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About Nairobi

Nairobi is East Africa’s most cosmopolitan city and the beating heart of Kenya. This vast concrete jungle is a great spot for western businesses looking to get a presence on the African continent.

If you're not here for business, you’re probably here to visit one of the tremendous wildlife parks. The Maasai Mara is one of our favorites!

Find your perfect spot for your Nairobi vacation with FlipKey.

About Nairobi

Nairobi means "cool water" in native Maasai. The fresh, clear water and mild temperature appealed to both British settlers and Indian workers, and was colonized in 1899.

It gained its independence in 1964, and has continued to grow ever since. It now has a population of over 3 million. This makes it the second largest city in the African Lakes! After Dar es Salaam, of course.

You'll probably arrive at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta Airport. From there you will be driven 14-kilometres into the heart of the city. Here you'll see the organized chaos of Nairobi life. And what a sight it is! 

Hidden amongst the intense traffic are beautiful flowering trees and places where you can feed giraffes and baby elephants. A great start to your vacation!

What to do in Nairobi

Nairobi National Park lies on the borders of the city. This nature reserve is one of the largest in Africa and is known for breeding endangered black rhinos. Go out on a safari tour and you might just see one!

There are lots of opportunities to interact with wildlife. Feed Rothschild Giraffes at the Giraffe Center, and go to the elephant orphanage (run by David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust) where you'll see - you guessed it - baby elephants!

To discover how vast and spectacular Kenya is, take a tour to the Mount Longonot National Park, an extinct volcano that affords views to the Great Rift Valley known as the cradle of mankind.

To learn more about the animals and tribes of Kenya, be sure to visit the National Museum where you can also tour the Hominid Skull Room to see the oldest collection of human fossils in the world.

Top Nairobi travel tips

Nairobi has a balmy climate all year round. Apart from the rainy season between October and December, that is!

Head to the Village Market Mall where you’ll find everything from traditional Maasai crafts to Obama Africa T-shirts. Don’t be put off by the pushy vendors, and remember haggling is expected and all part of the fun of shopping in Nairobi.

For a taste of Colonial Britain visit the Sarova Stanley Hotel and sample the local cocktail, called dawa ('medicine' in Swahili). It’s a refreshing mix of vodka mixed with lime and honey, and totally delicious. 

Have a wonderful time exploring this vibrant city and the luscious nature reserves. FlipKey has a range of Nairobi vacation rentals that will quickly become home during your stay. Explore the area and enjoy everything Nairobi has to offer.