Kenya’s “Green City in the Sun”
With plenty of sunshine, Kenya’s humming big city is also the safari capital of Africa. Rising from barren swampland over the last century, this capital city has become a study in modern Africa – hundreds of businesses contrast with the world of wildlife existing just beyond its borders.
Within minutes of its cosmopolitan downtown, you can escape to lions, leopards, and buffalo in the wild. Even within the city proper, you’ll find protected sanctuaries for giraffes and baby elephants.
But Nairobi offers the colorful rewards of big city life with its fabulous restaurants, nightlife, and cultural attractions. Here you’ll find the renowned National Museum and Karen Blixen Homestead, showcasing the wildlife and local history.
“The Place of Cool Waters”
That’s what Nairobi means in the Maasai phrase, “Enkare Nyirobi” – a reference to the river running through the area. Established as an early site on the Uganda Railway in 1899, a small town soon developed and grew to become the capital of British East Africa. Nairobi was a hub of commerce for the colonial coffee, tea, and sisal industries.
After years of local and international pressure on the British, independence arrived in 1963 and the prospering city of Nairobi became the capital of the new Kenyan republic.
Landing at Jomo Kenyatta Airport, you’ll find a world-class city with thousands of businesses and over 100 international corporations. The United Nations also has a strong presence here, the city hosting its Environment Program and the UN Office at Nairobi.
Nairobi’s Securities Exchange is one of the largest in Africa and the city’s population is nearing 5 million.
This vibrant capital is also the main portal for safari adventures throughout East Africa. Africa Kenya Safaris is proud to make Nairobi its home base.
Nairobi National Park – Literally minutes from your hotel, one of Kenya’s oldest wildlife parks. Framed by downtown skyscrapers, you’ll see lions, cheetahs, hyenas, rhinos, zebras, ostriches, giraffes, and more. This one-of-a-kind wildlife park is also home to over 400 bird species.
David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage – Located within Nairobi Park, this world-famous non-profit adopts and raises orphaned baby elephants and black rhinos. Be sure to watch the morning feeding when the babies come charging to their handlers, to be fed with giant baby bottles. Playtime and mud baths follow!
Giraffe Centre – Care to get up close to a giant giraffe? At this sanctuary for endangered Rothschild’s giraffes, you can watch the long-legged creatures romp over the grounds or perhaps, climb up the feeding platform to offer a food pellet. A long, green giraffe tongue will respond and perhaps you’ll even get a kiss as a reward!
Karen Blixen Farmhouse & Museum – The home and farm of legendary author, Karen Blixen who wrote her famous memoir, “Out of Africa”, using the pen name, Isak Dinesen. The homestead is now a museum featuring artifacts from her life, as well as props from the movie version of her book. Enjoy the lovely grounds and gardens.
Kazuri Beads & Pottery Centre – A remarkable tribute to perseverance and artistic expression, the centre is a workshop where single mothers craft colorful beads and pottery for sale on the premises. The endeavor is a testament to self-sufficiency and the best of the Kenyan spirit.
Bomas of Kenya – Bomas are villages and this cultural center showcases different types, each constructed in the style of Kenya’s major tribal groups. But that’s just the beginning of this lively experience. Artists here perform traditional songs and dances like Swahili taarab music, Kalenjin warrior dances, and Embu drumming.
National Museum – The Birds of East Africa, the Great Hall of Mammals, the Cradle of Humankind – these are just some of the colorful and imposing exhibits in this rich and extraordinary museum. Plus, you’ll find displays on Kenyan history and cultural artifacts showcasing the country’s tribes and ethnic groups. And all of this housed in an imposing structure, set amongst lush grounds.
So How’s the Weather in Nairobi?
Nairobi enjoys a year-round moderate climate thanks to its proximity to the equator and 1,795m (5,889 ft.) elevation. The days are generally warm at 240 C (750 F) and the evenings can get a bit cool in June/July, dropping to 100 C (500 F).
Seasons come in two varieties – dry and wet. There are two rainy seasons but even then, the rainfall is moderate.
Because of its nearness to the equator, there isn’t a great deal of difference between the seasons, and sunrise/sunset times vary little throughout the year.