Blick über Nairobis Skyline

Lively mosaic of culture and nature

Nairobi, the capital and shining pearl of Kenya, means "place of cool water" in the Maasai language - a fitting description for a city whose heartbeat is still characterised today by the gently flowing Nairobi River. Its veins of water meander through the city and fill it with life.

Founded in the late 1890s as a railway depot and supply depot along a British railway line, Nairobi has developed into a thriving metropolis - and it is uniquely positioned geographically: Surrounded by the picturesque Ngong Mountains to the west, with the majestic Mount Kenya to the north and the impressive Kilimanjaro to the south-east, the city is located in the south-central part of Kenya, in the highlands at an altitude of around 1,680 metres. This location not only offers breathtaking views, but also a moderate climate with sunny summers and cool winters.

Nairobi is much more than just the country's centre of political and economic power. There are few places on our planet where modernity meets the wilderness as directly as here: close by, in the legendary Nairobi National Park, a world unfolds in which the majestic beauty of African wildlife exists undisturbed alongside the bustle of the city. Lions roam at dawn and giraffes stride elegantly across the plains. Here you can experience the essence of East Africa in its purest form.

Written by: Anja Sterker Last updated at: April 15, 2024

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Sightseeing in Nairobi

Nairobi represents modern Africa in all its diversity and energy - a mixture of historical heritage and forward-looking development that fascinates and inspires visitors from all over the world. The vibrant capital of Kenya takes you on an unforgettable journey through culture, history and breathtaking natural scenery. Here you will find a fascinating blend of urban elegance and wild nature, which together create an unrivalled experience. Every corner of Nairobi tells its own story, every attraction opens a window to another world.

At the Nairobi Railway Museum, for example, you can immerse yourself in Kenya's railway past - learn about the history of the railway lines that were so crucial to the city's development. In the heart of Nairobi you will find Uhuru Park, a green oasis of peace and tranquillity that contrasts with the lively atmosphere of the city. Here you can relax, enjoy the view of the city and perhaps even have a picnic by the lake.

City Square, surrounded by landmarks such as the Parliament Buildings and the Kenyatta Conference Centre, is the vibrant hub where the dynamism and spirit of the city come together. The hustle and bustle of the markets, the warm hospitality of the locals and the fascinating mix of historic architecture and modern flair paint an authentic picture of city life. Here, in the heart of Nairobi, you feel part of a living history.

For art and culture lovers, the Nairobi National Museum is a must. It offers a rich collection of artworks, historical artefacts and exhibitions on Kenyan culture and natural history. And for an insight into Nairobi's modern, urban life, a visit to the Village Market is essential, a vibrant and colourful place where you can shop, dine and experience the local culture.

Each of these attractions contributes to the rich mosaic that is Nairobi. They invite you to immerse yourself in the diverse culture, explore the historical roots and be enchanted by the breathtaking nature.

Nairobi National Park: a natural wonder on the outskirts of Nairobi

Just a short drive from the vibrant city centre of Nairobi, Nairobi National Park is a place where the wild beauty of Kenya is revealed. This park, known as the "wildlife capital of the world", is a fascinating natural paradise that borders directly on the urban terrain. With its savannah landscape and sparse acacia trees, it offers an impressive backdrop, which is further emphasised by the contrast with the Nairobi skyline on the horizon.

The Nairobi National Park was opened in 1946 and is one of the first national parks in Kenya - and at 117 square kilometres, it is also one of the smallest. It is part of the precious Athi-Kapiti plains ecosystem, which is home to a variety of wildlife, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, antelopes and ostriches. Here you will also find a rich birdlife with over 400 species.

The park is particularly well known for its successful rhino conservation efforts. The rhino sanctuary not only harbours one of the largest populations of white rhinos in Kenya, but also black and white rhinos. It thus makes a decisive contribution to the protection of these endangered species. The park also offers a range of activities such as game drives, where you have the opportunity to observe the animals in their natural habitat. This can be a magical experience, especially in the early hours of the morning: When the sun turns the savannah into a golden paradise in the first light of day, the animals are at their most active.

For those who prefer to explore nature on foot, there are hiking trails, including the popular Hippo Pool Trail, where you can spot hippos and many bird species. The park also offers picturesque picnic spots and serves as a unique venue for special occasions. With its tranquil setting and beautiful landscapes, it is the perfect place for a picnic or celebration.

Unique wildlife experiences in close proximity to a major city, Nairobi National Park is a jewel that reflects the beauty and diversity of African wildlife. An absolute must for every visitor to Nairobi! Its proximity to the city and commitment to conservation make it a unique and unforgettable experience.

Giraffe Centre: an unforgettable experience with the gentle giants

The Giraffe Centre, located in Lang'ata, around 20 kilometres from the centre of Nairobi, is also an oasis of nature and conservation. Founded in 1979 by Betty and Jock Leslie Melville, the centre is dedicated to the protection and conservation of the Rothschild giraffe, a critically endangered subspecies of giraffe. At the start of the conservation programme, there were only around 100 of these giraffes left in the wild. Thanks to the Centre's tireless efforts, the population has increased to around 300 animals across Kenya.

The centrepiece of the Giraffe Centre is the elevated observation platform, from which visitors can observe the giraffes at close range and even feed them. Here you can experience the graceful animals in an intimacy that will stay with you for a long time. You will feel a silent communication that goes far beyond words. In addition to the giraffes, tame warthogs can also be found in the centre - they move freely among the visitors. The Giraffe Centre also has an informative area where you can find out about conservation measures and the importance of the centre.

Another highlight is the neighbouring nature trail in the Gogo River Sanctuary. This approximately 1.6 kilometre long trail offers great views of Nairobi and the Ngong Mountains and is ideal for bird watching and relaxing walks.

The best time to visit the Giraffe Centre is during the dry season from December to March and from June to October. However, the centre is open all year round. The feeding area is covered, so even during the rainy season your visit will not be affected. The Giraffe Centre offers a unique opportunity to get up close to these elegant and gentle animals while contributing to their conservation.

Manor with terrace and giraffes

Karen Blixen Museum: A journey into the world of a legendary writer

"I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Mountains": this is how Karen Blixen's famous autobiographical book "Africa, Darkly Alluring World" begins. And these are also the first words you hear when you see "Beyond Africa" - the multi-award-winning film adaptation of the author's life starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.

Today, the Karen Blixen Museum offers a fascinating window not only into the life of Danish author Karen Blixen, but also into colonial Kenya in the early 20th century. The museum, once Karen Blixen's home, is built in a bungalow style. The author lived here from 1917 until her return to Denmark in 1931. After her death in 1962, the house was given to the Kenyan government by the Danish government as a gift of independence and opened to the public in 1986 as one of Kenya's national museums. The shooting of the film "Beyond Africa" did not take place here, however, but in the first house of Karen Blixen and her husband Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke, very close by.

In the museum, visitors can see Karen Blixen's original rooms, furniture and personal belongings, including her library and the office with her typewriter. There is a collection of farming tools and equipment that provide an insight into coffee production and transport at the time. The museum grounds also include a nature trail through a relict jungle and offer wonderful views of the Ngong Mountains. Surrounded by the picturesque gardens, you can feel the romantic and inspiring atmosphere that once inspired the famous author to write her timeless works.

The history of the museum is closely linked to the development of the surrounding Karen neighbourhood, which was named after Karen Blixen. The museum also offers an insight into the close connection between Kenya and Denmark. It symbolises culture, history and the everlasting love for the African landscape and its people.

Sheldrick Wildlife Trust: A sanctuary for elephant orphans

A place of hope and new beginnings - this is the elephant orphanage of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. It is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of orphaned baby elephants. The world-renowned facility in Nairobi National Park offers visitors a deeply moving experience: each baby elephant has its own touching story, and the loving care it receives here opens hearts and inspires reflection - a truly transformative experience.

The orphanage opens its doors to the public daily from 11am to 12pm and you can watch the elephants feeding their milk in the morning and playing in the mud. During the visit, a keeper introduces each baby elephant and tells the moving story of how it came to be rescued.

The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was founded in 1977 by Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick in memory of her late husband David Sheldrick and has since successfully rehabilitated over 320 elephants. As well as gaining an insight into the Trust's rescue and rehabilitation work, visitors can also witness the unique bond between the elephants and their carers.

For those who have adopted an elephant, there is the opportunity to attend an exclusive evening session during which the elephants return to their night shelters. These sessions offer a more intimate atmosphere and the opportunity to interact with the keepers and learn more about the individual elephants.

Visiting the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is not only an opportunity to see the fascinating elephants up close, but also a chance to contribute to the protection and conservation of these majestic animals. The entrance fee and donations directly support the work of the Trust.

Guide with baby elephants

When is the best time to travel to Nairobi?

The best time to visit Nairobi is during the dry seasons, which typically run from late June to October and from December to February. During these months, the weather is generally dry and pleasant, with sunny days and less chance of rain. This time is therefore ideal for safaris in Nairobi National Park and the nearby reserves, as the animals gather around the water sources.

Temperatures are mild all year round. The highest temperatures are between 22 and 26 degrees, while the lowest temperatures are usually around 13 to 16 degrees. There are the most rainy days in April (20 days) and the fewest in July and August (5 and 6 days respectively).

The months of March to May form the long rainy season. Although there can often be heavy rainfall, this period offers the advantage of lush green landscapes and fewer tourists. In the short rainy season from November to February, temperatures vary between 17 and 28 degrees and rainfall is usually less intense than in the long rainy season.

Discover Nairobi in its different seasons - from the blossoming of the landscapes during the rainy season to the colourful festivals and events that characterise the dry months. For visitors who want to explore Nairobi's local culture and museums, the rainy seasons are also suitable as there are always sunny spells. Every season in Nairobi offers unique experiences and unrivalled impressions that will make your trip something very special.

Travelling in Nairobi

Ein Elefantenjunges legt ihren Rüssel an den ihrer Mama
Luxury safari in Kenya
Kenya Safari | Duration: 12 days
  • Giraffes up close: spend the night at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi
  • Cultural encounters with the Samburu people
  • Big Five in the Masai Mara
Löwenjunges liegt gemeinsam mit Löwenmama auf dem Boden
Kenya's exclusive family safari
Kenya Round Trip | Duration: 13 days
  • Safari in the famous Masai Mara
  • Adventures with the whole family
  • Beach vacation on the Indian Ocean

Went on safari for 8 nights in Kenya. The guides we traveled with gave us great experiences. Finally, we visited the "Giraffe Manor" in Nairobi. Here you can also see and feed giraffes. A huge thank you to our consultant Anja Sterker - the planning and execution was perfect!

Gabi S.

Hotels in Nairobi

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