New Year are some of the major festivals celebrated in Nairobi.
Blessed with some of the best natural attractions, Nairobi is a tourists’ paradise. Begin your trip by taking the Nairobi Safari Walk in the Nairobi National Park. This is Kenya’s first national park and only 7 km from the city. It is a must visit attraction in Nairobi. David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is another wildlife attraction where an orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program is a must-see for animal lovers. Karen Blixen Museum is a landmark attraction in Nairobi and is scenically located on the foot of the Ngong Hills. Well-preserved colonial farmhouse, a kitchen in a separate building, a coffee-drying plant in the woodland, and an agricultural college on the grounds are the major attractions here.
The Giraffe Center which is located on the edge of the Nairobi National Park is the best place to see the endangered Rothschild's giraffes. Giraffe Manor, a visitor center and a self-guided forest walk are some of the things that tourists can enjoy here. Nairobi National Museum, displaying diverse range of natural history, local arts and displays from various Kenyan tribal groups, is also an impressive attraction in Nairobi. Another must see attraction in Nairobi is the Bomas of Kenya which is a living museum where tourists can learn more about lifestyle, art, music, crafts, and culture of each tribe in Nairobi. Traditional dance and song is also performed here every afternoon. Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Railway Museum, Ngong Hills and National Archives are also must see attractions in Nairobi.
Eating and Shopping
The city offers end numbers of restaurant serving local and international cuisine to suit every palate. The nightlife of Nairobi is also very popular and upmarket Westlands, known as "Electric Avenue", Karen, Langata, Hurlingham, and ‘uptown’ venues in the city center are some of the popular places for enjoying drinks with your friend. Talisman, Thai Chi, The Brasserie at Hemingways, Muhibbah and Carnivore are some of the top restaurants in Nairobi. Kenyan steaks, grilled ox balls, local sea food, Phad Thai, nyama choma Ugali, Irio, Githeri, Sukuma Wiki, Wali wa Nazi, Kenyan Stew, Nyama Choma, Matoke, Chapati, Kachumbari, Kenyan Bajias, Mandazi , Mutura and Kenyan coffee and dawas are some of the local delicacies which tourists can enjoy here.
The option of shopping in Nairobi is limitless. From big malls to large departmental stores, to designer boutiques to street shops, everything is available for everyone. The city is home many tribes that offer unique indigenous products that are surely worth buying. Kamba woodcarvings, tribal jewellery, African masks, precious stone, Kisii soapstone carvings, kangas or kikhois, Masai beadwork colourful fabrics,and handmade rugs are some of the local offerings you can purchase here. City Market on Muindi Mbingu Street, Kariokor Market, Maasai Markets and Biashara Street are some of the local markets where tourists can buy things at bargain prices.
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