The Kenyan capital, Nairobi is often a stopover for many travelers who plan on doing a safari or enjoy the beautiful beaches of Mombasa. This city, of 3 million inhabitants, is the only one where you can photograph any wild animal with a city skyline in the background. Surrounded by a national park carrying its name, Nairobi is the ultimate African city which offers a unique experience to the traveler.
Warned and well equipped, you just have to get seduced by this contrasting, vibrant and engaging city.
Where to eat ?
The carnivore, the biggest kenyan barbecue
The Carnivore is the inevitable kenyan dining experience for meat lovers. As its name suggests, at the Carnivore, we eat meat! All kinds of meat and, as much as you want. Sheep, goat, camel, antelope, crocodile, ostrich, these are the different types of meat you can taste.
Open since 1980, the reputation of the carnivore is already well established. It was listed twice by the UK magazine restaurant among the 50 best restaurants in the world.
There is a mixture of rustic and exoticism.
To continue in this pleasant atmosphere and complete your dining experience, the Carnivore is also home to the ” Simba Saloon “. Traditional show, live concert, the Simba Saloon is a nice alternative to nightclubs due to its configuration: a room open onto a large garden.
Feel free to start with a glass of dawa, the local aperitif.
- The decoration with the medieval banquet theme,
- Impeccable service : waiters come cut the meat on your plate. The trick : do not forget to wave your flag to indicate that you are full.
- The cheerful and friendly atmosphere.
Pricing: From $20 per meal (booking recommended)
address: Langata Road, Near Wilson Airport,
PO Box 56685, City Square 00200, Nairobi,
Phone: (+254) 020-5141300 / +254 733611608
Mobile: 0733611608 / 0722204648
To get to the Carnivore at lunch time, take the matatu 126 from the city center. At night, it is preferable to take a taxi for about $ 8
Tamarind Restaurant, kenyan elegance
Located 50min away from Nairobi, in the picturesque district of Karen, the Tamarind is the best seafood restaurant in Kenya. It offers a wide selection of seafood: lobsters, giant crabs, octopus, oysters etc … In tamarind, we talk about fine cuisine in an exceptional setting.
The restaurant seats up to 45 people.
You’re not a fan of seafood? No problem, the vegetarian menu and the meat dishes are also excellent.
You will fall in love with fried crab claws and garlic shrimp.
- quality cuisine appreciated and recognized worldwide
- impeccable service
- ideal for a business meal, a romantic dinner, or special occasions
Useful information: open every week night from 7:30pm to 10:30pm
Karen Blixen Coffee Garden, Karen Road,
PO Box 74493, City Square 00200, Nairobi,
Tel: (+254) 0719346349 / 0733603065 / 0719865481
The Talisman, the cosy Nairobi
Trendy and cozy, that’s the Talisman.
At the Talisman, the interior is decorated with elegance and a touch of art from around the world : the tapestry from the Middle East and handicrafts from Kenya.
Cultural events highlighting African art are regularly organized here. Quality cuisine, inventive and open to the world, all in a relaxed atmosphere. On the menu: fish from Norway, thai spices, roquefort from France, with a touch of England and the USA with fish and chips and a Hamburger, and including Kenyan grills.
– The New York Times described it as the best restaurant and place in Nairobi
– value for money
– with family, friends, or lovers
Useful information: Booking recommended
Talisman, Ngong Road, Karen, Nairobi, Kenya, +254 (0)705 999 997
8am-10pm Tue-Sat, 9am-10pm Sun
Where to stay / sleep ?
In the heart of Nairobi, in Karen neighborhood (14km from Nairobi’s business center), Hemingways Hotel and its look of colonial building immerses us in a chic and discreet luxury. A total of 45 spacious rooms, featuring a contemporary atmosphere to the classic elegance that we usually know of eastern Africa. The decor is simple and chic with mahogany and off-white tones that recurs often. The bathrooms are clad in Italian marble, so classy!
We like : The decoration gives us the impression of being in the film by Sidney Pollack : « Out of Africa ».
The Pros : for traveling couple, the hotel staff bends over backwards to help you make this moment unique.
Pricing : From $300 to $1,400
Phone : +254 20 2295013, http://www.hemingways-nairobi.com/
Sankara Hotel, luxury and zenitude in the heart of Nairobi
Just 8 km away from the airport, the Sankara is a luxury hotel. It is located in Westlands, a reputable and lively area, ideal for shopping lovers who will go to Westgate Mall. The Sankara has three restaurants, a large art collection, a bar and rooftop pool.
In some rooms, small options are added, such as a private pool.
When to go: September is the best time to go because from June to August the weather is a bit cloudy.
The Pros: The Angsana spa with its staff trained by the best Thai therapists and its selection of 1,000 bottles of wine that you can admire in the kitchen.
Pricing: approximatey $255 the night for two people, with breakfast included.
Phone: +254 20 4208000, http://www.sankara.com
Staying with locals
Why stay in a hotel when you can enjoy a comfortable apartment and save on your budget? Community websites such as Airbnb and Couchsurfing are the answer to this question. Staying with locals is an opportunity to spend a more authentic vacation in a local’s shoes.
The Pros: We discover a new culture, you meet new people and live similarly to locals.
Pricing: depending on the area selected, prices vary. Expect to pay approximately $70 on Airbnb for a room in a nice neighborhood. https://www.airbnb.com
What to do ?
Safari in the national Park of Nairobi
Without having to travel hundreds of kilometers to venture into one of the beautiful nature safaris offered in Kenya, you can visit numerous animals staying at the Nairobi National Park. With its 114km2, the park is located 10kms south of downtown Nairobi. This place is a sanctuary for rhinos, including the black rhino (species in critical danger of extinction). You will find rhinoceros, giraffes, hippos, lions, leopards, zebras, eland, hyenas and ostriches among others side by side . However, you will not see elephants.
Contact : +254 (20) 2423423
Website : http://www.kws.go.ke/
Pricing : From $25 to $50
The Giraffe Centre
Many mobilize to protect the Rothschild giraffe in Kenya. If Rick and Bryony Anderson are the owners of the “Giraffe Manor” where they coexist with 15 Rothschild giraffes, Jock Leslie -Melville was behind the Giraffe Center, which was established in 1979. A sanctuary located 5 kms from Nairobi which officially became public in 1983. By going there, you will find yourself face to face with one of the giraffes who have taken up residence.
Contact : +254 (20) 8070804
Website : http://giraffecenter.org/
Tarifs : From $1 to $9
Openning hours : everyday from 8am to 5pm
The Maasaï Market
A MUST-DO when you are visiting Nairobi. Local fabrics, handicrafts, painting, clothing, traditional jewelry, baskets, pottery … You will certainly find your happiness. This is the ideal place to do your souvenir shopping. However, you will have to be patient and use your best negotiation skills. Located outdoors, the Maasai Market is a traveling market open 6 days a week, from 8am to 6pm.
Tuesday : at Kijabe Street Park, near the Nairobi River and Prestige Plaza, on Ngong Road
Wednesday : At Capital Center, on Mombasa Road
Jeudi : At Junction Mall, on Ngong Road
Friday : At Village Market, on Limuru Road
Satuday : In the city center
Sunday : At Yaya Center, on Valley Road at Hurlingham
Live like a local
- Taking the matatu : Many African cities have their specificity regarding public transportation. In Kenya, the matatu dominates the roads. Minibus of fifteen seats, Matatus are usually customized by drivers. You can use it both for city transport or going to different towns. You will pay less than 1.5 dollar. And if it starts raining, it will cost you double.
- Eat local by tasting the traditionnel Kenyan Chapati (flat bread), Sukuma Wiki (spinach) or ugali (cornmeal). Don’t hesitate to order a Nyama Choma (grilled mead) by going to the restaurant
- Drink local by sipping on a Tusker beer, the house specialty
Enjoy you stay in Nairobi