Dora Bitsi

Dora Bitsi

Oct 10 2014

Our Top 10 of Nairobi

Nairobi is the feared capital of Kenya , given as well the name Nairoberry, for obvious reasons.That’s where we ended up spending this entire September. But, for one more time, the widespread beliefs about the city’s reputation as one of the most dangerous places on the planet proved not to be valid in our case.

The sad past of the city includes two deadly attacks in the US embassy some years ago and the West Gate Mall massacre,which was exactly a year ago.
Nairobi’s residents are constantly on the watch with armed security at the entrances of Malls, supermarkets even buses and restaurants to ensure safety. But even under these extreme measures life goes on as normal.

Nairobi is unexpectedly green with forests in its suburburbs and a National Park just nearby. The climate is very pleasant and there are so many activities to fill your days there!
See below the top 10 things to do in Nairobi!

1. David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

The most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world. Founded in 1977 and ever since has been rescuing young elephants who remained orphans from various reasons but mainly from poaching.

Go at 11am for the only daily tour and you can see cute little elephants being fed milk with a bottle. While you watch them play with each other you can hear their stories and if you like you can also adopt one! Really a must!

2. Giraffe Conservation Centre

This centre is home to the Rothchild giraffes and with a fee you can get info about them and the efforts behind their conservation.Most importantly you are allowed to pet and feed them from the elevated platform! For the more daring, you can also receive a very special kiss!

Info:It is very close to the Elephant Orphanage so that you can visit both in the same day.

3. The Slums of Kibera

You haven’t really seen the real Nairobi if you don’t go to Kibera side. Kibera is the biggest slum in Africa, and people live in congested tin huts. In most roads the walking paths are filled with trash and human waste and life for its residents is very difficult. A guided visit will get you at least to appreciate that you are able to have a decent life.

If you are more sensitive to what life holds for children in Kibera, take a look at our project with St George’s Orthodox Primary School and see how with help from donors we managed to make these cute children happy. Get inspired and be part of our next project!

4. A crazy drive on a Matatu

The matatus are the most cheap and thus popular means of transport in Nairobi. A matatu is a mini bus but not like the ones in the rest of Africa. Matatus are equipped with sound systems playing music non-stop at the maximum volume and have tinted windows. Inside led lights are giving the place a Christmas feeling and you will realize there is always space for everyone!

As for the drivers, they are fighting for even a single centimeter of space while at the same time they are trying to beat the huge traffic that surrounds the centre. The touts are literally hanging from the sides trying to get more passengers! You might hate it or you might love it! In any case it is worth trying it!

5. Huggle like a pro in a Masaai Market

Time for shopping! Forget set prices for handicraft shopping! In the open air Maasai Markets there is a price for everyone and bargaining here is a must! Not only for fun, but also a necessity as “tourist prices” tend to be much higher than the ones for the locals! With such a variety from paintings, wooden statues and bowls to colourful Maasai blankets and jewelry, prepare yourself with patience and let the shopping begin!

Info: you can find the Maasai Markets every Friday in the Village Market Mall and every Tuesday and Saturday at the city centre.

6. A relaxing walk in Karura Forest

Karura Forest is at the heart of Nairobi giving its suburbs an amazing green space. Take a minibus up to Limuru Rd and explore the different tracks inside the Forest including a small waterfall! In the afternoons you will meet some of the locals that come here for a run. You can also explore by renting a bicycle or you can relax in the recreation centre near the entrance.
Note there is a fee Ksh600 for entering in the Forest.

7.African Food

In Kenya the food variety is endless! The city is so multicultural that you will never get bored! International cuisine, african meat buffets, ethiopian, somali cuisine and of course the everpresent chinese and indian delicacies will keep your appetite going! Finish your meal with a cup of the famous blends of Kenyan coffee.

Camel Meat is A delicious Somali dish!

8. Walk the Nairobi City Centre

Get the experience of walking around this busy African city,but with the necessary precautions obviously! Leave home your valuables and get dressed modestly and off you go! Nairobi’s city centre is perfect for people watching and for wandering around its busy streets during the morning. For a relaxing break go for a coffee at the iconic Sarova-Stanley Hotel, the first of its kind to open during the colonnial era!

9. Flower Nurseries by the Road

The suburbs’ beautiful gardens are not so much in the houses but rather out in the streets! Dozens of flower nurseries are  cramped between the hills and the pavements filling them with color!

10. The Beautiful Kenyan Beaded Sandals

Kenyans are famous for their handicrafts. However, among all the crafts this is the most impressive! Amazing sandals woven with  colourful beads ,leather or not, are definitely the perfect summer souvenir!

We visited the workshop where they are made which is located inside one of the most chaotic markets we have encountered here in Africa, Kariakor Market.
The sandals are hand made in everystage from cutting recycled rubber from car tyres to the glueing and decoration  with beads.

We are now bringing them straight to Greece to spread the craziness there!

To get one of the Africanism sandals  check the link below and note that part of the earnings will be donated for our charity projects!

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2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    The outlandish 1 million people live in Kibera figure seems to refuse to go away. Do a little research and you’ll find that this number has been often used by those seeking to further their own agendas, when in reality there are closer to 200,000 people living there.

    There are streets in Kibera, and in fact some gated housing compounds, and there are definitely medical facilities, just not government ones. Check out Tunza clinics by PSI, Tabitha Clinic by Carolina for Kibera, the free MSF clinic and many more.

    So before you offer up a community as a tourist attraction please check your facts.

  2. Dear Anonymous
    first of all thank you for the positive feedback and for your comment on this post. We had no idea of political propaganda issues.
    The point we wanted to make by inviting people to go to Kibera community was to see how hard their life is because the conditions there and in similar communities around Africa are no way close to a secure western world life. People should visit and feel sensitive , change their way of life and maybe even support such communities in their efforts for better life.

Let us know what you think!