Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city has risen in a single century from a brackish uninhabited swampland to a thriving modern capital. When railway construction workers reached this area in 1899, they set up a basic camp and supply depot, simply called ‘Mile 327’. The local Masai called this highland swamp Ewaso Nai’beri – the place of cold water.
The camp became a rustic village, and then a shanty town, which by 1907 was the capital of all of British East Africa. It was soon an important centre for the colony and a mecca for adventurers, hunters and travellers from all over the world.
Modern Nairobi is still the safari capital of the Africa, but the modern world has quickly caught up with the city. A frontier town no more, Nairobi has become one of Africa’s largest and most interesting cities. Nairobi is a city that never seems to sleep.
The entire town has a boundless energy, and is thriving place where all of human life can be found. This is a place of great contrasts where race, tribe and origin all become facets of a unique Nairobi character.
Nairobi City at night
The city has not lost its sense of the past, with an excellent museum and the historical home of Karen Blixen, author of Out of Africa open to visitors. This is not a modern capital separated from the great wilderness that surrounds it. Just outside the city is Nairobi National Park, 113 sq kms of plains, cliffs and forest.
The Karen Blixen Museum vast grounds in Nairobi, Kenya
The park is home to large herds of Zebra, Wildebeest, Buffalo, Giraffe and more. Rhino, Cheetah, and a large number of Lions are all found here, living wild within 20 minutes of the centre of town.
Further out of town, the spectacular 27 metre deep 'Fourteen Falls' waterfalls at Thika are perfect for a scenic day trip. Nearby Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park, is centered around an imposing 2,146 metre mountain.
For the adventurous, take an hour's drive from town and you will find white water rafting on the beautiful Tana River.
Fourteen Falls in Thika, just outside Nairobi
From the wildlife to the nightlife, Nairobi is a city unlike any other. With a fantastic music scene, excellent international restaurants and an endless and colourful array of shops and markets, there is plenty on offer for the visitor.
Nairobi was also recently named as one of the top 10 destinations on the rise by TripAdvisor, which listed the Karen Blixen Museum, the former home of "Out of Africa" author Karen Blixen, and the Giraffe Center, established to protect the endangered Rothschild giraffe, as its top sights, along with the Nairobi National Park (which is also home to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust).