The capital of Kenya and a vital tourist gateway to the game parks of East Africa, Nairobi is often the starting place for safaris. The city’s history dates back to the times of rail travel and was a stopping place on the rail line between the coast and Uganda because there was always a plentiful supply of water to fill the boilers on the locomotive. The high altitude makes for pleasant temperatures throughout the year.
Just 10 km from the city centre and only 117 sq km in size, this is Kenya’s oldest park,Nairobi National Park,was established around 1946. With over 500 varieties of birds recorded and more than 100 mammal species, it makes a great early morning or afternoon’s excursion from the city centre. Common sightings include zebra, giraffe, buffalo, ostrich, gazelle, eland, hippo, vulture and lion. It is also a great place to see black rhino.
Nairobi has many interesting places and things to see close to the city, including:
Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, close to the Nairobi National Park. This Orphanage takes in elephant calves and rhinos from all over Kenya which were orphaned by poaching. Showing is only once per day from 11am-12pm (admission 500Ksh) and gives you a great opportunity to interact directly with baby elephants.
Giraffe Centre, in Lang’ata right outside of Nairobi. The Centre breeds the endangered Rothschild Giraffe and has conservation/education programmes for Kenyan children. It also has many warthogs. Here you can feed giraffes by hand and even get a kiss (their tongues can get up to 20″ long and are antiseptic).
Mamba Village. Typically the 3rd stop for most tourists after the Elephant Orphanage and Giraffe Center, this pleasant park is home to ostriches and crocodiles. Surprisingly quite interesting as you get the chance to interact directly with crocodiles and even hold a baby, with very knowledgeable employees serving as guides