Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya is known as the Green City in the Sun and the only capital city in the world with a national park. I recently moved back home and settled in Nairobi, and I always tell people there is no other place I would rather be. The city’s cosmopolitan charms include a vibrant cultural life, intense traffic; big global businesses, fabulous places to eat, exciting nightlife and you can still feed elephants and giraffes within the city’s boundaries. This is one of Africa’s most dynamic cities.
I recently had the opportunity to be a tourist for a day in the city, away from the tall skyscrapers and bustling streets. So, whether you’re a Nairobi residence or visiting this wonderful city at any time, here is how you can spend 24 hours in Nairobi.
Spend the night at Hemingway’s Hotel Nairobi
Located 45 minutes from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and 20 minutes from Wilson Airport, Hemingway’s Nairobi is the an ultimate luxury boutique hotel in the suburb of Karen. The glamorous plantation style building has 45 enchanting suites with a private balcony, each overlooking the Ngong Hills.
Hemingway’s Nairobi is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Their guest’s attention is personal and sincere, with each room having a personal butler. Your meals will be served at the Brasserie where the food is cooked from free ranged products sourced directly from Kenyan farms.
I would definitely go back and sit on verandah overlooking the Ngong Hills with a cup of Kenyan tea.
Visit Kazuri Beads
Kazuri, which means beautiful in Swahili, is located in Karen and specialises in hand made jewellery as well as pottery ware that reflect the culture and wildlife in Kenya. They employ over 400 women, mostly single mothers. Their mission is to provide and sustain employment opportunities for disadvantaged members of the Kenyan society.
A tour of the Karen Blixen Museum
If there is one movie I can watch over and over again, it’s got to be ‘Out of Africa’. There’s nothing I enjoy more than walking through the gardens of Karen Blixen’s home – you will just fall in love with this place.
This museum is the farmhouse where author Karen Blixen lived between 1914 – 1931. The museum is part of the National Museums of Kenya and is situated in the residential neighbourhood of Karen.
Much of the 1985 Oscar winning movie adaptation was shot on the grounds. A tour of the house is an intimate experience where you will find furniture that belongs to Karen Blixen and her husband on display, a long with photographs and other items.
Adapt an orphan baby elephant at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Visiting the elephant orphanage is definitely a great experience for anyone visiting Nairobi. The elephant nursery is located in Nairobi National Park. The orphanage takes charge of being the adaptive mother and taking care of baby elephants whose parents have been affected by poachers.
The only possible time to visit the orphanage is from 11am to 12 noon. This is the time that keepers bring the elephants to a cordoned area to play, feed and show the public how they are doing.
In addition, you can adopt a baby elephant. This doesn’t mean you get to take the baby home with you. The baby will continue living at the orphanage until they are mature and strong to be released back to the wildlife. The adoption fee is $50 per year; your donation helps keep these babies strong and healthy.
This has got to be one of my favorite places in Nairobi. I’ve always just LOVED spending an afternoon at the Tin Roof Cafe or shopping at Langata Links for some of the cutest things to be found in Kenya.
Langata – Links is a house in the leafy suburbs of Karen where every room has been turned into a different shops – just so pretty and lovely. You can find everything here from bags made in Kenya, jewellery, pottery, clothes etc.
In the center of the shop, is Tin Roof Cafe – just the perfect place to for a sweet escape from the hustle and bustle of Nairobi town. There’s just so much love and comfort at the cafe, from their cozy outdoor seating to their fresh salad bar. Their smoothies are absolutely fresh and delicious. Their food is fresh, tasty and healthy. So, if you need some tranquility and calmness, this is your perfect place.
Afternoon tea at the Giraffe Manor
The manor is one of Nairobi’s iconic buildings, built in 1932; it is part of The Safari Collection and is owned by fourth generation Kenyans Tanya and Mikey Carr Hartley.
Home to a gregarious herd of Rothschild giraffe, at around 5pm everyday, the giraffes approach the terrace of the hotel so that you can enjoy your afternoon tea with them and knowing that they will be fed.
If you’ve dreamt of ‘Out of Africa’ then imagine what it would be like to experience this magical moment while watching the sunset behind the Ngong Hills