What to do in Nairobi

The words stood out on the itinerary – Stopover in Nairobi! What to do!

We were on our way to the Ngorongoro Crater but it looked as though we would be seeing Nairobi before we arrived there! We found out that there is actually quite a lot to do! After a drive through the city centre, we headed to the outskirts of the city to see four of their most popular tourist attractions.

1. Visit the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage
On top of the list is a visit to the elephant orphanage named after the famous naturalist, David Sheldrick. Baby elephants orphaned by poaching and other disasters are rescued and looked after until they are able to be released back in to the wild.

The orphanage is open for an hour from 11 o’clock, so make sure you arrive in time to see the elephants being fed. The baby elephants are the first to be introduced to the crowd, accompanied by their handlers. Some head straight for the mud baths whilst others play amongst themselves

David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Nairobi

Straight into the mud


David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Nairobi

Soccer is popular amongst the baby elephants


David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Nairobi

All in together!


During this time we are introduced to the elephants. Their stories are told as to how and where they were orphaned. it is explained that elephants are highly intelligent animals with very human like emotions. They are family orientated and feel each others needs and deaths as we do. Their keepers become their family and they can become very attached to their handler. For this reason they are looked after by a team of handlers not just one person. Because they eat a massive amount of vegetation per day, they are one of the first animals to be affected by loss of vegetation at times of drought.

Once play time is over, the babies are led out and the kindy kids arrive. They know it is feeding time and rush in! They certainly recognize the milk bottles when they are bought out! Milk is important to these babies- they drink about 20 litres a day! They are fed a supplement that resembles their own mother’s milk which is higher in fat than cows milk.

David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Nairobi

Elephants are led in for feeding time


David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Nairobi

Having a great time!


2. Visit Karen Blixen’s House
Danish writer, Karen Blixen, who is famous for her book ‘Out of Africa’, lived in this house from 1914 to 1931. After her death, the Danish Government presented the house and grounds to the Kenyan Government to be used as a museum. Memorabilia from the book and film are displayed as a lot of the items from the days of Blixen living here with her lover, Finch-Hatton, have been sold.

Karen Blixen Museum, Nairobi

Karen Blixen's home


3. Visit the Kazuri Bead Centre
Beads are a great present to take home, so our stop at the Kazuri Bead Centre achieved two things. Firstly it solved the gift dilemma and secondly it helped support the centre that has created jobs for single or stuggling mothers. The process of bead making from moulding the clay to decorating the beads was shown to us before we indulged in some retail therapy.

Kazuri Bead Centre, Nairobi

Making the beads


4. Visit The Giraffe Centre
Agriculture has taken over the Rothschild giraffe’s natural habitat reducing their numbers to endangered levels. Since the Giraffe Centre was established to help save the giraffes and breeding programmes introduced, the number of Rothschilds has increased from 130 to over 300. The centre is one of the few places that you can be close to the giraffes, feeding them and, if you are lucky, they may even give then a kiss!

The Giraffe Centre, Nairobi

You can't get closer than this!


The Giraffe Centre, Nairobi

Free to roam in the park


In one corner of the park, Giraffe Manor has become famous as the place to stay. The giraffes often wander up to the house and may even join you for breakfast! If this appeals to you, be sure and book early as there are only six rooms!

Giraffe Manor, Nairobi

Stay at Giraffe Manor



Silly question but would you like to stay at Giraffe Manor?





You may also enjoy:

Life in the Ngorongoro Crater Life in the Ngorongoro Crater

The Black Pigs of the Nebrodi The Black Pigs of the Nebrodi

Marie Antoinette's Farm Marie Antoinette’s Farm

Kumaon Village Walks Kumaon Village Walks

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6 Responses to What to do in Nairobi

  1. jan March 20, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    I have often wondered what there would be to do in Nairobi. Now I know! Love the close up of the giraffe’s eye and how happy the elephants in the mud looked!

    • atasteoftravel March 20, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

      Both experiences were so different to the rest of the trip that I didn’t mind having the stopover. I had previously been to the elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka so it was great to go to another. I never tire of watching them play!

  2. Johanna March 23, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    Such a wonderful post. I’d love to visit Karen Blixen’s house and Giraffe Manor 🙂 (I’ve never heard of that before). The wildlife, I know about well, but still I long to revisit and see more. There is nothing more lovely than sitting in a landcruiser in the middle of the bush surrounded by African wildlife. Thanks for the memories and the inspiration. Going to Tweet and Stumble this.

    • atasteoftravel March 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

      Thanks Jo. I agree. I could sit in the jeep and watch the animals all day. It’s so exciting and peaceful at the same time. I wasn’t looking forward to our stop in Nairobi but there’s so much to do. I’ll definately plan a stay at Giraffe Manor next time

  3. World Wide Open Magazine March 13, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

    Ooh I have always been desperate to visit the Karen Blixen house! Glad to read about more options for a brief stop in Nairobi. I loved the wildlife viewing in southern Africa and East Africa is definitely on my list!

    • Jenny Freedman March 14, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

      I could keep going back to Africa too! Visiting the elephant sanctuary was also one of my highlights there.

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