Jens Johnsson

The ultimate guide to Nairobi

Welcome to Nairobi: A City of Contrasts and Adventures

As a travel enthusiast, I have been fortunate enough to explore many beautiful cities around the world. But there’s something about Nairobi that always draws me back. It’s a city of contrasts, where modern skyscrapers stand tall next to traditional markets, and bustling city life coexists with serene natural landscapes. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a frequent traveler, this ultimate guide to Nairobi will help you make the most of your time in this vibrant and dynamic city.

Getting There and Getting Around

Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya, located in the heart of East Africa. The easiest way to get here is by flying into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, which serves both domestic and international flights. From the airport, you can take a taxi or an Uber to your accommodation. Another option is to take the airport shuttle bus, which is a more affordable option but may take longer depending on traffic.

Once you’re in Nairobi, the best way to get around is by using the local matatus (minibuses). They are the most common and cheapest mode of transportation, and they can take you almost anywhere in the city. Just make sure to negotiate the fare before getting in and be prepared for a bumpy ride. You can also use ride-hailing services like Uber or Taxify, which are more comfortable and safer.

Where to Stay

Nairobi offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every budget and preference. For a luxurious stay, check out the iconic Giraffe Manor, where you can interact with giraffes during your breakfast. If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of affordable hotels and guesthouses in the central business district. For a more local experience, consider staying in one of the many homestays or Airbnb options available.

Must-See Attractions

Nairobi has something for everyone, whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or an urban explorer. Here are some of the must-see attractions that you shouldn’t miss during your visit:

  • Nairobi National Park: Located just a short drive from the city center, this park is home to a variety of wildlife, including lions, rhinos, and giraffes. It’s the perfect place for a safari experience without having to leave the city.
  • Karen Blixen Museum: This museum was once the home of the famous author of “Out of Africa” and offers a glimpse into the colonial history of Kenya.
  • Nairobi National Museum: Explore the rich cultural heritage of Kenya through various exhibitions and artifacts, including the famous “Lucy” skeleton.
  • Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage: Get up close and personal with adorable baby elephants and learn about the conservation efforts to protect these majestic animals.
  • Ngong Hills: For a scenic hike and breathtaking views of the city, head to the Ngong Hills, made famous by the book and movie “Out of Africa.”

Where to Eat

Nairobi is a foodie’s paradise, with a diverse range of cuisines influenced by various cultures. Here are some of the must-try dishes and places to eat in Nairobi:

  • Nyama Choma: This is a traditional Kenyan dish of grilled meat, usually goat or beef, served with a side of ugali (maize porridge) and kachumbari (a mix of tomatoes, onions, and cilantro). For the best nyama choma in town, head to Carnivore Restaurant.
  • Chapati: This flatbread is a staple in Kenyan cuisine and can be found at almost every street corner. Try it with some spicy chicken or vegetable curry for a delicious meal.
  • Mandazi: These deep-fried doughnuts are a popular street food snack in Nairobi. They come in different varieties, including sweet, savory, and stuffed with meat or vegetables.
  • Mama Oliech: This restaurant is a local favorite for their mouthwatering fish dishes, especially their tilapia and fried plantains.
  • Nyama Mama: For a modern twist on traditional Kenyan dishes, head to this trendy restaurant that offers a fusion of flavors and a vibrant atmosphere.

Safety Tips

As with any big city, it’s essential to take precautions and be aware of