Sarova Panafric Hotel is a luxury 5 star hotel operated by sarova hotels is located just 0.5km from Nairobi overlooking Kenyatta Avenue that runs through Nairobi city, it is a short stroll away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, Panafric Hotel offers the best accommodation in Nairobi and is also just 18 km from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, which is where you will arrive on your international flight and should you wish to take an internal flight to Masai Mara or Mombasa or any other destination, it is a 10 minute transfer to Wilson Airport. Panafric Hotel Nairobi is set in a quiet residential suburb thus commanding a panoramic view of Nairobi’s skyline. Nairobi Panafric Hotel 152-roomed hotel has an additional 45 fully serviced Panafric Apartments and four themed suites, one of Nairobi’s popular restaurants; the Flame Tree has its home at the Panafric Hotel, the other restaurant is Pool Garden serving conference clients a barbecue lunch, the swimming pool is open to both resident and nonresident guests. Mastering the fine art of blending hospitality with culture, the Nairobi Sarova Panafric Hotel represents the best of Neo Africa contemporary along with friendly service to ensure you a pleasant stay, being one of Nairobi’s best-kept secrets is the particularly attractive Nairobi Panafric Hotel, cool off in the beautiful clean and crystal clear swimming pool surrounded by lush gardens. You can also take a leisurely nap around the reinvigorating gardens or just relax at Nairobi Panafric Hotel refreshingly Pool. Garden Bar as you sample the wide range of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Experience nature's glory as you stroll through Panafric Hotel Nairobi beautifully manicured gardens on spectacular landscape where we serve juicy barbeque, buffet lunches and Ozone Kids Club parties. You can host your wedding reception lunch, dinner parties, Honeymoon parties, product launches and other corporate functions at Pool Garden Restaurant The pool is open from 10 am to 630 pm daily. Panafric Hotel is set in spacious natural gardens less than a kilometer from the city centre; the quite residential surroundings have distinguished the hotel as the natural choice for meetings and conferences. The Panafric Hotel, part of Sarova Hotels, is imposingly set on a hill in a plush up-market residential suburb in Nairobi, now the site of Sarova Hotels Group Reservation Head Office in Nairobi. Sarova Panafric first opened its doors to the public on 5th January 1965, the first president of Kenya H.E. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, a staunch supporter of the Pan African Movement officially opened it under the name Panafric Nairobi Hotel, It had only one block consisting of 100 rooms but an economic boom led to an increase in business during the Pan-African era, which led to an ambitious expansion plan. The 2nd block was officially opened on 6th February 1969. In 1991 Sarova Hotels & Lodges bought Sarova Panafric Hotel from Africa Tours Safaris & Hotels making it the third Sarova Hotel & Lodge acquisition, after, Panafric Hotel in Nairobi owes its existence to Stelios Stylianides, a Greek Cypriot who had great ambitions for Kenya’s hospitality sector, Mr Stylianides broke ground for the hotel in 1961, with the doors being opened by 1963, Besides helping develop the hospitality industry in independent Kenya, Stylianides wanted to train African staff members by establishing a catering school, It cost him £300,000 (Sh41.1 million at the current exchange rate) to build Panafric Hotel Nairobi Kenya, which was one the biggest investments in the hospitality industry at the time. Built in phases, the panafric hotel had 84 rooms and six suites, Its capacity has grown over the years, and it now boasts 162 rooms, including suites. Two years ago, these rooms, as well as the open spaces in the hotel, were refurbished using a mix of modern and African design, at a cost of Sh200 million. The investment was part of giving the old property a new feel to meet the demands of the modern traveller without losing some of its history and overall external look. The Panafric Hotel Kenya which was opened by President Jomo Kenyatta on January 5, 1965, was seen as a symbol of a great future for Kenya, with its name symbolising the spirit of the new republic. About 800 guests, including Cabinet ministers and diplomats, attended the opening ceremony, It was Nairobi’s biggest hotel in Nairobi at the time and a popular watering hole for many, especially spies and foreign correspondents, Kenya’s foreign exchange earnings from tourism in around 1962 amounted to £5.25 million (Sh719 million at today’s exchange rates). Last year the sector raked in Sh96 billion. In independent Kenya, it attracted the new African leaders, who were to be found at the Bazaar Lounge. The Sarova Panafric Hotel Kenya continues to be close to the heart of Kenyan politics, with major political meetings and business being held here. Over the years, the property has changed hands a couple of times. When Mzee Kenyatta opened the hotel in 1965, the government was a 30 per cent shareholder, the Development Finance Company of Kenya (DFCK) invited the Kenya Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC), which recently rebranded itself as the Investment Tourism Corporation, and the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), which later became British Airways, to be co-owners. BOAC opted out in the mid-1970s and sold its shares to Panastaff, an organisation formed by the hotel’s staff. Until 1983, the hotel was managed by the Holloway Hotels Group of UK, which was invited by DFCK, under the management of Mr Y.M. Meystre, a Swiss national. The Panafric Sarova Hotel first African general manager was Mr Kenneth Thugge, who died in March 2013, he served for about three years before being succeeded by Mr Obadiah Kuria Bunyi. Later, Panafric Hotel Kenya management was taken over by the African Tours & Hotels (AT&H), with DFCK, KTDC, and Panastaff remaining as shareholders. Mr Bunyi continued as the Panafric Hotel GM. However, a management crisis at AT&H in the 1990s led to the sale of the hotel. In December 1992, it was bought by Gurcharan Singh Vohra (now deceased), John Ngata Kariuki, and other shareholders of the Sarova Group of Hotels. Panafric hotel mainly attracts business travellers and hosts many meetings and conferences. Panafric Hotel has grown remarkably since it opened its doors in 1963 and underwent a major upgrade two years ago to cater for the modern traveler. Panafric Hotel is the renowned brainchild and home to authentic cultural theme nights and fast, efficient and friendly services. You will greatly be impressed with the level of personalized service; the staffs at the Sarova Panafric Hotel are true examples of " hotel hospitality ambassadors". In the book "Ten Lessons from the Future" the author describes an organisation that resonates as one where hundreds of people do the simple things exceptionally well. What you experienced at the Sarova Hotels & Lodges is typical of such resonance. It is clear that the staff do not serve the customer as a sense of duty - but an inner disposition of valuing service excellence and executing the service professionally, Directions - From Airport, drive down Mombassa Road towards Nairobi. Continue onto Uhuru Highway. Turn left at Kenyatta Avenue Roundabout. Drive up to NSSF Building. Turn left at the BP/Shell Gas Station. Kenyatta Avenue Roundabout. Drive up to NSSF Building and turn left at the BP/Shell Gas Station.
Should you wish to escape the chaos and craziness of East Africa's largest city, then just kick back at the Panafric Hotel, which despite its proximity to the city centre is located in a quiet residential suburb. Forget about the stresses of your job, relax and get into holiday mode with a soothing massage or beauty treatment of your choice. At the massage parlour, you have a choice of the following treatments: Swedish, Therapeutic, Aromatherapy, Reflexology or a Pedicure & Manicure. Of course, there's nothing stopping you from trying them all! Sarova Panafric offers state-of-the-art banqueting and conferencing facilities with a range of meeting and function rooms equipped with the latest audio visual and WIFI equipment. To wind up the day, take a dip in the pool or go for a leisurely massage – or simply enjoy a cool drink to the soothing sounds of Africa’s rhythm. And this hotel is centrally located, only a short 0.5 km from Kenya's landmark 'Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC)’, one of the most prominent events venues in Africa.
the Afro-chic guest rooms at Sarova Panafric hotel offer a comfortable stay with all the first class hotel facilities and services. The décor and ambiance of the rooms are an expression of African art and culture. Inspired by different regions and cultures in Africa, the Sarova Panafric suites have a spacious sitting room and bedroom with one ensuite and one guest bathroom. The sitting room is furnished with a four-seater dining table to suit your in-room dining. All rooms have the following amenities: fully air-conditioned, safe deposit box, wireless internet connectivity, private bath with shower, WC and hair dryer (voltage of 240 volts, separate razor outlets), direct dial telephone with voice mail. Satellite TV with remote control, mini bar and tea/coffee making facilities. Sarova Panafric is considered as one of the best hotels in Nairobi. From serving you the most delicious cuisine to ensuring the best level of comfort, Sarova Panafric does all it takes to make your stay the most memorable one. Currently being listed among the top Nairobi hotels, we ensure that your stay turns out to be the most exciting one. And yes, if you are looking out for cheap hotels in Nairobi, we turn out to be the right pick.
Sarova Panafric Hotel Club Rooms
Panafric Hotel Club rooms offer a tranquil environment exemplified by warm colors and complimented by unique décor. Guests are treated to intricate floral arrangements and room comforts such as white toweling robes and indoor slippers.
Sarova Panafric Hotel executive Rooms
The executive rooms at Sarova Panafric Hotel are characterised by inviting furnishings and décor that create a contemporary yet convivial atmosphere. They have a comfortable princely bed, ensuite bathrooms with showers, and overlook the hotel’s swimming pool or lovely gardens.
Sarova Panafric Superior Rooms
With a unique view of the city, the superior rooms are superbly luminous with their floor-to-ceiling windows. They feature spacious bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms and large wardrobes, cool granite tiled floors and richly coloured furnishings.
Sarova Panafric Hotel Ashanti Suite Located on the third floor, Ashanti is named after the Ashanti tribe of Central Ghana, once renowned for the splendour and wealth of their rulers. The suite reflects authentic Ashanti craft work.
Sarova Panafric Hotel Kuba Suite
Named after the Kuba tribe of the great Zaire, the Kuba suite is located on the fourth floor and is adorned with distinct fine art identifiable to the Kuba people.
Sarova Panafric Hotel Gedi Suite This fifth floor suite originates its name from the ancient town of Gedi near the Kenyan Coast, which is today a much visited archaeological site. The décor of the suite reflects coastal influences in ambiance and furniture.
Sarova Panafric Hotel Ndebele Suite
The Ndebele suite is uniquely decorated with aesthetic elements derived from the South African Ndebele culture and is located on the sixth floor. Sarova Panafric Hotel Studio Suite
The three studio suites are characterised by the inviting décor that creates a refined yet welcoming atmosphere, an expression of the constant attention to detail for which Sarova Panafric is famous for. A bravura canopy bed dominates the sleeping area, distinguishing it from the living room
Sarova Panafric Hotel Apartments
The Sarova Panafric hotel offers an additional choice of accommodation in its 42 fully serviced Panafric apartments which are located in a separate block within the hotel premises. Our Apartments have their own secure and ample parking space, with 24-hour security. Sarova Panafric apartments are fully furnished and comprise of a living and dining room, well-equipped kitchen with an electric cooker and a choice of one or two bedrooms facing either the manicured pool garden or the parking. Apartments are leased for a minimum period of one month.
With a stay at Sarova Panafric in Nairobi, you'll be connected to the airport and minutes from Uhuru Park and Central Park. This hotel is within close proximity of Kenya Railway Golf Club and National Assembly Building. Pamper yourself with a visit to the spa, which offers massages, body treatments, and facials. You can take advantage of recreational amenities such as an outdoor pool and a fitness center. This hotel also features wireless Internet access (surcharge), concierge services, and gift shops/newsstands. Featured amenities include a business center, express check-in, and express check-out. Event facilities at this hotel consist of a conference center, conference space, and meeting rooms. A shuttle from the airport to the hotel is provided for a surcharge (available 24 hours), and free valet parking is available onsite. Make yourself at home in one of the 162 air-conditioned guestrooms. Your room comes with a memory foam bed. Rooms have private balconies. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and satellite programming is available for your entertainment. Private bathrooms with shower/tub combinations feature complimentary toiletries and bathrobes. The hotel is located in Upperhill an upmarket business and residential suburb of Nairobi, half a kilometre from the city centre and 18km from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. 1 kms to city centre 18 kms to the nearest airport (jomo kenyatta international airport) 15 minute walk to the nearest metro station (nairobi city) 3 km to the nearest station (nairobi railway station) 5 minute walk to the nearest bus stop 1 km to the nearest fair site (kenyatta intl conference ctr) Savour the selection of the many dining options at Sarova Panafric Hotel and prepare your senses for a culinary experience like no other. From al-fresco dining to vibrant social nightlife, our restaurants and elaborate bar offer dining opportunities for any occasion. The hotel offers 24 hour room service with a special room service menu. Guests can enjoy a choice of al-fresco or indoor dining at this award winning flame tree restaurant Nairobi, once the watering hole for freedom fighters, cid spies and foreign correspondents and named after the Flame Tree that holds pride of place in the middle of the restaurant. Flame Tree restaurant offers a fusion of cuisines with influences from Continental and pan-African cuisines. It also serves mouth-watering pizzas prepared in an authentic wood fired oven. The restaurant opens from 6.00am to 10.30pm. Located inside Flame Tree restaurant, the bar counter is open from 8:00 am to 11.00 pm every day. The large bar stocks a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. This poolside restaurant offers a lunch buffet as well an a la carte menu of light meals and snacks. The restaurant is a popular Sunday brunch venue for city residents who come to enjoy the barbecue in the garden setting. The restaurant opens from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Sarova Panafric Hotel a business hotel in Nairobi has some of the finest state-of-the-art meeting and conference facilities in Nairobi. Panafric Hotel offers state-of-the-art meeting, conference, banquets, receptions & wedding grounds facilities in the heart of the financial district of Kenya. With its 9 fully equipped meeting rooms, combined with a capacity of 350 persons, it is perfectly designed to meet different requirements. A feature of Sarova Panafric’s conferencing includes:
• 9 conference rooms including syndicate rooms
• Audio-visual equipment and secretarial assistance available
• Photocopying, fax, telephone, and stationery offered
• Personalised conference coordinator
• Business centre and WI-FI
Having catered to clients from various backgrounds, they have perfected the art of versatility and creativity in their menus. So, maybe you are looking for authentic Swahili dishes, their chefs can prepare the most mouthwatering mchele wa nazi, biriyani, samaki wa kupaka and pilau wa nazi. Or maybe you have been dreaming of a continental menu with grilled pepper steaks served with potatoes; Kitchens of Sarova will design your meal to perfection. And for the most authentic and tasty Indian cuisine, they can guarantee heavenly chicken tikka masala and golden flavoured saffron rice among other delicacies. The hotel has a great location. Since it is real close to the central business district, one can reach all important places quickly. This comes in real handy especially when you have to negate the notorious week day traffic of Nairobi. Introduce your guests to their melt-in-the-mouth desserts that will have even the sweetest tooth satisfied. Allow Kitchens of Sarova to spoil your guests and give them a pleasant memory of your wedding. With Kitchens of Sarova, there is an ideal menu for every bride; even the one looking for simplicity and elegance. African recipes can tend to be dull and bland but in the hands of their excellent chefs; your mukimo, pilau or ugali can be made spectacular. Their dedicated staff will have a sit-down with you and help you decide on a menu that suits your taste and your budget. As you take your wedding photography with your family and transition from ceremony to reception, don’t leave your guests milling around unsure of what to do. Serve them up with refreshing cocktails and you can even have them prepared to match your wedding colour. And to top that, Kitchens of Sarova will make your setup spectacular with stunning illuminated cocktail tables. Classy and Creative! Most guests will sit through rain, sun and endless speeches just to get a taste of your wedding cake. Let it be worth the wait by hiring the right people to design and prepare it. The pastry chefs at Kitchens of Sarova can prepare a scrumptious wedding cake that looks as good as it tastes. Whether you are looking for a creative groom’s cake an elegant wedding cake or some of the new and more creative wedding cake trends; such as nude wedding cake or an ombre design; they can guarantee heavenly tastes and spectacular designs. Sarova Panafric Hotel has a special outside catering product dubbed "Kitchens of Sarova” that specializes in outdoor catering for a wide range of occasions from corporate events, business lunches, office parties, Christmas parties, birthday celebrations, conferences, social events and weddings. So, if you are planning a business tour to Kenya, make sure to check-in at Sarova Panafric. The rooms are all equipped with everything you need to stay connected to your office at all times. And of course, a fabulous team is always at your service. This modern and professionally manned business is located on the Conference Floor for easy access. Guests can access email, print, fax, photocopy and surf the net and also catch up on the news with the national daily newspapers stocked here. The Business Centre opens daily from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
The large pool surrounded by a landscaped garden along one side, is ideal for a refreshing swim. Sit back and relax as Sarova Hotels makes your special moments magical. From unique and fun engagements to fairy-tale weddings and glorious honeymoons, Sarova Hotels makes every step perfect. Whether you travel across town or around the world, we will meet your every need: superb settings, award-winning cuisines, ambiance, rich culture and refreshing African hospitality. A perfect Sarova experience for you as you relish your most special day. Sarova Panafric Hotel has hosted many a special wedding and is well geared to create a spectacular wedding event. The resort has many interesting venues such as the Palms Pool Island, on the beach or even in a glass bottomed boat. Wedding services include venue décor, floral arrangements, tiered wedding cakes, wedding banquets, music and dance, special romantic dining, special wedding services at the Tulia Spa, beauty and hair treatments at the salon, special requests for accommodation for the guests and a honeymoon suite for the newlyweds. Weddings in Nairobi Panafric Hotel are easy and fun as the resort takes charge of all arrangements allowing guests to truly enjoy the occasion with friends and family without worrying about the details. No doubt, Kenya is one of the most sought out places for weddings and honeymoon. Right from making the floral arrangements to preparing the most delicious wedding cakes, Sarova Panafric Hotel does it all for you. Moreover, it also offers a perfect treat to those out on a holiday with their families and friends. What more would you ask for? So, next time you are out hunting for a luxury honeymoon accommodation in Nairobi, rest assured Sarova Panafric has it for you.
Located on the first floor, Tulia Spa offers a tranquil experience and therapies are done by trained associates who can offer a variety of treatments including therapeutic massage, aromatherapy, reflexology and beauty treatments such as pedicure and manicure
Our personalized concierge services are well in place to enhance your stay with us. Some of our services include:
• Pre-arrangement of extra requirements for guests i.e. bottle of champagne in room upon arrival
• Pre-arrangement of Limo, Airport shuttle services & Taxi services
• Organizing sightseeing & visits to various tourist attractions and spots in the city
• Information on the city while staying at Sarova Panafric such as Provision of security tips, Eating places and specialty restaurants, Cinema theatres, Banks, Shopping places, Markets and market days, Entertainment spots and bars
• Luggage storage facilities
• Provision of City layout and city maps
Sarova Hotels are not only situated in the most convenient locations but represent the very pinnacle of luxuriously appointed accommodation in Kenya. The ultimate standard in design, comfort, facilities, food and leisure come together to create a blend of quality and opulence, rarely seen at any five star hotel in Kenya. With numerous options available to enhance the level of service guests receive, such as impeccable cuisine and dining facilities, family vacation spots, blissful weddings and honeymoon vacations, meetings and events travel, thrilling Kenya safari experiences and well-appointed guest rooms, our offerings guarantee you unforgettable experiences. Sarova Hotels & Lodges brings you East Africa’s premier loyalty program, Sarova Zawadi. Join Sarova Zawadi Rewards Program to receive more benefits, privileges and savings while experiencing truly refreshing African hospitality. And what’s even more exciting, you don’t have to wait, you can fast track to elite status membership of Sarova Zawadi and enjoy rewards as soon as you sign up. Sarova Hotels & Resorts is not only one of the largest chains of hotels and lodges in Kenya and East Africa, it is also one of the most innovative offering guest’s diverse experiences that are simply unforgettable. Sarova Hotels currently has over a thousand rooms across eight hotels in kenya with a staff complement of over one thousand people. For the leisure traveler, Sarova Lodges offers a host of diverse experiences - wildlife game drives, land and water sports, health clubs and traditional and contemporary entertainment - all well packaged into the Sarova World of Incentives. We provide up-to-date business facilities as well as state-of-the-art conferencing through our customized conferencing solution – The Motivator. Sarova Hotels has retained a distinguished position as a responsible citizen in all environments within which we operate. Our CSR initiatives are guided by three pillars: Education, Health and Environment. Sarova hotels, resorts and game lodges are located in some of the most breathtaking locales in the country, offering guests the perfect stay complemented by refreshing African hospitality.... Sandy Vohra Centre for Learning and Development (SVCLD) was formed with a distinct mission to be a business partner leveraging business objectives at all levels; developing exceptionally talented, competent individuals and building high performance teams in both its internal and external community. Sarova Hotels Corporate Social Responsibility focus is governed by three pillars i.e. Education, Environment and Health. SVCLD highlights Sarova's commitment to the education pillar. Together with our stakeholders, we are taking Sarova Hotels to greater heights. With continuous developments, the launch of new brands and products as well as solidifying our presence as the leading hotel chain in East Africa, Sarova Hotels is certain to be the brand of choice. If you're thinking about the perfect accommodations for your holiday, think no more. Discover the hotels of the Sarova Hotels chain. If you're looking for a hotel where you can rest and relax on your days off, Sarova Hotels offers a wide variety of rooms at the best destinations, so choosing your accommodations won't be a problem. You will find all kinds of accommodations—with breakfast included, all-inclusive or catering service—and the best terms on your reservations. You don't need to worry about anything because we make all the information on Sarova Hotels available to you so you'll have everything you need to enjoy your holiday to the fullest. Sarova Hotels is recognized as one of Kenya's finest hotel and leisure companies serving the luxury and upscale markets. Operating eight prime properties in some of Kenya`s most popular destinations. The company has had a long-standing commitment to the continued development of Kenya’s tourism and hospitality industry. Sarova Hotels, Resorts and Lodges is grouped into Luxury, Leisure and Business categories to provide consistency across the different hotels’ products and services. Our properties include, Sarova Mara Game Camp in Maasai Mara Game Reserve; Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge in Lake Nakuru National Park; Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa on the beaches of the Indian Ocean in Mombasa; Sarova Panafric and The Sarova Stanley in Nairobi, Sarova Shaba Game Lodge situated in the Shaba Game Reserve with our new additions Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge and Sarova Taita Hills Game Lodge in the Taita Hills Sanctuary, Tsavo region. Today, Sarova Hotels, Resort & Lodges has more than one thousand rooms in the eight properties across Kenya, employing over one thousand five hundred people all dedicated to providing high standard and quality service to our guests. Although each Sarova property maintains an individual distinction of and character, all the units are bound by the common commitment to constantly meet the demands of the international business and leisure travellers. In this way Sarova Hotels, Resorts & Lodges has achieved the sole objective of providing the guests with the comfort of facilities in exciting and varied sites.
Sarova Panafric has today signed up a sponsorship deal with Kenya Rugby Football Union ( KRFU), towards the hosting of this year’s Safaricom 7s Rugby tournament to be held 21st – 23rd September. The sponsorship worth Kshs 1.5 Million will go towards hospitality at the event as well as accommodation of various teams. Sarova Panafric has partnered with KRFU over the years in hosting of various rugby events especially the 7s. Commenting on the partnership, Sarova Panafric’s General Manager, Mr. Anthony Ngunga observed that “There is a natural interdependence between sports and the hospitality industry and as a result Sarova Panafric Nairobi has gone beyond to exemplify this by supporting local sports and athletes. The integral role of sports in this country’s economic development cannot be over emphasized and it is our hope that various key players in the hospitality industry will get involved in supporting the local sports arena.” He further stated that Sarova Nairobi Panafric sponsorship to Safaricom 7’s is “an opportunity to celebrate the contribution of our sportsmen to our country, as well as to show appreciation to the veterans that crown our country through exciting and meaningful kick-off events.” Previously known as Safari Sevens, the now Safaricom Sevens, named after the key sponsor Safaricom Limited, is a rugby tourney held in Kenya annually. Founded in 1996, the tourney is run by the Kenya Rugby Union. This three day rugby festival has grown to be Africa’s premier rugby sevens tournament drawing crowds of over 20, 000 people from various regions in Africa and also attracting a variety of international rugby teams, players & coaches. According to Mr Sasha Mutai, chairman of the Safaricom 7s organizing committee, Rugby teams from across the globe have got fond memories of Sarova Panafric and are eager to be back home, especially considering the newly refurbished facilities. Have you started planning your safari on your own? Are you totally overwhelmed with all the information out there? Let us help you cut through all the conflicting information online and start planning a safari that is completely tailored to you. Get in touch with us and we can discuss your travel passions and help you begin the planning process for your dream safari.
Sarova Hotels has been recognized on numerous occasions and has been awarded for being a keen contributor to the hospitality industry. Sarova Hotels focus on best practice and sustainable business management has seen the group receive numerous prestigious awards.
Sarova Hotels, Resorts & Game Lodges World Travel Awards Winner 2014.
Sarova Mara Game Camp is proud to have been selected as one of the Best African Safari Lodges in the world, by the Condé Nast 2014 Gold List
Sarova Stanley Named Kenya's Leading Hotel at The World Travel Awards-Africa held in Nairobi,KENYA.
Sarova Hotels Shines at the CIO 100 Awards 2013
Sarova Hotels Scoops Six Energy Management Awards 2013
Kitchens of Sarova Emerge as Big Winners of the Night at the Chef's Delight Awards 2013
Sarova Hotels, Resorts & Game Lodges IT function gets rewarded.
Sarova Stanley emerged winner at both the World Travel & World Luxury hotel awards 2011.
Sarova Hotels, Resorts and Game Lodges Earns Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence.
Sarova's Clean Sweep at First Kenya Tourism Awards 2011.
Sarova Stanley emerged winner of the World Travel Awards - for Kenya's leading hotel, 2010.
Sarova Stanley emerged winner of the World Luxury award - For best business hotel 2010.
Sarova Whitesands emerged winner of the Energy Management Award-Service Sector for the year 2010.
Sarova Hotels emerged winners of the night at the just concluded CIO 100 awards 2013. Sarova Hotels was named in the top 20 of the companies in East Africa for using IT to add value to the business and increase efficiency. Every year, the CIO 100 Awards recognize companies that are the best at using IT to achieve business value. The awards identify strategic business projects that add value to new or existing processes. CIO 100 honors ingenuity as well as pragmatism: companies that take risks with new technologies as well as those that create change through sheer will and straightforward smarts. The process for choosing the CIO 100 honorees is systematic and very competitive. Their keen focus is identifying companies that are using IT in innovative ways to deliver competitive advantage to the enterprise and enable growth. CIO 100 judges also collect recommendations from their independent panel of experts, who nominate organizations which are distinguished for their innovative use of IT. They then debate how each company stacks up against the others in terms of the depth and breadth of their practices, their creativity, the specific measurable results of their achievements. Sarova Hotels scooped three competitive awards in the categories below:- • Award position 6 of all businesses in East Africa in various multiple industries: for our supply chain optimization transformation initiative. Plus One award, Hospitality Industry: for technology leadership among businesses in the hospitality industry in Eastern Africa. Award Position of all businesses in East Africa in various multiple industries: for a unified communications project that is increasing our speed of doing business. On receiving the awards, John Muthiora the Group IT Manager for Sarova Hotels, Resorts and Game Lodges reiterated that “the awards are a true reflection of the continuous effort placed by the group to invest in technology for increased efficiencies and improve productivity, a focus that has been inculcated in the business strategy and has seen increased bottom lines.”
Nairobi is one of Africa’s major cities: the UN’s fourth “World Centre”, East Africa’s commercial, media and NGO hub, and a significant capital in its own right, with a population of between three and four million, depending on how big an area you include. Nairobi city is a city full of contrasts. It's old enough so you can feel its past and multi-ethnic enough so you can experience Kenyan culture, yet it's modern enough to get Internet access. It's a city that blends people from all cultures and walks of life. Adorned with modern skyscrapers, world class restaurants, fully equipped hospitals, modern shopping malls, schools, abundant private and public transportation, and universities and colleges that provide local and international curriculum - you will find it all in Nairobi. The Nairobi is also home to numerous local and international businesses and organizations. Nairobi bustles with activity. It's a city that never sleeps; the rhythm is fast, day and night. There's always something to do and see in Nairobi and its people are friendly and hospitable. Although it has many positive features, like any other large city, Nairobi has its fair share of problems and faces enormous challenges that range from congested roads and streets to crime and poverty in the neighboring slums of Kibera and Mathare. Nairobi began in the late 1890s as a railway camp, where the British rested as they built the "lunatic express" - the Mombasa to Uganda railway line. It was originally named "Ewaso Nai´beri", but the British had difficulty pronouncing this and, instead, coined their own name "Nairobi". Because of its central location in Kenya, Nairobi later became the British provincial capital and, finally, the capital city of Kenya. In 1899, when the builders of the "Lunatic Express" railway line decided to set up camp at "Ewaso Nai´beri", they likely had no idea that they had just sown the seeds of what would become the largest city in the region. They chose to camp in this place for two main reasons: It was cool and well supplied with water. It is no wonder that the local Maasai people had named it "Ewaso Nai´beri" meaning "a place of cool waters". The cool temperature was a welcome relief from the hot Mombasa coastal sun the British had to contend with as they built the railway line from Mombasa to Uganda. It offered an escape from the man-eaters. The fact that "Ewaso Nai´beri" was a swampland reduced the likelihood of an encounter with lions. During the construction of a bridge at Tsavo a year earlier, two very large male lions killed and ate more than 135 of the railway workers. This railway line, meant to connect the East African interior with the rest of the world, had been named the "Lunatic Express" by skeptics doubting its economic worth. The Looney express camp gave rise to the town that would later become the City of Nairobi. With the railway line now complete, the history of Nairobi continues when the British moved their administrative headquarters from the hot and humid town of Mombasa to the cooler, swampy town of Nairobi, thus making Nairobi the capital of British East Africa. In 1919, the Nairobi municipal community formally became the Nairobi City Council. Its boundary was extended to include surrounding part-urban settlements. The boundary was again extended in 1927 to cover 30 square miles (48 sq.km). Geographically, the city of Nairobi now occupies approximately 425 square miles (684 sq.km). During the struggle against British colonialism, the city served as an important meeting point for political activists to get together and compare notes. In 1906, the city had a population of 10,512. By 1963, when Kenya received independence from Britain, the City of Nairobi had a population of 350,000. Nairobi was the heart around which the predominantly agricultural economy pulsated. People kept streaming to the city. Businesses developed and thrived and the town grew in leaps and bounds. The population was mainly comprised of English settlers, Asians and ethnic communities of the Kikuyu and Kamba whose origins were in close proximity to the city. The Maasai had been relocated by the British a few years earlier to pave wave for settler occupation. Today, the city of Nairobi is a truly cosmopolitan, multicultural, lively and modern city with an ever-growing skyline. It is a "gateway to Kenya" and embraces people from all walks of life. From local Kenyans to Asians, Arabs, Europeans, tourists, diplomats and businessmen, and general visitors, you will find a good mix of people in Nairobi. As of 2007, the population of Nairobi stood at more than 3 million and continues to grow. Nairobi continues to thrive and benefit greatly from the overall stability that Kenya enjoys as a nation. An important aspect of the post independence period has been the migration of people from the rural areas to Nairobi. The majority of the immigrants come from the neighboring Central and Eastern Provinces, while others come from as far as Western and Nyanza Provinces. Almost every Kenyan ethnic tribe has a presence in Nairobi, leading to the rapid population growth. The beautiful green foliage and the fact that Nairobi is the only city with a national park within its boundaries earned it the dual identity of "the green city in the sun" and "the safari capital of the world". Any safari tour to see Kenya's world famous game animals begins in Nairobi. Before independence, Nairobi was a popular place for big game hunters to begin their hunting expeditions. Indeed, in the early part of the 20th century, Nairobi was the hunting capital of the world. It was, therefore, only natural that later wildlife conservation efforts would be focused on Nairobi. The life stories of leading conservationists such as George and Joy Adamson, David Sheldrick and the Leakey's, among others, helped cement Kenya's reputation as a leader in wildlife conservation during the latter part of the 20th century. By the early 70s, big game hunting had altogether disappeared though it remained a serious problem. On July 18, 1989, Kenya underscored its commitment to wildlife conservation when the president at the time, Daniel Moi, set ablaze 12 tonnes of elephant tusks valued at over $3 million. This took place in the City of Nairobi at the Nairobi National Park. Economically, Nairobi has evolved from a rustic village to an important economic hub for the East African region. From its initial start as an agricultural-based economy, the city has grown exponentially and is now a center for huge manufacturing and industrial facilities. The history of Nairobi is closely intertwined with the rest of East Africa, in a relationship that began when the original East African Community, East African Railways & Harbors and The East African Airways housed their regional headquarters in the city. Thus, Nairobi has always been the regional center driving economic activity in the East African region. There's more than one way to travel to Nairobi, depending on where you are departing from. If you are adventurous, you could travel over land, across the length of the African continent, to get to Nairobi. You could drive your own car or hop on a public transportation vehicle coming from any town or city in Kenya. You could also catch the train from Mombasa or Kisumu to Nairobi, but flying to Nairobi, of course, remains the most practical choice if you are coming to Nairobi from another country. The Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, abbreviated JKIA (Code: NBO), is only 18 kilometers (roughly 10 miles) from the Nairobi city center. It's the largest airport in the country and serves as the main entry point for visitors flying to Kenya. JKIA offers domestic, regional and international flights and connections to and from major European cities, the United States, the Middle East, the Far East and the African continent. There are currently no direct flights from North America to Nairobi. If you are flying from the United States, you have to connect your flight to Nairobi via hubs in Europe, such as Amsterdam, London and Zurich. However, starting sometime in 2009, Delta Airlines is scheduled to offer a one-stop flight between Atlanta and Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport four times a week, with a stopover in Dakar-Senegal. Some of the airlines that fly to Nairobi through Europe include Kenya Airways, British Airways, KLM, Emirates Airline and Qatar Airways. Most flights to Nairobi from Europe are direct and non-stop. The major carriers include: Kenya Airways, KLM, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Swiss International Air Lines and Brussels Airlines. It's not always an easy travel from "down under" to Nairobi due to a lack of direct flights from Australia to Kenya. One has to connect through South Africa, Asia or the Middle East. As for China, the Middle East and Asia, cities in these areas are very popular for business and tourist travel and Kenya's local carrier, Kenya Airways, provides frequent flights to cities in these regions. Other major carriers include Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Qantas. Major carriers providing flights to Nairobi from other cities and countries in Africa include South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, and Egypt Air. Although it's advisable to get a Kenya visa from your country of origin before you travel to Nairobi, you can always get one at the Kenya immigration office based at the international airports upon your arrival. Not everyone needs a visa to enter Kenya. In order to get your Kenya visa at the JKIA passport control in Nairobi, ensure that you have the following items at hand: Supporting documents showing the purpose of your visit to Kenya, A passport that is valid for no less than six months, Visa fees as specified by passport control, currently US$ 50, Euros 40 or Sterling Pounds 30. The Nairobi JKIA airport has plenty of taxis and car rental services that operate 24 hours to provide airport transfers to your destination within the city. Popular and reputable car hire services at the JKIA include Avis Car Hire, Budget Car Rental, JKIA Taxis Services Ltd, Jatco Taxi, Kenatco Taxis, Naz Car Hire, New Jambo Taxi and Payless Car Hire among others. A taxi ride to the city center may cost you between $25 and $40. Car hire rates start at $35 per day whereas four-wheel-drive SUVs may start at $60 depending on the model. Traveling to Nairobi from other Kenyan cities is done by air, rail or road transportation. Flights to Nairobi from other Kenya cities and towns arrive at the JKIA airport or the smaller Wilson Airport in Nairobi. You can book your scheduled domestic flight to Nairobi with services provided by a number of local airlines, including Kenya Airways, Precision Air, African Safari Airway, Air Kenya Express, Fly540, African Express Airways, Mombasa Air Safaris, Safari Link and Jet Link Express. Kenya Airways also offers online ticket booking while the rest of the airlines can be booked through travel agents in Kenya or abroad or contact us. You can also travel to Nairobi by public transportation, such as buses destined for country and long distance travel, minibuses, and the Rift Valley Railways train service. Minibuses (also known as matatus) are the most common mode of transport used by Kenyans visiting Nairobi. You can use your VISA, MasterCard, Cirrus, PLUS and Maestro cards to draw money from the numerous ATM machines available at the airport. The 24-hour banking services and forex bureaus at JKIA will change your home currency to the local Kenya shilling. Emergency health services provided by AMREF Flying Doctor, Avenue Rescue Ambulance Services, Intensive Care Air Ambulance Ltd, and Provide International Ambulance Services are on hand should you require medical help. While living in Nairobi, you will experience everyday life in East Africa’s largest most modern and fastest-growing capital city. Life in Nairobi is a study in contrasts. Nairobi society grapples with poverty and inequality in the distribution of wealth and income. For the urban poor, living in Nairobi means dwelling in slums and shantytowns. However, the city is also home to Kenya’s elite and to the steadily growing middle class with their increasing affluence and leisure time. Tourism is an important source of income for many people living in Nairobi. Thus, there are plenty of amenities to suit everyone’s taste – and wallet. Life in Nairobi includes some surprisingly expensive pastimes, provided you can afford them. For most expats living in Nairobi, planning their “time out” in the city first involves its best-known attraction: the magnificent wildlife that abounds in the “Safari Capital of the World”. Nairobi National Park is located on the outskirts of the city. There you can observe gazelles, buffaloes, and wildebeests against the distant backdrop of high-rise buildings. The Giraffe Centre provides you with the opportunity to get up close and personal with these surprisingly graceful, long-legged creatures. If you’d rather see baby elephants and tiny rhinoceroses, you should pay a visit to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Also, the East Africa Natural History Society (aka Nature Kenya) regularly organizes nature walks and bird-watching trips through the Nairobi Arboretum. Nature Kenya is involved in the conservationist movement and in promoting sustainable tourism that benefits the local population. Of worthy mention are the national efforts being made in Kenya to meet world standards for ecotourism. After the first half of 2014, ninety-nine facilities in Kenya are now eco-rating certified. Thus, environmentally-conscious expats can also find something they like. If you are interested in cultural tourism, you could try asking a member of Nature Kenya for tips. The Bomas of Kenya village is also a good starting point. The location preserves and showcases the heritage of Kenya’s various ethnicities, including displays of various traditional villages. It is rather touristy, but it serves as a first impression of life in rural Kenya rather than life in Nairobi. Furthermore, there are several tour operators which focus on cultural tourism. They give visitors a glimpse of Kenya’s regions and offer an additional income to Kenyan residents. If you have never been to Eastern Africa, you might want to look into such a tour, which is not only educational for you, but also benefits the local Kenyan community. Contemporary life in Kenya is much more multi-faceted than even the best introduction for tourists can show. While you are living in Nairobi, there is plenty for you to discover once you have settled in. Music lovers could get active themselves, e.g. by joining a choir. Choral music is hugely popular among those living in Nairobi. Becoming a member of a parish choir for instance, is also a great way to get to know new people. Religion plays an important role in the lives of many Kenyans, and church is a common place to socialize. The less musically talented will probably prefer other activities to singing. The numerous embassies in Nairobi often host cultural events centering on literature, the fine arts, or movies. Theater-goers living in Nairobi should give the Kenya National Theatre in the Central Business District a try; cinema-enthusiasts should not miss out on the Kenya International Film Festival. Foodies should take advantage of Nairobi’s variety of local and international cuisine. The art of food in Nairobi is shaped by its cultural melting pot of people and ethnicities. Moreover, it doesn’t have to be expensive to be good. Many expats living in Nairobi seek out the local Kenyan places and let their tongues take a culinary “safari”. Once you have gotten accustomed to the local climate and altitude, life in Nairobi offers lots of opportunities for hobby athletes. The many successes of professional runners from East Africa are widely known. However, you needn’t strive to become the next Catherine Ndereba or Paul Tergat to enjoy yourself. Organizations like the Hash House Harriers running club unite Kenyans and expats for social runs and races. Nairobi’s private country clubs host the wealthier residents when they indulge in disciplines like horse-riding, polo, or golf. As far as spectator sports are concerned, football and horse-racing are obvious favorites. If you venture beyond Nairobi’s city limits, you can go hiking and diving. Mount Kenya – visible from the capital on clear days – is a wonderful destination for nature lovers, trekkers, and mountain-climbers. Africa’s second-highest peak is a Kenyan national park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The Chogoria Route up and down the mountain features some particularly spectacular scenery. Alternatively, you can head for the Kenyan coast. Diani Beach, Kenya’s busiest resort, and more off-the-beaten-track locations like Wasini Island and Funzi Island are ideal for sunbathing, snorkeling, diving, and bird watching. If you need a break from bustling life in Nairobi, a trip to the Indian Ocean is well worth it. Nairobi business contributes enormously to the economy of Kenya. In fact, Nairobi is considered a business hub for East and Central Africa. Most companies that have operations in this region have headquarters located in Nairobi, including international organizations and multi-national companies. Coca Cola, General Motors, Google and even the United Nations' regional headquarters are located in this city. Those looking to establish a new business find that Nairobi is an ideal location because of its infrastructure and liberal markets. Government policies have encouraged business growth and a stable Nairobi economy. Its modernity, state-of-the-art skyline, improved technology, highly educated and trained manpower, and diverse and vibrant market have elevated Nairobi to become the business hub of the region. Nairobi, alone, contributes 60 percent of Kenya's GDP. Its companies are both public and private entities, including service based, agricultural and manufacturing industries. Official Nairobi business hours are from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. A few business premises are open six days a week. Most businesses are open for half a day on Saturday, but stay closed on Sunday. Manufacturing in Nairobi consists of many small and medium-sized industries. These include industries manufacturing steel products, plastic goods, soaps, flour, vegetable oil, canned fruit and fruit juice, horticulture, and dairy and poultry farming. Bulk trading of Kenyan coffee (the Kenyan coffee auction) also takes place weekly at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange. Although Nairobi trade is based on an agricultural economy, the most vibrant industry is the service-based industry with Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) as the latest entrant into the market. The service industry contributes 59.2 percent of Nairobi's GDP as compared to 24 percent from agriculture, followed next by the manufacturing industry. Both local and international banks dominate the banking sector in Nairobi. There are approximately 47 banks in Kenya to serve your banking needs, and the majority of these banks have their headquarters in Nairobi. Major Nairobi banks include: Barclays Bank, Equity Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank, National Bank, Co-operative Bank, and CFC Stanbic Bank, among others. Nairobi banks are open five days a week from 8am to 3pm, as well as on the first and last Saturday of each month. Many also provide 24-hour ATM service. Find more details on Kenya's big banks. The thriving microfinance sector provides financial services to various un-banked and under-served segments of the Nairobi population, including the poor and low-income households, informal sector traders and micro-entrepreneurs. Trade shows exhibit the latest products and services offered by different companies. Nairobi Business Shows attract participants and guests from all over the world. Trade shows in Nairobi show case travel and tourism, horticulture, housing and construction, automobiles, food industries, pharmaceuticals, and fashion and textiles among other products and services of interest to the Kenyan market. Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) plays host to most of these international fairs and shows. Due to its appeal, tight security, modern conference facilities and strategic location in the CBD, KICC has become a preferred venue for show and exhibition organizers. Some of the regular trade shows include: BuildExpo, Kenya Travel and Tourism Kenya, Hortec, Agriflor East Africa, Auto Expo, Food and Pack, Kenya Fashion, AfricaMedi and Pharm Kenya, Digital Kenya, Kenya International Trade Expo, Medexpo Kenya, and Kenya International Education Fair among other local and international exhibitors. Nairobi is possibly the best place in Africa to stock up on crafts and curios. The quality and prices of goods are not matched elsewhere, so make the most of a stay here to stock up. The local vendors will test your bargaining skills so be prepared to haggle. Typical souvenirs include Kamba woodcarvings, African masks, Kisii soapstone carvings, Masai beadwork colourful fabrics, handmade rugs and the distinctive square cloth known as kangas or kikhois. Do not attempt to buy precious stones or jewellery from freelance vendors. The best place to go on a shopping excursion is the fascinating and always lively City Market on Muindi Mbingu Street. For a more local experience visit Kariokor Market where everything from vegetables to clothes is on sale. More local crafts can be found at the Maasai Markets (every Tuesday, Friday on the intersection of Moi Avenue and Monrovia Street; on Thursdays near the National Theatre; and Fridays near Limuru Road). Biashara (Business) Street in central Nairobi is lined with interesting stores and boutiques, with plenty of cafes in which to recuperate from the rigors of shopping. Note that taxi drivers and local touts will pressure you to go to certain stores; they earn large commissions for doing so and therefore the prices you pay will be much higher. Kenyan nightlife is infamous for its anything goes attitude. Things however are tightening up, and in Nairobi, rules are becoming more common, and more enforced. That being said, if you are looking to party in Kenya, Nairobi and the areas around Mombasa have you covered! Beer and other forms of alcohol in Kenya are widespread and easily available. Recently there has been an effort to crack down on people getting drunk and lazy during the day, so the selling of alcohol has been restricted. But you can never be certain if these regulations will be enforced, or if it is just another means of corruption. Typically Nairobi nightclubs are open late, often till the sun shines the next day. It’s common to take your time, eat dinner and possibly visit a cheap bar to hangout before checking into the main destination of the night. Small neighborhood bars, guest houses, or just the side of the road are good places to get started before moving on. Attire for going out is really up to where you go, and where you are in the country. Nairobi has its share of upscale nightclubs and bars that require closed-toed shoes and long pants, with most people choosing to wear button down shirts. Upper class Kenyans and Indians like to dress smart, and make sure they look good going out. Normal everyday bars, and side-of-the-road drinking holes are very casual and laid back. The temperatures in Nairobi are cool at night, so you’ll probably want to wear jeans and tennis shoes wherever you go. On the coast around Mombasa, it’s more polite to wear long pants, but shorts and flip flip are usually acceptable. Going out in Kenya is usually a time to hang out with friends and meet others. There’s a range of people that go out and sometimes the scene can seem a bit divided. Groups of local Kenyans, Indians, white Kenyans (colonial British), and the international expat community all tend to have their own hangouts. The good news is that despite the groups, everyone can happily party and mingle together in Kenya. Due to the lack of identification required to enter clubs and bars in Nairobi, there are a lot of younger youth that show up to party. As in all of Africa, Kenyans are naturally gifted with the ability to dance, and clubs throughout the country are filled with dance floors. Modern trendy clubs play a mixture of dance / house music, international hip hop and top hits pop music. Other clubs are dedicated to popular local East African hip hop tunes. Going to really local bars in random areas of Nairobi, you’ll hear a combination of Kenyan guitar music and the widely popular Lingala music from Congo. Plenty of Nairobi women are willing to date and go out with foreigners, but just like in any country you visit, you must analyze each and every dating situation carefully. There are plenty of prostitutes and females that are looking for ways out of Kenya, as well as money. As you might guess, these kinds of females often hang out at bars. Yes, there are also plenty of lovely Kenyan females that are genuine, beautiful and kind. Nairobi has a lot of dating options and many opportunities to meet women in various places. As with the women, there is a mixed range of Kenyan men. Many of the younger youth are into hip hop lifestyles and music. Other men are very clean cut and willing to date foreign females. Just like dating around the world, be sure to fully check out individual situations and proceed cautiously. If you want to have sex in Kenya, it probably won’t be too difficult to find an opportunity. Many of the circumstances might be directly involved within the nightlife sector of Kenya. Be sure to use your own self discretion when making choices. Many of the more traditional females, not affiliated with nightlife, live with their families or friends and are normally quite conservative. The morning after pill is available at many pharmacies in Kenya, and abortion is illegal. Nairobi, being the capital of Kenya, is a central attraction for Kenyan tourism and local and international activities and events. Before you think of visiting any other part of the country, check out Nairobi's wide variety of interesting attractions and sights.
this wildlife trust is one of the most pioneering animal rehabilitation centers in the world. Young orphan elephants and rhinos, the victims of poaching and human-wildlife conflicts, are nurtured back to health. To date, it is the proud mother over 150 infant elephants. Between 11am-12pm daily, visitors can watch the slurps and gurgles of young orphans being fed as their keepers skillfully administer their supersize feeding bottles. If you’re moved by this humble feat, adopt a young orphan elephant for $50 and follow its inspiring journey first-hand
Located 10 minutes from the city centre, Nairobi National Museum boasts a collection of rich, cultural artifacts that date back to the earliest prehistoric remains. Displayed are the incredible skeletal discoveries of homo habilis found by renowned archaeologists, Richard and Mary Leakey at Lake Turkana. There is also an extensive collection of native bird species that will amuse any bird-lover. Join the Kenyan Museum Society every Wednesday morning for a guided bird walk. The museum recently re-opened its doors in 2008 after extensive renovation and expansion efforts.
Get the chance to pet an endangered Rothschild giraffes at this world-class nature education centre. Located in Langata, only whispers from Nairobi National Park, this centre is run by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife. Standing atop a tall wooden platform, visitors can stroke, kiss and feed giraffes a tasty grub of pellet-shaped biscuits. Be prepared for a welcome dose of giraffe breath and the gentle lick of long, sand-papery tongues.
The hustle of Nairobi’s city life can be overwhelming, which is why the lush scenery of Karura Forest is the perfect escape. Early mornings are the best time of day to beat the hot African sun and the rowdy crowd. The forest sits upon a bed of one million-year-old volcanic rock and houses a variety of indigenous animals such as the big-eyed Bush Baby and handsome Bushbuck. Walk or jog through the ancient Mau Mau caves, remains of the Kenyan struggle for independence, or stop and take a selfie at the local waterfalls.
Made famous by the Oscar-winning ‘Out of Africa‘, the Karen Blixen Museum belongs to an eye-opening story of the colonial era in Kenya. The museum is in fact the house in which Karen Blixen, acclaimed Danish author, lived and wrote her famed memoirs in Kenya between 1917 – 1931. Frequent visitors included the Prince of Wales, whom she entertained and dined and lover Denys Finch Hatton whom she courted. Enjoy the splendid view of the surrounding hills and fauna as you explore the preserved belongings of this legendary author.
From beaded masks to brass earrings to Maasai spears, shoppers are offered unique, hand-made Kenyan crafts at this ever-popular Maasai curio market. Be prepared to haggle down prices with your best poker face, or else you’ll be paying an arm and leg for everything. Don’t forget to take a water bottle and empty rucksack to safeguard all your hard-bargained goodies.
The capital’s most-visited tourist attraction is the 117 sq km (45 sq mile) Nairobi National Park, which borders the southeastern suburbs of the city. This remarkable tract of open grassland and acacia savannah is fenced on the city side, in order to protect residents of the capital from regular visitors by lions and other potentially dangerous beasts, but it remains unfenced to the south, allowing the wildlife to move freely between the national park and the bordering Athi Plains. The park exists because Nairobi stands in an area that once supported prodigious herds of wildlife, comparable in number to the legendary Mara-Serengeti to the southwest. Animals were so prolific in the early days that nightwatchmen along Nairobi’s main thoroughfare (then Station Road, now Moi Avenue) used to be protected within lock-up sentry boxes. A soldier of the time, Col. Richard Meinertzhagen, recalled at least two race meetings being disrupted by rhinos. The populace may not have wholly welcomed the presence of wild animals in the centre of town, but they seem to have recognised the cachet of having the wildlife around. Most of the Athi Plains were sold and settled, but a large area to the southwest of town was reserved as Nairobi Commonage. A few Somali herdsmen and their families were allowed to live there (as a reward for military service rendered to the Crown), but otherwise the land was left wild. During both world wars the Commonage was taken over as a weapons range, and the wildlife accordingly took a hammering. But in 1945 the land was gazetted a national park – the first in Kenya. Since then, buffalo and rhino have been reintroduced, so that the full range of the area’s original fauna has been reassembled, with the notable exception of elephant. Today, Nairobi National Park is one of the best places in Kenya to see white rhino, and lion and cheetah are also likely to be encountered stalking the plains. Other wildlife includes eland, impala, Coke’s hartebeest, gazelle, zebra, giraffe and more than 400 species of bird, ranging from colourful weavers and rollers to bulky vultures and prim secretary birds, and it is a good place to seek the localised northern pied babbler. In order to see a good range of wildlife, however, you usually need to dedicate a few hours to the park, ideally starting at 6am, when the entrance gates open and animals are most active, rather than waiting for the more normal post-breakfast departure.
Safari Walk is located at the main entrance of Nairobi National Park and is a great place where you can learn about Kenya’s parks and reserves as well as seeing a variety of animals.
The animal orphanage is also at the main entrance of the national park and is a great place to get up close and personal with all kinds of animals. At the orphanage you will have the opportunity to play with a cheetah.
Karen Blixen moved to Kenya as a newlywed in 1914 with her noble Swedish husband. As a Dane in Africa, she adjusted to life quickly and endeared herself to the local population by providing them with medicine and an education. The Karen Blixen moved into the house, now a museum, in 1917 and from there they managed their 4500 acre farm. Although the farm was not financially successful, it served as the setting for Karen Blixen wildly successful book Out of Africa. The museum shows what colonial life looked like and gives Karen Blixen fans a deeper insight into her life.
Kenya is a relatively large producer of coffee, and whilst output has fallen significantly in recent decades, quality Kenyan coffee is still considered one of the best brews in the world. Nairobi – the Green City in the Sun – is of course a fantastic place to sample Kenyan coffee and also to relax and take in some of the East African metropolis’ growing café culture. Whilst there’s no Starbucks, there are several local chains – the most notable being Java Coffee House, Dormans, or Artcaffe – with branches across the city serving fantastic coffee. Many branches also serve good food making them great places to sit outside, enjoy the glorious sunshine, and watch the world go by for a few hours.
If you’ve been busy exploring Nairobi’s teeming city centre, you might like to stop off at the city’s most famous café. Yes – it’s the Thorn Tree Café. Yes, the one of Lonely Planet fame. Now part of Nairobi’s elegant Sarova Stanley Hotel, it has been a meeting place for travellers for decades and was most famously home to the tree on which, in the days before mobile phones and internet connections, over-landers would pin notes for former travel companions as well as adverts for camping or other gear that they wanted to buy or sell.
You might not expect it – but Nairobi is home to some increasingly fantastic arts and crafts. At the very least, you should check out the Maasai Market in Central Nairobi, which is a great place to pick up all manner of souvenir-style tribal and Maasai wares. Make sure you’ve practised your bartering skills before going, though! If you’re after a more formal art experience, Central Nairobi has a number of places to browse fine art. But if you’re looking for something totally different, head to the Matbronze Foundry in Nairobi’s leafy Karen suburb. There you’ll be able to see craftsmen at work making incredible and often life-size bronze wildlife sculptures, some of which are commissioned from across the Western world and come with extremely high price tags.
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