Places of interest in Nairobi

Make a point of visiting the following places during your stay here:

1. Dame Sheldricks Elephant and Rhino Orphanage

This orphanage was put up by Dame Sheldrick, who has been raising elephant orphans since the 1950s. The orphanage is located inside the Nairobi national park. You can visit it every day from 11am for an hour. If you choose to adopt an orphan which will cost you $50, you can visit it every day at 5pm after the babies have been given a mud bath.

2. Nairobi National Park

Located just 7 km from the city center, this park is home to the black rhinos, cheetahs, lions, hyenas, buffaloes, zebras , hippos, elands, wild beast and more than 400 different species of birds. Entrance fee for non-Kenyan citizens is $40.

3. Nairobi National Museum

The Nairobi National Museum was founded in 1920, and established at its present location in 1929. It offers visitors the chance to learn about Kenya’s history, culture, paleontology and art.. Many of the fascinating anthropological discoveries by the Leakey family can be found in the Museum. The large collection of stuffed birds is also impressive. A botanical garden and two restaurants make it a nice place to visit for a few hours and escape the more crowded, traffic congested city center. The Nairobi National Museum is open from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm daily.

4. Karen Blixen Museum

The Karen Blixen Museum is housed in the very farmhouse where Danish author (Out of Africa) Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen) lived from 1914 to 1931. The house is located at the foot of the Ngong Hills and was built in 1912, and bought by Karen and her husband Baron Bror von Blixen Fincke in 1917. The museum will delight fans of her books and of course the movie starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep.. You can browse through the house which is actually quite small, see her bedroom and dining room filled with furniture she apparently owned at the time. A museum shop sells some “Out of Africa” souvenirs, as well as handicrafts. The gardens are still lovely and the view of the Ngong Hills is of course unchanged. Opening hours are: 9.30 am to 6 pm daily.

5. Giraffe Center

The Giraffe Center is a successful breeding center for the rare Rothschild Giraffe, found only in East Africa. The center was established in the 1970’s by Jock Leslie-Melville, who successfully raised a baby Rothschild giraffe at what was then his home, in the Langata area of Nairobi. The breeding program has been very successful and several successful giraffe couples are back in the wild. An education center to teach school children about conservation has also done important work to raise local awareness about conservation issues. The center is open daily for tours and visits from 9am – 5.30 pm. Visitors can also opt to spend the night at the Giraffe Manor and enjoy breakfast with giraffe looking in to the dining room

6. Carnivore restaurant

There are certainly better restaurants in Nairobi, but the Carnivore is just a fun, meaty tourist delight. As the web site says, the Carnivore offers a “Beast of a Feast” — this is not a good place for vegetarians (but there is small menu for you). The meat is pinned onto Maasai spears and braised over a huge charcoal pit in the center of the restaurant. The meat used to be exotic game, but now comes from four legged beasts that everyone recognizes, namely pork, lamb, beef with the occasional ostrich and crocodile thrown in. The food is accompanied with “dawa”, a staple Carnivore cocktail that will enhance your mood and make you brave enough to try some of the hottest accompanying sauces.. Adjoining the restaurant is Simba saloon which hosts live music several nights a week. The restaurant is open every day for lunch and dinner. It’s located 4km outside of the city center.

7. Kazuri Bead factory

The Kazuri Bead factory and Pottery Center is a good stop for those interested in local crafts. The ceramic beads, pottery and leather goods are all handmade by disadvantaged women. “Kazuri” means “small and beautiful” in Swahili and was named by the founder when she started the company with just two Kenyan employees in 1975. The factory now employs more than 300 women, all working hard but with great joy. You can get a tour of the factory and watch the beads and pots get fired and glazed, it takes about an hour in total. In the weekends the factory/workshop may be closed, but the shop is still open, so you can purchase souvenirs. The Bead Factory is a popular stop en route to, or from, the Karen Blixen museum, and other sites in the Karen neighborhood. Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 8.30am – 6 pm, and Sundays from 9 am – 4 pm.