By Noura Sayari
Karibuni from Nirobi! A recent brief business trip to Nairobi altered my perspective about this beautiful city!
Quick facts About Nairobi
Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya with a population up to 3.5 million, which makes it the most populated city in all of East Africa. The Green City was established in 1899 to serve as a railway stop on the way to the coastal city of Mombasa. It has been the capital of British East Africa and became Kenya’s capital after independence in 1963. It is located on high altitude which makes the weather mild and enjoyable all year round with temperatures ranging from 22 to 25 Celsius, with occasional rain seasons throughout the year. Nairobi is a prominent business hub in East Africa, as well as the headquarter of many Aid organizations; most notably the United Nations. Nairobi has a modern city center and beautiful green landscapes wherever you go. Distinctively, it has the largest slum in the all of the African continent. Both English and Swahili are the official languages spoken. The Kenyan Shilling is the currency of the country.
- There are no direct flights from RUH to NBO, flight cost starts from 1,715 SAR with Saudi Airlines with a stop over in Jeddah. Many other airlines operate transit flights with shorter layover time but pricier; Etihad, Emirates, Egypt air, Qatar and Ethiopian Airlines.
- Nairobi is located on high altitude which makes the weather mild and enjoyable all year round with temperatures ranging from 22 to 25 Celsius.
Where To Stay
I stayed at Tribe Village Market Hotel – such a heavenly little lush boutique resort-like retreat located at the upscale Gigiri suburb area, approx. 40 minutes away from Jomo Kenyatta Int’l Airport.
The locally inspired decorations, furnishing and designs will instantly capture your senses. Filled with African hand picked pieces of art everywhere you turn your head while offering all what is expected of a 5 star hotel; modern services and facilities, access to free wireless internet, business center, in addition to the award-winning Kaya Spa (try the Aroma Bliss massage) and hair Salon (Ask for David for perfected hair services) and lastly, a very helpful highly knowledgeable concierge.
Where to go
I was at The Village Market almost every day, it’s a shopping complex with a unique open space design, located in the Tribe hotel green succulent proximity. So it’s just a 3 minute walking distance. It constitutes of all kinds of local shops, a supermarket, pharmacy, art and cultural shops, as well as various exquisite restaurants and cafes.
Every Friday the Masaai Market takes place close by the Village Market venue, it’s an open air market for African artifacts and souvenirs where you can test your haggling skills for great quality affordable items.
David Sheldrick’s Wildlife Trust
A 40 minute drive from city center will get you to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust; a world renowned elephant orphanage for Elephants and Rhinos rescue and rehabilitation programs. The trust fund saves baby elephants and Rhinos who lost their parents due to poaching for ivory, human activities and drought.
Baby elephants cannot survive on their own till they’re three years old, so human intervention is necessary. The shelter has a Fostering Program, where you can foster a baby elephant that was lucky enough to be found alive you can contribute in raising one for an annual fee of 50$. This money will be used to care for them and make the special milk that took decades to be precisely formulated by the founders so it won't hurt the baby elephant’s sensitive digestive systems.
You will get monthly updates about your fostered baby till the day they’re old enough to be released into the wild.
This is an amazing place to visit! You'll get to feed them, learn about them and be up close and personal with these gorgeous beings. Located very close to David Sheldrick’s Elephants Orphanage, the center is officially called the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Kenya (A.F.E.W. Kenya) but widely known as the Giraffe Center. It was founded by Betty and Jock Leslie-Melville in 1979. The goal of this center is to save the endangered Rothschild Giraffe; these species lost their natural habitat in Western Kenya due to agriculture activities which left only 130 of them in the wild. Funds were raised and four herds were moved to four different parks across Kenya. As a result to all of these efforts; the Rothschild Giraffe population in Kenya today got up to 500 giraffes.
- Never take an unknown alleged taxi, no matter how tempting it gets, best reliable taxi service tried is Jim Cab.
- Never walk at night in Nairobi, always try to limit your movement to daytime, and ALWAYS use a car if you have to go at night.
All you need to top off your journey to this charming culturally diverse city, is a positive carefree state of mind the African way, just think; ‘Hakuna Matata’’! A Swahili motto and a philosophy of life Kenyans go by to bring forth all good things, it simply means: “No worries’’.