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Travel Guide: Nairobi, Kenya!

Travel Guide: Nairobi, Kenya!

Wanderlust: n. a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world

Kenya's bustling and vibrant capital city is a traveller's dream. Hints of the city's colonial past mix with new ultra-modern architecture as Nairobi emerges as an economic and cultural hub. A new generation of young visionaries are also doing their part to reinvent traditional African food and art into globally recognized creations. The result: a truly dynamic city changing by the moment and with something to offer for everyone.

We couldn't be prouder to call Nairobi our home and are excited to share just a few of the city's tourist and culinary gems.

What to do

1. Elephant Orphanage at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

A favorite spot of both locals and tourists, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is an aboslute must for any trip to Nairobi. Every morning at 11am, the young orphaned elephants rescued by the Trust are brought to greet the gathered crowd. Learn about this incredibly important conservation work while you get up close and personal with these precious creatures. Admission price is $5; sponsor an orphaned elephant for $50.

2. The Giraffe Center

After the elephant orphange, head over to the Giraffe Center located just a few minutes away. Here, you'll climb to an observation deck and meet endangered Rothschild giraffes face to face. Grab a handful of food pellets and let these majestic giants eat from your hand (or mouth for the more adventurous). Admission price: $10

3. Nairobi National Park

Notably, Nairobi is the world's only capital city that includes a national park within its boundaries. Just minutes from the bustling city center you'll meet the calm expanse of this pristine wildlife reserve. Expect to see lions, giraffe, rhino, buffalo and lots more without having to leave the city limits. Admission price: $50

[Image via Travel Massive]

4. Visit the Karura Forest

The Karura Forest Reserve is an urban upland forest on the outskirts of Nairobi, known for its caves and waterfalls. It offers a place for Kenyans and tourists alike to jog, bike, sit, and enjoy the quiet green scenery. Definitely plan to stop at the River Cafe for a meal or gourmet coffee with stunningly serene views of the forest.

[Image via The Art of Wanderlusting]

Where to Stay

To really immerse yourself in Nairobi's vibrant culture, we recommend renting a home on Airbnb. Here are a couple of our favorites:

5. Bright, Elegant Penthouse

This beautiful apartment is perfect for visitors who would like to have an authentic experience of the modern city that Nairobi has become. Entertain with friends, or cook in the terrazzo handmade kitchen after a busy day. This sweet spot offers relaxation in style.

6. Stylish Apartment in the Heart of the City

This 3 bed/2 bath apartment is the perfect combination of elegant and cozy. Reminiscence on the day's adventures on the sofa or on the balcony listening to the soothing sound of the nearby river!

Where to Eat

When it comes time to chow down, Nairobi has also emerged as an unexpected foodie haven with internationally acclaimed restaurants. Some that we love are:

7. Talisman

This elegant gastrolounge is widely known as one of Kenya's best restaurants. Their cuisine is 100% organic and served in a fabulously lush garden setting.

[Image via Afar Magazine]

8. Wasp & Sprout

Wasp & Sprout is a quiet cafe in the neighborhood of Loresho. Go here for the affordable prices, calm atmosphere, and the ever-popular brunch!

[Image via Wasp & Sprout]

9. Carnivore

No travel guide would be complete without Nairobi's most famous restaurant, Carnivore. Here you can eat your fill of grilled meat including crocodile and ostrich.

10. J's Fresh Kitchen

J's is known for its happening night scene but the food certainly does not disappoint. Enjoy great food and reasonably priced drinks while hanging out with Kenya's up and coming crowd.

11. Open House
Kenya has a sizeable Indian community and lots of authentic Indian restaurants. Hands down the best Indian food in Nairobi, Open House's delicious recipes are well-guarded family secrets. Definitely stop by one of their two locations and gorge on dhal (lentils), butter chicken and ginger chicken wings – our personal favorite.

We hope your map of the world will have a pin on Nairobi soon! For more tips and tricks visit Lonely Planet. Bon voyage!

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