Kenya's capital Nairobi is a bustling and at times chaotic city, with a very wealthy upper class and an exceptionally poor lower class. Masai warriors in full regalia speak on mobile phones and ride motor bikes, while tourists haggle with street sellers for African curios by vast tower blocks or shanty towns. This is certainly a fascinating city, but it has earned the unfortunate nickname Nai'robbery and you do need to keep your wits about you when exploring here! Visitors either love Nairobi or hate it.
There is plenty to see and do in Nairobi to keep visitors occupied while passing through. The David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and the giraffes of Giraffe Manor are perennial favourites, and tours of Kibera (Africa's largest slum) offer a stark insight into the reality of life for 250,000 of Nairobi's poorest citizens. The city also offers the best shopping in East Africa.
Nairobi: where to stay
There are plenty of hotels to choose between. The best value is to be found in the city centre, amongst hotels such as the Norfolk, Serena, Fairview and Palacina which all offer good accommodation. The affluent residential area of Karen is home to the best hotels, House of Waine and Karen Blixen Cottages.
A really unique overnight experience is the famous Giraffe Manor,
where you can have breakfast with these angelic animals. It is one of the only places where you can get so close to African wildlife. The giraffes have been their since it was opened up as an orphanage, and continues to be home to these very happy long necked guests... Definitely makes for a breakfast to remember!
However, if you are just looking for an overnight before beginning your safari then one of the cheaper hotels is a really good option, and also doesn't break the bank before you begin your safari. As although Giraffe Manor is unique, it's fame has made it incredibly expensive, but also incredibly hard to find availability. It is often booked up years in advance, and as such we would probably recommend staying at a hotel in the city, and if you want to interact with the giraffes then go to the site and you can feed them without paying a premium!