12 Feb Top 15 Things To Do in Nairobi
Written by Shamira Lukomwa and Henry Oblie, 2015 East Africa: Discovery Program Leaders
Welcome to the metropolitan centre of East Africa! Nairobi is one of Africa’s most dynamic cities and its cosmopolitan charms, cultural treats, and delicious cuisine will capture your heart in no time. That’s why our East Africa: Discovery team will be kick-starting our adventure through the region right here in this vibrant city. Don’t believe us? Here’s a taste of what Nairobi has to offer with our top 15 things to do in Nairobi!
1. Thrifting at Toi Market and Adams Arcade
Located on the outskirts of Kibera, Toi Market is one of the largest open-air markets in Nairobi. Toi is just one of the many mitumba (a Swahili word meaning ‘second hand’) markets found throughout East Africa. Almost every item sold in these markets is shipped from the West. You can find everything from pots and pans to brand new Aldo boots (yes, you read that correctly). And if you didn’t find what you were looking for, you can check out even more stalls located nearby at Adam’s Arcade. Happy thrifting!
2. Watch a match at the Ngong Rugby Ground
Check out a rugby match or two at the Ngong Rugby Ground. You’ll never know who you’ll meet and you’re sure to get really into the game. Rugby not your sport? Then head over to the Nyayo National Stadium to watch a soccer match instead!
3. Grab a cone at Creamy Inn
Part of the popular fast food chain, you can find Creamy Inns (along with Pizza Inns and Chicken Inns) throughout downtown. We recommend the vanilla cone hand-dipped in chocolate. Yummmm!
4.Enjoy afro-beats at Blankets & Wine
Blankets & Wine is East Africa’s premier outdoor music event held every first Sunday of the month. Showcasing a variety of afro-inspired sounds, you are sure to find a new band you’ll love.
5. Take a #selfie at the Nairobi bridge
Looking for a cityscape photo-op? Hop over to the Nairobi Bridge next to the Afya House for a great view and Instagram-ready selfie.
6. Crafts shopping at Karioko
Want to buy some beaded sandals or a Baobab fiber purse? Skip the overpriced Masaai markets and tourist shopping center. Shop like a local and head to the source! At the Karioko you will get the last price (if you bargain) and even get a glimpse of how crafts are made.
7. Make a long-necked friend at the Giraffe Center
Take some time to visit giraffes at the Giraffe Conservation Center. They are super friendly and have been known to give kisses!
8. Snack on nyama choma
Nyama choma, which means roast meat in Swahili, is the roadside snack in East Africa. You HAVE to try it! If meat isn’t your thing then try the roasted corn (you won’t regret it).
9. History and art buffs unite at the Murumbi Gallery
Housed within the Kenya National Archives building, this art gallery has the largest collection of pan-African art in the continent.
10. Be apart of the Tusker Project Fame live audience at Carnivore
Are American Idol, The Voice, and Canada’s Got Talent your way to unwind? When it’s in season, Tusker Project Fame (East Africa’s equivalent of all 3!) hosts its live performances right in downtown Nairobi at Carnivore. Plus, you can have dinner at Carnivore beforehand. Be prepared for loads of meat!
11. Safari in Nairobi National Park
Where else can you safari with skyscrapers in the background? At Nairobi National Park you can spot rhinos, giraffes, water buffalo, zebras, over 40 bird species, and even lions and leopards if you’re lucky!
12. Picnic lunch at Uhuru Park
Uhuru is Swahili for freedom. This park has been the site for serious political and social action. Former President Daniel arap Moi almost destroyed the park, but it was saved by the campaign efforts of Nobel Peace Prize winner and environmental activist Wangari Maathai. Revel in the serenity of the space and reflect on its history over sandwiches!
13. Support Kiberan artisans and buy unique bone crafts
While Karioko has you covered with most crafts, the Victorious Bones Craft offers unique hand made jewelry, bottle openers, and other crafts made from recycled bone!
14. Slice of Cheesecake at Brew Bistro
Craving cheesecake? Head over to Brew Bistro for a night of cheesecake, dancing, and liquid fun.
15. Grab a friend and explore!
There are so many awesome things to see and do in Nairobi (way too many to create a comprehensive list!) So grab a friend, a good pair of walking shoes, and hit the streets!