Nairobi is Kenya’s capital city which historically and still to this day, is considered to be the international gateway hub to East Africa. More often than not, due to flight arrival times and logistics, travelers on an East Africa circuit to Kenya and Tanzania will need to overnight in Nairobi either on the way in or out of the National Parks and Game Reserves.
It is a big, busy, vibrant city that never sleeps completely with skyscrapers and a bustling downtown where you’ll have the opportunity to get an impression of life in modern urban Africa.
Depending on your budget and traveling style, there are some great accommodation options – ranging from big full-service hotels to characterful boutique hotels, steeped in history tucked safely away in the quiet leafy suburb of Karen. staying in Karen is conveniently close to the best attractions and nicest restaurants and craft markets. Karen is also closer to Wilson Airport.
There are two airports – the Jomo Kenyata International Airport which links you to other nearby international destinations like Dar es Salaam and Mombasa and the smaller Wilson Airport from which travelers into the other destinations in Kenya or charter flights into the game reserves. Depending on your routing, you may need to factor in the 40-minute transfer between the two airports.
Being the gateway to Africa and within close proximity to national parks and private reserves, Nairobi has a wide range of wildlife, and visitors on a layover in the city can also enjoy animal interactions – For example, with elephants at the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, with a giraffe at Giraffe Foundation
A popular accommodation option if you have the budget, is Giraffe Manor where the resident herd of Rothschild giraffes is known to poke their heads through the windows of the breakfast room!