Don’t we all secretly love Nairobi? I honestly could live there a few months, despite everyone’s remarks about how unsafe and different the culture is from Kampala.
Tasha and I visited Priscilla in March and I ended up staying some extra days. We got a good deal with Fly Sax. My Kenyan friends from high school used to rave about their city and like to make fun of the “Ugandan-accents”
We have equally funny accents guys! But I must say the way Ugandans pronounce bottle or “Boto” and little or Lito always seems to come up with Kenyans.
I love the vibes in Nairobi and how everything is faster-paced compared to Kampala! I like the vibrant culture, with new cafes coming up each month and exciting night life. I hardly go out, but like to try out new spots in the places I visit. So by 11pm I was yawning, as my body was ready to retire and people were walking in.
If you plan to visit Nairobi and would like to explore the city, here are some ideas on how you can spend one hour one day or one week in Nairobi;
Spend time looking through the different crafts and goodies here and maybe take home a souvenir. You will need more than an hour if like me, you love to look through every stall and need time to decide what to get.
Go find a local restaurant and enjoy the Kenyan Ugali and Nyama choma. This was how we spent our first evening in Nairobi with the girls. Pick a good local restaurant, which will give you a taste of the local flavors…
Some other close places to visit include;
- Karen Blixen Museum
- Uhuru Gardens (Paula recommended this as a cool spot for a picnic with colleagues other than eating in the cafeteria. I see myself taking a long lunch here if I worked in the area.)
Start the morning off at the Karura Forest. This is a cool place for walking, jogging, hiking and bike riding. We had planned to start here in the morning but got derailed by some other plans and decided to go later in the day. We ended up getting there too late for the bikes, so only did the 30 minutes walk. It gets really dusty so prepare for that.
Visit an art gallery- my plan was to find one but it turned out further out than planned. Finding food was closer.
KICC (Kenyatta International Conference Center) Entrance IS 200 kshs for E-African residents and 400 for non-E-Africans.
Spend the evening catching the Nairobi sunset with the best view of Nairobi skyline at KICC. Brace yourself for the flight of stairs. The view at the top is worth it and perfect for the perfect picture of Nairobi.
If you have sometime either before or after KICC, get some ice cream at Cold Stone and make memories with a selfie for their Instagram page.
I bumped into my friend Eva from high school and we decided to meet Paula for cocktails at Sarit Center. Some other good options for drinks include;
- J’s Bar in Westlands and Karen
- Gypsys Bar in Westlands
- K1 Klub House on Muthithi Road, Parklands
- Mercury Lounge at ABC Place
- Space Lounge along Ngong Road
- Black Diamond on Mpaka Road, Westlands
- Tavern Irish Pub at The Mirage, Waiyaki Way
- Natives Sports Bar along Thika Road
(See above) biking around Karura forest, art gallery, KICC and drinks with friends.
Start off at the elephant orphanage and learn about how they are looking after animals that have been orphaned. You can also feed some cubs and baby elephants. They are usually full and close at 12:00 so get there in time and make the most of your visit.
The giraffe center is really popular, so spend some time here, getting really close to Rothschild giraffes. You can hand-feed, observe and even kiss the giraffes for that epic Instagram-picture.
National park; has a variety of wildlife and Ivory burning monument, not too far from the Langata road gate.
African Heritage House
African heritage house that overlooks the Nairobi National park is Nairobi’s pan African gallery founded thirty years ago by the late Joe Murumbi a former vice president of Kenya, his wife Sheila and an American designer Alan Donovan. The gallery has played a unique role in the cultural affairs of Kenya and in nourishing the ideals of pan Africanism.
It has been described by Architectural Digest as “an architecture rising from the sere Kenyan plain like an outcropping of earth, a vision of usefulness informed by the African genius for decoration.” It is a combination of the mud architectures from across Africa.
I enjoyed spending the day here and taking the guided tour that was a narration from an old sony radio, by Alan. It was interesting to learn that the iron sculptures by the pool were by a Ugandan called John Odochameny.
Spend part of your day at the National museum which is located within lush leafy surroundings, with a good range of cultural and natural history exhibits.
Before you leave, enjoy lunch,dinner or drinks with friends at any of these mid-range cafes/restaurants or food courts;
- Artcaffe →Has delicious pasta and salad options)
- Urban Eatery in Delta Corner, Westlands →Has really yummy salad options. Paula and I relaxed here (sitting with the view of the city) on Saturday afternoon before exploring more of Nairobi
- Java Coffee House →For good coffee or tea and wraps
- Nyama Mama in, Westlands →I visited after seeing a post on Instagram about their wraps but was disappointed 🙁
- Sarit Centre Food Court
- Village Market Food Court
- Arbor House on James Gichuru Road, Lavington
What are some other ways to spend a few hours or days in Nairobi? Do you agree or disagree with this list? I’d like to hear your suggestions on others ways to explore Nairobi