The safari capital of the world, Nairobi is the gateway to the Africa everyone imagines - wildebeest roaming across the plains and Maasai villages at the foot of Kilimanjaro. You don’t even have to leave Nairobi to spot big game - the nearest national park starts just 7km (4 miles) from the city centre.
Founded as a dusty railway depot, Nairobi has burgeoned into the largest city in East Africa, with two airports, sprawling suburbs and a towering skyline, studded with skyscrapers. Nevertheless, most travellers pass through quickly, put off by the crowds and the city’s deserved reputation for crime.
This is a shame, as Nairobi is a fascinating melting pot of cultures that moves to an unmistakably African beat. The good news is that with a few sensible precautions, you can tame this mighty metropolis and experience a taste of the real Africa before you head off on safari.