Apart from being Kenya’s capital and the main centre of government and commerce, Nairobi is the most significant city in East Africa and an important player on the pan-African stage. It is the diplomatic base for many counties in Africa, with its broad spectrum of international embassies and headquarters for the United Nations, multi-national companies, non-government organizations (NGOs) and press correspondents. It’s also the centre of the growing safari business of East Africa.
Nairobi steadily grew from a swampy worker’s camp during the construction of the Kampala-Mombasa railway at the end of the 19th century. Back then it was called Ewaso Nai\'beri, a Masai word meaning \'a place of cold water\', a reference to the Nairobi River. The fertile farmland around Nairobi attracted some 80 000 British settlers between the 1920s and 1950s, including Karen Blixen of ‘Out of Africa’ fame. Her house is now a museum on the outskirts of the city. Nairobi’s famous Norfolk Hotel opened in 1904, and was once the social meeting place for this privileged community. Today you can still enjoy a gin and tonic in the colonial bar. Today it’s a modern commercial centre and the largest city between Cairo and Johannesburg.
The city’s best attraction is the National Museum, home to most of the great prehistoric finds made by the Leakey family in East Africa, from Ethiopia to the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. It also has sections on wildlife, art, geology, local history and a snake park.
Here are some popular itineraries for a trip to Nairobi
If you are planning a Nairobi holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
Mayfair Holiday Inn Nairobi
The Mayfair Holiday Inn (formerly the Mayfair Court Hotel) is a charming hotel dating back from the 1940''s. The hotel is comfortable, spacious and modern in decor.
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
Nairobi Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Nairobi.