Nairobi Any Time!

Nairobi Any Time!

Nairobi Any Time!, Maasai phrase Enkare Nyrobi, Cold water, Nairobi river. Nairobi is the best option and a great holiday destination. It makes sense ...

Nairobi is the best option and a great holiday destination. It makes sense to halt here briefly, before setting out to explore the most exciting wildlife spots in Kenya. I did the same, and in the process, got to discover some fascinating attractions of the city

For people like me, who try to run away from the slightest heat, Nairobi is the best option and a great holiday destination. It makes sense to halt here briefly, before setting out to exploring the most exciting wildlife spots in Kenya. I did the same, and in the process, got to discover some fascinating attractions of the city.

At 5,889 ft above sea level, Nairobi is mostly cool, especially in the June/July season, when the temperature can drop to 10 °C. During the sunniest and warmest part of the year the temperatures may rise to 27 °C. As Nairobi is situated close to the equator, the differences between the seasons are minimal.

The name “Nairobi” comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyrobi, which translates to “cold water”. The phrase is also the Maasai name of the Nairobi river, on which the city lies. However, it is popularly known as the “Green City in the Sun” and is surrounded by several expanding villa suburbs. As one drives around, it is the greenery and the profusion of flowers one sees everywhere that puts Nairobi on a different plane. I found those parts of the city (where I roamed), very colonial, very floral, very up market and very delightful!!

The Elephant Orphanage:

It was the most charming sight to watch the cute baby elephants feeding from huge milk bottles, parading around, rolling in the mud and playing with a huge ball and in general, regaling the spectators. Many school children too came to watch the fun. Every day, this spectacle is open to public for one hour only, from 11am-12 pm each morning.

Born from one family’s passion for Kenya and its wilderness, the “David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust” is today the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world. The Orphans’ Project offers hope for the future of Kenya’s threatened elephant and rhino populations as they struggle against the threat of poaching for their ivory and horn, and the loss of habitat due to human population pressures and conflict, deforestation and drought. To date the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has successfully hand-raised over 150 infant elephants and effectively reintegrated orphans back into the wild herds of Tsavo, claiming many healthy wild-born calves from former-orphaned elephants raised in their care.

Pet and feed a giraffe? Or kiss the tall guy? The choice is yours!

If you are in Nairobi, get up close and personal with the giraffes: you can feed them at eye level, or if you are bold, even plant a kiss for that facebook pic!! The Giraffe Centre in Nairobi is an amazing place to visit. The local schools take children here to learn about the animals of their country. What makes this place so interesting is not only the giraffes that you befriend, but also the staff who will educate you and encourage your interaction with these beautiful animals. The Giraffe Centre started as a rehabilitation project to rescue the Rothschild Giraffe (is one of the most endangered giraffe subspecies, with only a few hundred members in the wild).There were only 120 giraffes left in a ranch in Western Kenya when the Giraffe Center was founded. Today the Rothschild Giraffe population in Kenya is about 500. At the Giraffe Centre you are able to sit on top of a platform and stand eye to eye with the giraffes. You are given small pellets to feed them and there are unlimited refills. Across from the Giraffe Centre is a small nature walk that features two other giraffes and a variety of unique plants and birds.

Right out of the movie- “Out of Africa”. Visiting the Karen Blixen Museum was like being transported to a bygone era. It was once the centre piece of a farm at the foot of the Ngong Hills owned by the Danish Author Karen and her Swedish husband, Baron Bror von Blixen. Located 10 kms from the city centre, the museum belongs to a different time period in the history of Kenya. The farm house gained international fame with the release of the movie “Out of Africa”, an Oscar winning film based on Karen’s autobiographical novel by the same title – starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.

It was a mix of romance, passion, disappointment and failure, all rolled into one-Karen’s life, showcased through her house, where she spent dreaming, living and coming to terms with life. One who has watched “Out of Africa” will relate to her story better.

For that exclusive and idealistic ambience as you dig into a scrumptious lunch, nothing matches the classy Karen Blixen Coffee House, which is nearby. Under the trees, as the birds chirp and the leaves rustle, your prawns cooked in coconut milk will taste heavenly.

Shopping can be fun in any place, especially if you can bargain. You can indulge in this wonderful Indian addiction and come back with goodies and a highly satisfactory smile. Local open air markets have beautiful African arts and crafts at reasonably low prices. You can carry home, the ever popular Maasai red checkered garment called ‘Shuka’, drums, musical instruments, wooden figurines and masks carved out of ebony, bead jewellery, clothes, colourful kikois, curios, baskets, bags and home décor. I bought two lovely ebony figurines of a Maasai couple, who constantly remind me of my Nairobi visit, as I gaze at them and admire their shiny, chiselled to perfection bodies.

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