Things to do in Nairobi

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Mar 9th, 2005, 06:58 AM
  #1
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Things to do in Nairobi

I am going to Kenya for the first time in June and I was wondering what the best places to visit in Nairobi are. We won't be spending very much time in the city, one whole day, but I want to make sure and go to some highlights.
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Mar 9th, 2005, 08:30 AM
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You can visit the Sheldrick Orphanage when they are open to the public from 11am to noon each day and see the baby elephants and baby rhino getting their daily mud bath. There were 8 eles and 1 rhino there when we visited in February. If you are an adoptive parent, you can also visit between 5-6pm in the afternoon. I would confirm in advance just to be sure. We didn't find out about this until later and didn't have time to go back again. I would have liked to have done that as the public viewing hour was pretty crowded.

In the same vicinity of the orphanage is the Karen Blixen museum and the Giraffe Centre, the home of the endangered Rothschild giraffe.

There's also Nairobi national park where you can do game drives. We didn't go there so can't tell you much about it. I mention it because the Sheldrick orphanage is actually located in the national park, but you have to pay the park entrance fee if you want to do game drives.

If you want/need to do some shopping, the Utamaduni craft center is right there also. Prices are a bit higher than other places, but the selection is good and you have one stop shopping. The Kazuri beads and pottery is worth a tour. They make beautiful beads there.

All of the places I've mentioned so far are located very close to each other in the suburbs of Langata and Karen to the south of the central part of the city.

In Central Nairobi, you can find the National museum (contains exhibits on geology, paleontology, ethnography) and the Railroad museum (old rail cars and memorabilia from the railway line). Both worth a visit if you're interested in this kind of stuff.

That's more than you can probably cover in one day but gives you a good selection to choose from. I have an album with pics of the different places we went in and around Nairobi:

http://www.ofoto.com/I.jsp?c=jy877nh...&x=0&y=-8zxtev
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Mar 9th, 2005, 09:23 AM
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Patty's post is very comprehensive, but my one suggestion is to skip Nairobi National Park. On my first visit to Nairobi in August 1999, we visited the park and saw a lot of game, but on our last visit in August 2003, we had an unexpected extra day in Nairobi (thanks to KLM who bumped us from their overbooked flight), and went to the National Park, and we saw NOTHING. I have heard that the human population outside Nairobi Nat'l Park has exploded, so fewer and fewer animals are migrating into the park.

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Mar 9th, 2005, 09:46 AM
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We were in Nairobi just recently on March 1st awaiting our departing flight that evening and drove out to Karen Blixen's museum and the Giraffe Center. It took all of a couple of hours to visit both places

We didn't do the National Park either. But Nairobi's population growth has reached all the way out there. And there are no ele's at the park because of logistics and the park is too small to contain them. From where we were, on one of the main roads next to the park, it was fenced so unless the animals are brought in, I don't think they can migrate to the park anymore.

It just looked way to citi-fied for me when you've got amazing reserves just a few hours away.

I would of liked to have gone to the Sheldrick orphanage but our flight back from the Mara landed too late at Wilson for us to make it.
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Mar 9th, 2005, 10:26 AM
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I don't think Nairobi national park is completely fenced, yet. There was an editorial in one of the local papers in February which suggested that the entire park should be fenced. It said that the small amounts of money paid by the Kenyan government to the surrounding landowners weren't incentive enough for them to keep the migratory routes open.
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Mar 9th, 2005, 11:10 AM
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I've read some discussion about the carnivor restaurant in Nairobi being an intersting experience. I've never been - by I intend to try it when we go in january - but I imagine it's similar to a Brasilian churrascaria experience.
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Mar 9th, 2005, 11:55 AM
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I wasn't drunk when I last posted (with reference to the spelling), just multi-tasking. I'll do better next time.
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Mar 9th, 2005, 12:51 PM
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Thank you for the help. I think we will probably visit the Giraffe Center, the Sheldrick Orphanange, and I talked to the travel agent about going to the Carnivore. We already have Nairobi National Park in our itinerary.
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Mar 9th, 2005, 12:55 PM
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On the occasions that I visited The Carnivore, the menu was diverse and included eland, oryx, zebra, croc, ostrich, etc., but I read recently, perhaps in this forum, that the menu is now limited to croc and ostrich, and if that were the case, while still a fun place for dinner, it may not be as exotic as it had been in the past.
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Mar 9th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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We stopped at the Carnivore in February but didn't eat there (our guide had to drop off something). On the menu was camel, ostrich, and crocodile. I believe they're pretty much limited to serving farmed game meats now. We had a nice lunch at the restaurant at Utamaduni on their garden patio.
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Mar 10th, 2005, 07:51 PM
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Thank you for the suggestions everyone. I'm fourteen years old and very excited to be going to Kenya. I've been following Cynthia Moss's elephant research for almost five years, so the main focus of the trip is Amboseli NP. We are flying into Nairobi (Fairview Hotel) and spending a day at Nairobi National Park, and the other places I discussed above. The next day we fly down to Amboseli and will stay at Ol Tukai Lodge. I'm going to meet the researchers and hope to find the famous EB family, with Echo's new calf and Elana, who I named. We are going to spend four days in Amboseli and then fly to Masai Mara, staying at the Serena for one night and then going back to Nairobi to fly home.

I know that most people will probably say that we should spend more time in Masai Mara and less in Amboseli, but we don't have very much time and stuck to what was most important.
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Mar 14th, 2005, 05:35 PM
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I was at the Carnivore this past weekend and they had crocodile, camel, ostrich and ostrich meatballs as the "exotic" meats. It was definitely worth checking out!
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Mar 15th, 2005, 04:07 PM
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I hope you have a beautiful time in Amboseli. I have been there several times and adore it. What really worries me though is that due to to global warming, Amboseli's future is seriously in doubt. I have been reading articles all this week about the shock of disappearing snow caps on Mount Kilimanjaro. Elephants--and indeed all other wildlife--in Amboseli are soo dependent on water from the mountain that I honestly cannot even imagine what will happen when (not if) Kilimanjaro's caps dry up. Even now, Amboseli is a very dry and dusty and fragile and environmentally precarious park. I dont know what to think if the water flows from Kilimanjaro collapse over the next ten or twenty years. I dont know what to do. I actually feel traumatized to the point of despair. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl...TPEnvironment/
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Mar 15th, 2005, 04:35 PM
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Amandina:

I agree with you completely. However, you won't have to worry about the snow cap this year. I just returned from Amboseli in February and due to rain we had there was more snow on Kili than I had seen in six previous trips!

Jan
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Mar 16th, 2005, 08:18 AM
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One more question, will we be expected to dress up for meals at the Mara Serena, Ol Tukai, or the Carnivore?
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Mar 16th, 2005, 12:22 PM
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Go to Carnivores! It is a must in Nairobi, and lots of fun too! Make sure to book at least a day in advance, as recently I heard it was listed one of the top 50 places to eat in the world.
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Mar 16th, 2005, 12:34 PM
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MSowers - no need to "dress" for dinner. Just the safari clothing you have with you. If you prefer something more in line with "nice casual" go for it... pants and a sweater, or add a bright scarf; certainly jackets aren't required for men, nor dresses for women.
 
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