Nairobi is a bustling, busy city just about every day of the week. Our first stop was a bank ATM at the nearby shopping mall. While most merchants take credit card or Venmo, it was essential to have cash on hand for safari tips and other incidental purchases. We had a slight problem withdrawing shillings when Tim didn’t grab his ATM card quick enough and the machine took it back. No worries! Because we chose an ATM at a bank branch, we simply met with the customer service rep who was able to retrieve our card the next morning. After this experience, we were certain to grab the card immediately after the transaction. We also stopped at the Carrefour, a grocery store, to buy some snacks and drinks. This is a travel necessity–saves both time and money when you don’t have to go to a restaurant to eat all your meals. Buying bottled water is essential. We traveled the city primarily using Uber rides and we also made arrangements with our driver Joseph to accompany us for a whole day of sightseeing.
Here are some of the top things we saw/did while in Nairobi:
Visiting the baby elephants at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. We got to watch the elephants being fed and hear a bit about the rescue efforts of elephants at risk from poachers. Of course, we adopted an elephant too; a sweet little girl named Laroo. There is nothing more precious than seeing baby animals and elephants are some of the most fun to watch and play with. The visitation time is once per day and limited to a certain number of visitors. Make sure to reserve your spot well in advance–especially in high season.
- Feeding giraffes at Giraffe Center. We’ve fed giraffes at San Diego Safari Park but this place takes it to another level. You get a bowl of pellet food and then it’s a free for all as the giraffes deftly use their tongues to get as much food as possible. They are not shy! It was a treat to feed both adult and baby giraffes and to watch warthogs scatter about their legs. In the distance, we spotted Giraffe Manor, a hotel where you can eat with the giraffes from your breakfast table.
An afternoon learning about the treasures of Kenya at the National Museum of Kenya. A fabulous museum full of archeological treasures. Sure, there are tons of animal skeletons a la “Night at the Museum” but there is also valuable historical/cultural exhibits detailing the history of MAN. Lauren’s extensive knowledge about genetics, anthropology and science helped bring the learning to life. What I learned: the earth is really really OLD and we are still learning more about it through findings in Africa. Congrats to Kenya for preserving their artifacts and not selling them off to the highest bidder around the world.
The Karen Blixen House–Part of the national museums of Kenya, this is the Out of Africa house and displays furniture and letters from when Karen Blixen lived here. Interesting side note: the whole residential area around this house is referred to the Karen district. One of the great love stories ever told, Karen Blixen also established a women’s health clinic, school and eventually a Bead Factory nearby. We ate at Hemingways Hotel following our day’s adventures.The Karen Blixen House–Part of the national museums of Kenya, this is the Out of Africa house and displays furniture and letters from when Karen Blixen lived here. We hired a tour guide, a young woman who was well-versed in both Karen Blixen and the movie; we would have been lost without her capable commentary. Interesting side note: the whole residential area around this house is referred to the Karen district. One of the great love stories ever told, Karen Blixen also established a women’s health clinic, school and eventually a Bead Factory nearby. We ate at Hemingways Hotel following our day’s adventures.