Spirited and technological
Known as the “green city in the sun”, Nairobi is built on an interesting mix of rainforest and savannah grasslands, crowned by the eponymous river that goes through the vibrant and bustling city. Mixing tradition and modernity, the city has become a juxtaposition of Kenyan culture and the rise of technology.
Stroll through the Masai Mara National Reserve to experience annual wildebeest migration, contribute to the conservation of endangered wildlife by visiting leading conservation organisations, or immerse yourself in the eclectic local culture in the Maasai Market, Nairobi is buzzing with culture, art, and development – the city’s fantastic nature and wildlife are effortlessly immersed in everyday life.
To experience the city like a true local, head to City Park Hawkers, a fruit and vegetable market where you will see everyday Nairobian life. While wandering though the stalls, look for small hidden restaurants serving ugali, a maize porridge often eaten with nyama choma¸ a type of barbequed meat, kachumbari¸ an onion, tomato and chilli salad, and collard greens. To truly experience Kenyan culture, roll the ugali into a ball with your right hand, and use it to scoop up the rest!
The outskirts of the city are just as interesting. Visit Olorgesailie, a geological formation on the floor of the Eastern Rift Valley where Lower-Palaeolithic archaeological sites can be found. Just a few hours away, lying on the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, you can find a world-renowned safari destination, Amboseli National Park.
Visiting the Bomas of Kenya is the perfect start for an insight into Kenyan culture. The project was set up to preserve the local culture and values, and to educate foreigners in the traditional ways of life through music and dance, and tours of the bomas (enclosed homesteads). Built in 1929, the Nairobi National Museum is also a great way to learn about the country’s history and art, with prehistoric collections that highlight evolution.