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List of Lesser Known Sights to Pay a Visit when in Nairobi

by Victor Matara

Nairobi, Kenya’s capital and largest city, still raises all the romance and adventure of its colorful colonial days. Nairobi’s rich history and tribal culture is brought to life in its excellent tourist attractions. Some of these attractions are all on plain sight, you see them but hardly notice them as achievements or rather unplanned establishments. Today, we take a look at lesser known sights to see when visiting Nairobi.

1. Gikomba market 

Largely dominated by secondhand merchandise, the market is home to thousands of micro and small business. There are tens of thousands of traders and hundreds of thousands of buyers mostly from lower-middle class and lower class who want to own a piece of Tommy Hilfiger jeans at a fraction less than Mr. Price’s along Moi Avenue, just some 3 km away.

Why visit Gikomba? Gikomba to the sharp eyed is the classical capitalist free market where the effects of the forces of demand and supply play out in plain site. You might even be surprised to see a trader selling you the same pants you donated to charity thousands of miles away.

2. Kibera

biggest slum in Africa and one of the biggest in the world. There are approximately 2.5 million slum dwellers in about 200 settlements in Nairobi representing 60% of the Nairobi population and occupying just 6% of the land. Kibera houses about 350,000 of these people.

3. GoDown Arts Center

Based in Nairobi’s Industrial area , GoDown Arts Center houses creatives inform of local performing and visual artists. this place offers regular exhibitions, shows, workshops and open cultural nights.

4. Pipeline Embakasi

Here you will be surprised to find more than 10000 housing units have been erected without approvals. A concrete minislum.

5. Giraffe Manor

About 20 kilometers from Nairobi, this 1930s boutique hotel is set in 12 acres of private land, with a spectacular view of the  green Ngong hills .As well as giraffes the ranch is home to warthogs, dik diks, birds and Imbabalas. A nearby giraffe center is a breeding area for the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe.

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The Giraffe Manor is closed in April and May, but open rest of the year.

6. Ole Polos

You have not tasted Kenyan cuisine until you have had a serving of roasted meat at Ole Polos. Ole Polos is a secluded area in Kajiado County that is indigenously a Masaai territory. Ole Polos is a popular destination for many Kenyans  during the weekend arrives.It’s prices are equally affordable.

7. Maasai Lodge

It is quite off the beaten path  and is rather secluded. You will get a great view of the Nairobi National Park while driving to your destination. Once there, you will simply not believe what you see. Masaai Lodge is a lodge that should be easily rated as one of the best lodges. It is so beautifully decorated, so wonderfully situated and so impressively built that you will have no choice but to stay a while and return on your next visit to Nairobi.

8. Langata Botanical Gardens

Langata Botanical Gardens is located along Langata South Road near the new Kenya School of Law and is approximately 20 km from the Central Business District of Nairobi. It is far away from the hustle and noise of the Central Business District and any major roads.It is a recreational garden filled with breath-taking greenery. It consists of many indigenous trees, large beautiful lawns and a lagoon that has a large variety of fish. It’s a good place to pay a visit.

9.  KICC

At the top of the Kenyatta International Convention Centre you will get to see Nairobi in it’s entirety.

10. Karura Forest

A great place for a quick hike on the weekend, or even after work hours. Bicycle rental is also available.

All in all Nairobi is the best place all round city to visit in Africa. If you have many days in Nairobi, to places like Samburu or Maasai Mara. Awesome unspoil places. For a beach city break, go to Watamu.

 

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