Most Kenya holidays begin in the capital of Nairobi, the gateway to the country and its incredible diversity.
If the Masai Mara is blissfully peaceful, Nairobi is its polar opposite. East Africa’s most cosmopolitan city is the beating heart of Kenya, where traffic surges and stops in a perpetual cycle of traffic jams that knot the city’s streets and the incessant beep of car horns and shouts of market stallholders provide a less-than-decorous soundtrack. However, the vibrant cultural life and fantastic places to eat outweigh any negatives, though its concrete jungle appearance must be overlooked in favour of its infinitely more attractive leafy suburbs.
The district of Karen is named after Karen Blixen, the Danish author of the much-loved colonial memoir, Out of Africa. Here you’ll find some of the city’s finest accommodation, including farmhouse-style residences and chic boutique hotels. Fans of Out of Africa can visit the fantastic Karen Blixen Museum, where the famous lantern that Blixen once hung outside her veranda remains and the monogrammed books of her lover line the bookshelves. At the foot of the Ngong Hills, the museum is a highlight of any holiday to Nairobi, and there are plenty of other activities nearby that are worth a visit. The Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage will give you the chance to admire young elephants up close, while the Giraffe Centre offers an education in the conservation of the endangered Rothschild giraffe. Here you can feed the tall residents from a wooden platform.