Planning a Trip to Nairobi
Planning Your Trip to Nairobi
When to go: Nairobi, Kenya is a popular destination year-round. In summer, tourists love to visit the museums and galleries of Nairobi’s old capital as well as its new suburbs like Mombasa, where amusement parks, hotels and shopping malls abound. If you have long layovers between destinations, Nairobi has a cheap airline that connects the capital to many other cities across Kenya. For the best wildlife watching and weather, recommend scheduling your trip to coincide with both the wet and dry seasons in late summer to early fall, when the parks and zoos are mostly empty.
What to see and do: There are many parks, monuments, museums and zoos in Nairobi, but most visitors stick to the Mombasa International Airport, which is easily accessible from most hotels in the city center. You can opt to fly on Kenya Airways, the country’s national carrier, or hire a car service to make the drive. The National Museum is home to an impressive collection of archaeological finds, while the Kenyatta Museum is home to a fine collection of art, including ancient sculptures from Nairobi’s earliest period. The Karen Blixen Museum, Nairobi’s main science museum, houses some of the world’s rarest specimens of animals, plants and fungi.
What not to see: As the capital of Kenya, Nairobi has a bustling city life, with most commercial establishments being open for business all day. It can be exhausting to spend three days in by a from Kenya, so take time to explore the city on foot, ride a bicycle or take a bus. The National Museum offers some interesting displays, but it is crowded; the Kenyatta Museum, with its fine collection of artifacts, is recommended.
Accommodations: Nairobi has many options for lodging, from large hotels and resorts to more modest lodgings. The cost of a stay can vary depending on the number of amenities provided, as well as whether it is part of a tour package. Prices range from a few dollars at the hotels to around 20 dollars each for a single bed or lodge. Nairobi’s hotels are mostly full-service affairs, with many offering maid services and other amenities such as water sports.
Nairobi has great food, and if you’re going to include food into your trip itinerary, consider a restaurant that specializes in Zanzibar cuisine or something more casual such as a traditional Lagos tapas bar. The Nairobi airport has direct flights to many major cities, including Nairobi, and you can get there by taking a taxi or bus. If you don’t have a lot of extra cash, you can always ask a friend or family member to drive you around for most of the day, allowing you time to relax and enjoy yourself. A day or two out of sight, a few hours at the hotel, and you’ll be ready to get back to it again.