Nairobi is famous for being the East African business hub. The city gets busy as early as 05 am in the morning and a big number of arrivals come into the city to conduct business. My first visit to Nairobi was in 2012. As soon as I arrived, I got into a cab and went straight to my hotel. The next day I had 3 back to back meetings and on the third day, I left the city. This was my routine for the next three times I checked into Nairobi.
I am quite adventurous and will always want to live like a local whenever I am in a new place but my folks had given me stern warnings about this city. "Be careful, everyone is out to get you over there, do not talk to strangers, do not go downtown because there are so many thieves."
A few years later, I made good friends with a Kenyan, Nick who was in Uganda as a consultant for a few months. I took him around Kampala and to must visit places in Uganda so the next time I was in Nairobi he was excited to return the favor. The Nairobi experience is quite memorable and since then I make sure to try something new whenever I visit.
Dine at The Carnivore Restaurant
I love meat so as soon as I landed in Nairobi, Nick took me to the carnivore restaurant for dinner. This is an "all the meat you can eat" restaurant. They serve so many different kinds of meat including Ostrich, Camel, beef, chicken, crocodile. The restaurant was opened in 1980 and is very busy. You will need to book your lunch or dinner table in advance.
Back then, you needed a friend or a guide to show you the best places to visit whenever you were in a new place but today the internet has taken care of this. This experience is now easy to book HERE. You do not even have to worry about trying to find your way through the city to the restaurant as pick up and drop off is included.
Nairobi Walking City Tour
You do not really know a city until you have taken a walk through it and experience the hustle and bustle of the town. THIS tour will take you to the city's key sites, Nairobi Railway station museum, a local craft market and my favorite spot in Nairobi, the top of the KICC tour where you have the best view of the city's skyline.
Mathare Community Slum Tour
A big number of people in Nairobi are living in slums. Kibera is the biggest informal settlement in Kenya, and one of the biggest in Africa. I wanted to see this for myself and a chose THIS tour because they encourage economic development of people living in slums by giving back what they collect from the tour to the slum dwellers. This tour is great because you will see first hand daily life in a slum and listen to gripping stories of how they ended up here and what they have to do to cope. It is an excellent way to see this hidden side of Nairobi city that is yet home to about 60% of Nairobi's population.
A Day with the Masai
The Masai are one of the best known local population worldwide because they reside near game parks, have a unique culture and an interesting sense of fashion. They are an indigenous ethnic group in Africa of semi-nomadic people settled in Kenya and northern Tanzania. They live in impermanent structures as they would like to always be ready for the move. Traditional Masai people's lifestyle concentrates on their cattle which make up the primary source of food and a man's wealth is measured in terms of his cattle and children. A trip to Ngong hills is only 25 km away from Nairobi city and will expose you to their culture. You may take part in their daily activities such as making jewelry or herding cattle. This full day tour is easy to book HERE
Game Drive in Nairobi National Park
There is a beautiful national park at the outskirts of Nairobi thus wildlife and nature are part of the city's aesthetics. Nairobi is one of the few cities in Africa where you do not have to drive long hours to encounter wildlife in its natural habitat. Some of the animals that live within this park include lions, African leopard, Buffalo, Impalas, vultures, cheetahs and so many more. A TOUR to Nairobi national park makes for a good budget wildlife tour as you get to enjoy a long game drive on the beautiful landscape of this park at a friendly price as compared to any other national park.
Up to now these have been my favorite experiences and activities to do while in Nairobi. There are many more activities to choose from including experiencing Nairobi's nightlife, street food tour, visiting amusement parks and so much more. Most of them can be adjusted into family friendly activities. See a list of day activities HERE. A free day or a layover in Nairobi must never be dull.
What has been your favorite experience in Nairobi? I would love to know.