NAIROBI EXCURSION Featured

The skyscrapers of the nations capital stand over what was 100 years ago just a remote, uninhabited waterhole in the highlands. Its Masaai name meaning “ the place of cool waters” and that was good enough for the British to choose it as base camp for their 1000km (620mile) railway from Mombasa to Lake Victoria. Today at an altitude of 1,657m (5437ft) the town generally pleasant and temperature climate makes it an ideal starting point for exploring the game parks of the countries interior or as a place to relax after a safari. Lions roar a mere 8km (5miles) from the city centre. 

The imposing centre piece and a good place to start your sight seeing is the huge Kenyatta International Conference centre in the city square. Its cylindrical honeycomb effect owes little to its Africa roots, but the next door amphitheatre is shaped like a rondavel (African hut) and nicely balances its neighbour. Jomo Kenyatta’s stature surveys the scene. The centre forms a strange contrast to the quintessentially English neoclassical law courts.

Besides the Uhuru Highway the greenery of the Central park and Uhuru park could provide welcome relaxation from their city bustle were they safe to visit. Take care of crawling conmen

As the cradle of mankind Kenya has understandably built in its capital a National Museum providing an exhilarating visual account  of Africa’s fascinating prehistory .Its display includes remains of awe-inspiringly large Rhinoceroses and Elephants but pride of place goes to an ancient human skull reckoned to be 2.5 millions years old.

The Railway museum celebrates the city’s beginnings as the headquarters for the tracks connecting Mombasa and lake Victoria along what was known as the “lunatic line” glistening relics of the trains are exhibited, along with the coach from which Lions- hunter Charles Ryall was dragged to his death. The poor man sat up in this coach all night in the hope of catching a man eating lion, but he fall asleep and the beast caught him.

Opposite the national museum is the Snake Park, where you can see all manners of snakes, crocodiles, and lizards. Once a week usually on Wednesday, it is possible to watch the snake being “milked” for their venom

More appetizing is the Dine of a lifetime at the Carnivore restaurant offering a wide variety of cuisine. Dinner or lunch will include taste of Game meat and succulent steaks, barbeque dishes and vegetarian menus. This will be excellent compliments to a holiday as a welcome or farewell dinner.

At Karen, near Lang’ata the Karen Blixen museum has been set up in the farm of the Danish baroness who wrote under the pen name of Isak Dinesen and was made famous by her book out of Africa. Her house is the archetypical colonial residence of the early 20th centaury.

Conveniently situated almost on the doorstep of the capital, Nairobi national park was the country’s first, created in 1945 .Much smaller and move compact than the game reserves further a field, this well-kept park nevertheless contains a satisfying number of Africans best known animals Lions, Baboons, Ostriches, and all that may well prove to be camera friendly than those in the bush. Also in the park is the Animal Orphanage, a home for young abandoned animals unable to cope alone in the wild.

The AFEW (African Fund for Endangered Wildlife) Giraffe Centre is located in Langata, just outside Nairobi. The centre has been ostensibly set up as a breeding centre for the endangered Rothschild giraffe, but now operates conservation/education programs for Kenyan school children. 

There is good information on giraffes available here, and an elevated feeding platform where visitors meet the resident giraffes face to face. Hand feeding giraffes is an education in itself. You will see, close at hand, how they use their long, prehensile tongues to remove leaves from prickly acacia branches.

The AFEW centre is also home to Giraffe Manor, a beautifully maintained colonial home, now an exclusive guesthouse. The centre's giraffe population wander freely through the lush gardens, and pay an occasional visit to the house itself, often pushing their heads through the French Windows to inspect the breakfast table.

The Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage is located near Nairobi National Park. This orphanage for Elephant Calves and Rhinos from all over Kenya was founded and still managed by Daphne Sheldrick, the widow of one of Kenya's best known Game Wardens David Sheldrick. 

David Sheldrick was at the centre of the 1970's Ivory poaching wars in Tsavo National Park. Today, the Sheldrick orphanage is a focal point for Elephant Conservation. Elephant calves orphaned by poaching are brought here from all over the country. They receive extremely specialized treatment here, and literally receive personal care 24 hours a day from highly dedicated staff who become surrogate mothers to the calves. 

Eventually the calves are moved to Tsavo, where they are carefully reintroduced into wild herds. The centre is open to the public each morning. At this time the calves are being exercised and bathed and visitors are free to watch. This is a good centre for general information on Elephants and their Conservation.

In the outskirts of Nairobi have lecturers on local history and walk in the forest before going on a walk in the Tea plantation at Kiambethu Estates. Sample their delicious meals served at this colonial home.

A full day visit to Lake Nakuru national park takes to the world of abundant birdlife and game. This sanctuary is home to the famous flamingos and the Rhinoceros. Stop at the Great Rift Valley view point and aerial view this valley of life.