Saturday, May 25, 2013

Nairobi City, Kenya

by  Jacob Muoki

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Nairobi City, Kenya Brief History Established in 1889 during the building of the Kenya-Uganda railway, Nairobi stands as the Kenya’s capital and East Africa’s most populous city. It’s the most industrialized city in the country and is inhabited by people of all walks of life and members of the 42 different Kenyan tribes. Nairobi is a regional business hub and hosts the United States Embassy (the biggest in East Africa) and the United Nation’s UNEP and UN-Habitat headquarters. The city’s growth as a technology hub in the entire continent of Africa has attracted the attention of technology giants such as Google and Cisco Systems, who have established their continental headquarters there.
Major Attractions The main tourist attraction in Nairobi is the Nairobi National Park, the only one in the world located in a capital city. The park hosts a wide array of wildlife including cheetahs, buffaloes, and hyenas and over 400 species of birds. Other attractions in the park include an animal orphanage and the Safari Walk. Located 7 kilometres from the CBD, the National Park can be accessed via road or air (Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Wilson Airport).
Food and Accommodation Nairobi hosts several world-class hotels, which tourists and other visitors may find suitable for short-term accommodation. The Sarova Stanley, Intercontinental, Hilton, Nairobi Serena and Norfolk are some of the luxury hotels located in the heart of the city. The Safari Park Hotel is 15 minutes drive from the CBD off Nairobi-Thika super highway. The hotels serve a wide range of international cuisines as well as the country’s popular version of barbecued meat that the locals refer to as “Nyama Choma”.

Nightlife and Partying Many tourists don’t leave Nairobi before they’ve visited the Carnivore restaurant, which is home to the Simba Saloon night club. The club is located about five kilometres from the CBD towards Langata. Other night clubs in the city include Betty’s in the CBD and Changes in Westlands area. There, revellers are treated to a combination of hip hop music, reggae and local tunes popularly referred to as “Genge” or “Kapuka”.
Transport International visitors arrive at the city via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. Alternatively, visitors entering Kenya via Moi International Airport in Mombasa may commute by rail, road or air to Nairobi. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is about 15 kilometres from the CBD and is accessed via cabs (taxis). Visitors from Mombasa may choose to commute by train, which is relatively slow and may take up to 16 hours to get to Nairobi. Movement around the city or to towns nearby is possible via taxis or car hire services. Many tourists don’t use public transportation except in cities served by rail or long-distance luxury bus companies. This is because only these guarantee passenger safety and professionalism.
Security Nairobi’s CBD and all other areas of tourist interests are for the most part secure. Ever since the 1998 bombings of the American embassy in Nairobi, security has been beefed up around the city and an elite tourist-protection police unit set up. However, the American government has issued and lifted travel advisories against Nairobi more than once since 1998. Thus, the city, especially US, European and Israeli interests, remain potential targets of terror attacks. However, visitors that avoid city estates and areas such as the Kibera slums and Eastlands remain safe from day to day threats to security.

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