Located on the Nairobi River in central south Kenya, Nairobi came into existence in 1899, founded by the British as a small depot on the railway line from Mombasa to Uganda. Today it is one of Africa’s major cities, boasting a number of hotels housing pre-safari goers in comfortable surrounds away from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Nairobi’s attractions include the Karen Blixen Museum, home to the author of 'Out of Africa', and the Nairobi National Museum, giving an insight into the city's history and culture. Visit the wonderful Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Nairobi Nursery (open to the public 11am-midday) providing habitat for elephant and rhino calves whose mothers have fallen victim to poachers. Once the inquisitive animals are strong enough, they are released into Tsavo National Park. The Giraffe Centre in the leafy suburb of Langata is also well-visited, established to conserve the endangered Rothschild giraffe with breeding and re-introduction to the wild programmes. Visitors here are able to feed the giraffes from a raised platform.
And just over four miles from the city centre lies Nairobi National Park, with its herds of zebra, giraffe and Big Five animals roaming against a backdrop of city skyscrapers. This is the only national park in the world with such a variety of animal and bird life close to a major city.
In spite of its attractions, Nairobi is very much a ‘gateway’ destination; ideal for a short stay but really quite secondary to its surroundings. Discover Kenya's capital city before setting out on a thrilling safari, less than one hours’ flight or just a few hours’ drive away.