Nairobi Travel Guide

by our Kenya expert Terry Emery
Terry EmeryMombasa, on the Kenyan coast, was a major port and trading post long before Europeans came to Africa. When they did, they projected a railway deep into the hinterland ending at Kampala in today’s Uganda. Nairobi (the name in Masai means ‘cool water’) became an important stopping point and rapidly developed to take over from Mombasa as the newly independent country’s capital in 1963. The growth continues today, with over 3 million inhabitants and as Kenya’s commercial and political centre. It has a sky-scraper skyline, many attractive modern developments, yet has much open green space - notably the splendid Uhuru (Freedom) Park. And for many hours out of the 24, Nairobi is busy! The morning rush-hour would amaze anyone used to London, New York or Tokyo’s equivalent - you can’t get anywhere in just an ‘hour’. (Current road works to ‘improve’ things are doing what they usually do.) For tourists, both Mombasa and Nairobi have major international airports - the first better for coastal resorts, while Nairobi is only a road drive from the Masai Mara reserve - lengthy, but hugely attractive as many stretches look down into the Rift Valley.

Kenya Facts

National Flag: Kenyan Flag
Language(s): English
Currency: Kenyan shilling
Dialling Code: +254
Time Zone: GMT + 3
Tourism Website:

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