10 Reasons why you should visit Nairobi
If you are planning a trip to the green city under the sun as it is known, I have 10 reasons why you should visit.
First, a brief background of this lovely Kenyan capital. Nairobi was founded in 1899 when the Kenya-Uganda railway was being constructed.
During the construction of the railway, the British colonialists found the climate here favourable and there was plenty of water. This is true to its name, Nairobi, a Maasai word meaning a place of cool waters.
It is almost impossible to avoid this city, it is the central location to the rest of the country. Being the financial and economic centre in the country, anything you may need will be easily available.
You can go for a safari at the Nairobi National Park or visit the Nairobi National Museum rich with the culture and history of the country.
The dining scene in this city is eclectic, you can dress up and enjoy the finest dining experience or opt to explore the street foods like a local.
Without giving too much away, here are the 10 reasons why you should visit Nairobi.
1. Safaricom International Jazz festival
Since its inception in February 2014, the Safaricom International Jazz Festival has evolved into an unmissable celebration of live music.
The Festival brings together talented musicians from all over the world and plays a significant role in nurturing the Kenyan jazz scene.
In addition to the main Festival that takes place each year in February, the Safaricom Jazz Lounge is hosted twice a year.
All proceeds from this event support Ghetto Classics, a community-based programme transforming the lives of youth in the slums.
2. Attend the elegant Concours de Elegance
If you love cars and fashion, here is a reason why you should visit Nairobi. This is an annual event held at the Nairobi Ngong Racecourse.
It is hosted by the Kenya Motor Sports Federation and more than 1,000 attend the event.
The centrepiece is the judging of 70 classic and vintage cars and 40 motorcycles under regulations approved by the Kenya Motor Sport Federation (KMSF).
It is also a social occasion and a fun-filled family day. There are a children’s entertainment centre, live band music, flypasts, a parade of all the Concours cars and motorcycles and a grand finale after the prize giving.
3. Nairobi Restaurant Week
Nairobi Restaurant Week is mostly about dining at some of Nairobi’s best restaurants at highly discounted prices.
Restaurant Week, a tradition in many cities around the world, lasts for about 10 days between 25th January and 4th February.
During the week-long event, restaurants have a special menu with several courses. They partner with different companies to offer free drinks and cocktails.
4. Experience Virtual racing at Village Market
If you are a motorsport fan, then the Village Market is the place to be when in Nairobi.
Experience the thrill of racing virtually at this new recreation facility. They have a state-of-the-art racing simulator from Italy. It is the first of its kind in East and Central Africa.
You will get to immerse yourself in an authentic, driving experience on the Formula 1 circuit around the world.
This experience is a combination of luxurious sports cars that are flexible in the digital world. You will get a thrilling and realistic virtual racing experience.
5. Cheer your best rugby team at the Safaricom 7s
Sports lovers will definitely love this, a good weekend plan. The experience is made up of Rugby teams from different countries within Africa and abroad.
The teams are made of both professionals and amateurs. In between the games are musical performances and plenty of food available outside the stadium.
This annual event is usually held at the Safaricom Sports Centre.
6. Experience matatu culture
Matatus are public vans and buses that are used for public transport within and outside the city. They vary in appearances and most mini-buses have colourful graffiti.
Ditch the taxi and hop into a matatu like a local. These matatus offer a thrilling ride. From the flashy outside to the inside with monitor screens blasting the latest music videos and disco lights.
The graffiti on the matatus depict trendy hip-hop culture, famous people and cartoon characters.
7. Go for a thrilling adventure at Go Karting in Langata
Most of us have thrilling adventures. If speeding is your poison of choice, then you can Go Karting on Langata road when you visit Nairobi.
The rides go for 10-minute sessions which you can break into five each. What’s more, is that you can experience this at night under floodlights.
You will be provided with a helmet and a racing suit, and zoom, off you, go racing with your friends.
8. Enjoy a 360-view of Nairobi city from KICC
There is a helipad on top of KICC that is open to the public. It offers a magnificent panoramic view of the city and beyond.
You will get your ticket to access the helipad from the reception area on the ground floor of this building.
9. Visit the Railways Museum in Nairobi
Today, in the centre of Kenya’s capital city, the Nairobi Railway Museum is dedicated to the history of the country’s rail network.
The exhibits in this museum tell the series of events that took place during the construction of the railway.
There are different models of railway engines that were used, motorised railway bicycles and photos of the railway from start to finish.
In the yard, you will find steam and diesel locomotives that operated on the Kenya-Uganda railway.
The museum is connected by track to the main Nairobi station and some of the engines are used for tours.
10. Visit the Kitengela Glasshouse
This hidden gem is about 29 kilometres from Nairobi CBD at the edge of Nairobi National Park.
Just like its name, the place has several glass sculptures, stained glasses and other glassworks. You will be given a tour of the workshop, get to see the glass getting blown and check out the souvenir shop.
The glasses here are 100% recycled. Cross the scary bridge to Silole sanctuary next to Maasai Lodge.