With so much else on offer – from the world famous safari to the dramatic mountains and gorgeous coast – Kenya’s vibrant capital often gets overlooked. The country’s natural riches are so openly flirtatious that few take the time under the skirts of the somewhat more demanding Nairobi. Yet talk to any of the numerous ex-pats and volunteers who’ve spent more than a little time here and most will tell you they wouldn’t be anywhere else.
Impromptu street cricket and competitive rugby sevens are just two of the legacies of British colonial rule and the fascinating mix of indigenous and imperial ideas makes for a exciting, eclectic city. The night-life is superb and many of the bars are replete with friendly and entertaining characters who are only too ready to talk with you, providing the curious traveller with endless ethnographic opportunities. If it all gets a bit much, there are still ample opportunities to escape; head to the mountains for a day or take a tour of a tea plantation on the outskirts.
Where to stay
The Village Market Hotel is an excellent Boutique that combines ultra-modern design techniques with African art to create a funky yet homely feel. The Serena Hotel has a great location near central Nairobi and caters for all your business needs.
Where to eat
Dining at Lord Erroll can feel like a journey back in time but the food is legendary, particularly the supreme Sunday lunch buffet. Pasara Cafe at the heart of the city is popular for business lunches.
What to see
For Elephants without the safari, visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The Nairobi National Museum hosts a rich collection of Kenyan natural and cultural artefacts; the Karen Blixen museum is an equally fascinating look at the intra-war period in the 30s.