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Nairobi tours and excursions

Nairobi tours

Bird-watching tours

Nature Kenya organises bird-watching walks from the National Museum every Wednesday. Without leaving Nairobi's city limits, you can expect to see black kites, Marabou storks, sacred ibises, hornbills, bee-eaters and sunbirds. Nature Kenya also run weekend nature walks, including a very popular dudu (insect) crawl.

Tel: +254 20 374 6090.

Walking tours

Several agencies offer walking tours of Nairobi's city centre with a local guide, visiting the Parliament buildings, the city market and the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), Nairobi's signature building, which offers stunning views towards Nairobi National Park from its rooftop helipad. Try East Africa Shuttles on Muindi Mbingu Street or Uniglobe Let's Go Travel, which has offices on Waiyaki Way in Westlands and in the Crossroads Shopping Centre in Karen.

Tel: +254 20 224 8453; +254 20 444 7151

Nairobi excursions

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

On a plot in Nairobi National Park, this private charitable trust cares for orphaned elephants and rhinos, rescued from poachers or saved after being abandoned by their parents. It is the world's leading bank of expertise on hand-rearing these large herbivores, using a specially created milk formula. Each orphaned youngster receives 24-hour care from an amazingly dedicated team of keepers. Once healthy and old enough, the orphans are rehabilitated and returned to the wild. It is possible to visit the trust for an hour daily and see the young animals up close, a truly heart-warming experience.

Tel: +254 20 230 1396

Nairobi National Park

The nearest national park to Nairobi starts just 7km (4 miles) from the railway station – you can even see big game from some of the taller buildings in the centre. Covering 117 sq km (44 sq miles) of marshland and savannah, Nairobi National Park is home to black rhinos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyena, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest and over 400 species of birds. In July and August, this surprisingly accessible, underrated park is also the setting for the second largest migration of wildebeest and zebras in Kenya. It's easy to arrange an independent trip in a hired vehicle, but most safari agents offer half-day safaris.

Tel: +254 20 242 3423

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Featured Hotels


Terminal Hotel

A good-value alternative to the backpacker crash pads, the Terminal Hotel in Nairobi is simple but well located. You get what you pay for in terms of luxuries, but the rooms have bathrooms and you can walk to everything in the centre. Ask for a room at the back, away from the street noise.

Giraffe Manor

Where else in the world can you be woken in the morning by a giraffe peering into your bedroom window? Attached to the AFEW Giraffe Centre, this grand Edwardian manor is decked out with Karen Blixen's old furniture, and staying here feels like staying in a posh country home. Factor in fine food and wine and a personal chauffeur and it's easy to see the appeal.

Kenya Comfort Hotel

Well looked after, central and friendly, the Kenya Comfort Hotel offers decent facilities at a reasonable price. It's a secure hotel in Nairobi, and the rooftop lounge offers beautiful views over the city. The rooms are tiled, modern and clean, and there's a restaurant and bar if you don't feel like braving the city streets after dark.

Hotel Ambassadeur Nairobi

Standards have slipped slightly since the days when this tall tower hosted politicians and presidents, but it's still a cut above the competition. The comfortable rooms are well appointed, and there's a good bar and restaurant. It's a popular venue in Nairobi for weddings and conferences, so book ahead.

Sarova Stanley

One of the most historic hotels in Nairobi, the Sarova Stanley first opened its doors in 1902, and boasts a rich history of famous former guests, among them Ernest Hemingway. Rooms are well appointed and soundproof, and there's a gym, sauna, rooftop pool and bar. Don't miss out on the legendary Thorn Tree Cafe either, a travellers' haunt since British times.

Nairobi Serena Hotel

One of the more elegant options in Nairobi, this sophisticated place draws on influences from across Africa, and the interiors are full of tribal sculptures, textiles and wooden furniture. The spotless rooms have marble bathrooms and views over the grounds and lush gardens. There is also a swimming pool, health club and shops. Although the hotel itself is very secure, adjacent Central Park and Uhuru Park are not safe to walk around at night.