Nairobi, the Capital City
Famous Game Meat Restaurant
Olorgasailie Prehistoric Site
Bomas of Kenya
Established in 1971 by the government specifically to preserve Kenya’s fast diminishing traditional culture, the Bomas of Kenya showcases the country’s major tribal groups. In 11 mock-up villages of Bomas (known as home-stead’s), guides explain the traditional way of life, including craft-making, family structure and cooking and social living arrangements.
Among the highlights here are the colorful dance performance, acrobatic and story telling, which are presented every afternoon. The massive circular amphitheater has a central stage where Kenya’s only resident dance company, the Harambee Dancers, perform a selection of the 30 or so Kenyan tribal dances in their repertoire.
Many of the dances presented here are no longer commonly performed in Kenya. The center offers a comprehensive introduction to traditional dancing styles, such as the mesmeric Kalenjin and Maasai warrior dances, with perhaps the most striking being the Samburu warriors dramatically leaping vertically into the air with twirling spears in a bid to win the hearts of their maidens.
Nairobi National Museum
Established in 1929, the Nairobi National Museum presents an overview of Kenya’s culture and natural history. It was greatly expanded in the 1950s and in 2008 reopened after a 2-year modernization. The museum documents much of Kenya’s ethnology, plus the country’s flora and fauna. It also has an impressive prehistory section, which also includes display of fossils uncovered by the Leakeys. Outside in the well-forested grounds are a number of attractions, including glass mosaic garden and a snake park that houses most of the reptilian species found in Kenya. A walk along the well-tended paths offers views of the Nairobi River at the bottom of the Museum Hill. The museum has a craft shops and a café.
Interesting views include, Ahmed the Elephant, Great Hall of Mammals, and the Cradle of Humankind.
AFEW Giraffe Centre
Established in 1983 to protect Rothschild’s giraffe, the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) Giraffe Centre is one of Nairobi’s most popular excursions. At the time it was setup, there were only 130 Rothschild’s giraffe left in the wild in Western Kenya and their habitat was constantly shrinking due to heavy cultivations. Funds were raised to move three of the wild herds to Lake Nakuru National Park , Mwea National Reserve and Ruma National Park while dozens or so animals were established at the AFEW Giraffe Centre. There is a circular viewing platform built on stilts, which allows people to feed pellets to the giraffe at eye ball height.
Located in Athi River is the Maasai Ostrich Farm which is set in 200 acres of rolling grassland on the Athi Plains. Visitors to the farm will see both juvenile and adult ostrich, and ostrich rides are offered. A shop here sells painted egg shells and ostrich leather products, such as handbags and wallets.
While still at the Maasai Ostrich Farm you could enjoy the roasted meat known as “Nyama choma” which comprises of ostrich meat.
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
This is a non profit conservation trust established after the death of David Sheldrick in 1977, Dalphne Sheldrick’s unique elephant orphanage on the edge of Nairobi National Park provides an important refuge for lost, orphaned or abandoned baby elephants. The trust’s patient and attentive keepers, who are experts on the hand-rearing baby elephants and duplicate a natural mother‘s role of nurturing, teaching the orphans how to suckle and bathe and use their trunks and ears.
The trust has released over 70 elephants into the Tsavo National Park. David Sheldrick was warden for 28 years in the Tsavo National Park. He developed its infrastructure of over 2,000km of roads for game viewing, dams, causeways, boreholes and windmills to provide water for the animals.
Nairobi National Park
Established in 1946, the 117-sq-km lies within sight of Nairobi’s suburb, and animals can sometimes be seen stalking through the grass against a backdrop of city skyscrapers. With grassy plains studded with acacia, Kenya’s first national park is home to over 80 game and 400 bird species. Larger animals include buffalo's, the big cats and antelopes. On the southern boundary is the Athi river which the home to hippos and crocodiles. The park is famous for its large population of black rhino who were brought here from remote parts of the country to protect them from poaching. Elephants are uncommon as the park can not accommodate them.
Acclaimed as one of the best restaurants in East Africa, the Carnivore is most famous for serving a set menu of a variety of excellent roast meat. Its signature dish roasted meat, or “Nyama choma” (barbecue meat), is roasted on a traditional Maasai sword over a huge charcoal pit. A typical meal starts with soup, before waiters place down hot cast iron plates, salads, sauce and relish.
Each table has a small white flag and as long as it is upright, the waiters carve sizzling slices of meat off the Maasai swords on to the plates. The meat dish comprises of leg of lamb and pork, rump and sirloin steak, spare ribs, sausages, chicken wings, and game meat such as ostrich and crocodile. The meal is only over when the diners lower the white flag.
Olorgasailie Prehistoric Site
Archaeologist first began exploring the Stone Age Olorgasailie Prehistoric Site on Magadi Road in 1919. Located within the basin of an ancient lake that drained perhaps over one million years ago due to tectonic activity, the site is rich in fossils thanks to heavy falls of alkaline ash surrounding volcanoes, including Mount Suswa and Mount Longonot. Here one can see hand axes and cleavers made by Homo erectus around half a million years ago as well as fossils of elephants, hippos and baboons.