12 April 2018

Spotlight on Kenya - 48 hours in Nairobi

Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, is a popular gateway for international travelers accessing the East African safari circuit, heading to iconic destinations like the Serengeti, Masaai Mara and the Ngorongoro Crater.

The city certainly has a cosmopolitan charisma about it. As one of largest and most influential cities in Africa, with a rich history and cultural heritage, this exciting hub of Kenya is packed with unique attractions - from bustling markets to fascinating historical sites such as the Karen Blixen Musuem. It’s also the only city in the world with a national park on its doorstep.

Travelers would be mistaken to leave this capital unexplored, as it has proven time and time again to be one of the African continent’s most dynamic cities.

We’ve penned a few of our favourite experiences for you while in Nairobi for a night or two on your next trip.

STAY

'Share your breakfast with the resident Rothschild giraffe'

We love everything about Giraffe Manor, a homely baronial manor that has become an icon to Nairobi's landscape. It's a peaceful retreat to start or end a safari in East Africa and is one of the most exclusive places to stay in the city. Located in the leafy suburbs of Langata on a 140 acre sanctuary of indigenous forest, Giraffe Manor offers a unique opportunity to meet the resident giraffe, all of whom are the endangered Rothschild species.

EXPLORE

'Take a morning jog in the Kurura Forest'

The forest sits upon a bed of one million-year-old volcanic rock and houses a variety of indigenous animals such as the big-eyed Bush Baby and handsome Bushbuck. It's the perfect way to beat the jet lag - walk or jog through the ancient Mau Man caves, remains of the Kenyan struggle for independence, or stop and take a selfie at the local waterfalls.

ADOPT

'Adopt an orphaned elephant calf and be a part of the incredible journey back to health and release into the wild'

In memory of the late David Sheldrick, a key anti-poaching activist, the Wildlife Trust was established in 1977. It's a sanctuary for orphaned baby elephants who have been rescued and will be cared and raised, before being introduced back into the wild.

The trust occupies a part of the Nairobi National Park and the baby elephants (as well as the few baby rhinos they have) wander in the park when they are not keeping their caretakers company

There are viewings daily between 11h00 and 12h00 where one can watch the slurps and gurgles of the young being fed as their keepers skillfully administer their supersize feeding bottles.

SHOP

'The factory tour of Kazura Ceramic Beads is available to anyone, and is eye-opening. It follows the entire process from raw clay to the finished products you see in the store. Kids especially love it!

If you want to indulge in some retail therapy, there is an excellent array of boutique stores to browse through and gain insights into the interesting and creative social enterprises. Watch creative crafting at Kizuri beads or head to the magical Anselm Kitengela Hot Glass, where you can view glassblowers at work and purchase items from the studio.

Stroll through Utumaduni, a converted house that boasts around 15 arts and crafts stores, or the Souk, which houses an eclectic collection of paintings, leatherwork and photographic pieces. The Matbonze Wildlife Art Gallery is a must-see, and is home to the first bronze foundry in East Africa. Be sure to explore the Marula Studios (known as the Flip-flop Shop), a recycle hub where discarded flip-flops are transformed into original works of art. This is an incredibly colourful entrepreneurial space.

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