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Start or end your Kenyan safari in Nairobi, a vibrant city rich in culture, and history and just a short distance from fantastic wildlife viewing.

Experience Africa Under Canvas

Like any big city, Nairobi has a wide variety of accommodation offerings, from the basic to the incredible. Herewith our favourites:

Giraffe Manor

Where else in the world can you be woken in the morning by a giraffe peering into your bedroom window or receive a kiss from a giraffe at breakast? Attached to the AFEW Giraffe Centre, this grand Edwardian Manor is decked out with Karen Blixen’s old furniture, and staying here feels like staying in a country home.

Factor in fine food and wine and a personal chauffeur and it’s easy to see the appeal. The experience of having your breakfast and afternoon tea with the giraffes is totally worth the price tag. If that’s out of your price range, you can visit the same giraffes at the Giraffe Centre next door for a fraction of the cost.

There is no better place for a Giraffe Selfie

Image by Giraffe Manor

Image by Giraffe Manor

Hemingways Nairobi

A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the world and an elegant boutique hotel situated in Nairobi’s Karen residential area with magnificent views of the nearby Ngong hills. Hemingways Nairobi offers the full facilities expected in a modern day luxury boutique hotel. The hotel offers forty-five luxury suites which include the Hemingways suite, The Blixen suite, 19 Executive rooms and 24 deluxe rooms. The Hemingways Nairobi Brasserie serves classic dishes and the very best of local and international cuisine and is open everyday for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

Hemingways Nairobi is a welcome retreat in the bustling city of Nairobi

Image by Hemingways Nairobi

Image by Hemingways Nairobi

Eden Nairobi

This beautiful property forms the foundation of an incredible hotel that one woman forged from her life story. Originally designed and built by Tonio and Anna Trzebinski, Eden offers travellers an immediate connection to a deeply authentic expression of Anna and her family’s home, history and adventures.

Set on a four-acre forested property in the peaceful suburb of Langata, the former home has been transformed into a living museum and private gallery space that is filled with the family’s own artworks and creations, including their personal library and artefacts that have been collected over a lifetime on the continent.

A Sophisticated, yet relaxed retreat in Nairobi awaits at Eden.

Image by Eden Nairobi

Image by Eden Nairobi

Where to eat and play

One of the great things about eating in Nairobi is that it’s such an international city. You’ll find gourmet restaurants serving nearly everything from Italian pasta to Japanese sushi. One of the things you’ll notice quite quickly when eating in Nairobi are the mix cultures that contribute to creating the unique food culture of Kenya. On the coast of Kenya, like in Mombasa you’ll find a huge variety of seafood and Arabian and Indian influences to create the Swahili food culture. In Nairobi, you find less seafood, more meat (lots of meat), and a prevalent influence of Indian food culture.

These restaurants have been on our team’s radar for some time and each has been carefully (and thoroughly) tested out.


Exciting cuisine, incredible views and gorgeous design all wrapped into one – INTI  is  Nairobi’s first Nikkei restaurant (and in fact, the first in Africa). High up on the 20th floor of One Africa Place on Waiyaki Way, INTI boasts incredible views of the city lights. A combination of Japanese and Peruvian fare, the style of cooking first emerged in the late 19th century when Japanese farmers moved to Peru to work on sugar cane farms. Unable to find many of their familiar ingredients, they turned to Peruvian produce but retained their traditional cooking methods. Come early to toast the sunset with a Japanese craft cocktail, and then dine on ceviche and tiradito (Peruvian sashimi) prepared with Kenyan seafood, with the zing of lime, chilli, and soy. With an exciting menu and vibe, INTI is the buzziest restaurant in Nairobi.

Located in Westlands, INTI is best for guests staying at Villa Rosa Kempinksi.


Image by INTI

Image by INTI

Mawimbi Seafood Restaurant

Meaning ‘waves’ in Kiswahili, Mawimbi Seafood Restaurant near Nairobi’s central business district evokes the ambiance of an island holiday. With its heavily palmed entrance and white-washed walls and fresh produce flown in daily from the Kenyan coast, the tropical theme carries through to every dish. Delicious seafood prepared by Ecuadorian executive chef Carlos Espindola features both African and Latin American influences. Who can resist an elegant and refreshing ceviche, followed by ‘The Poseidon’, a platter piled high with lobster, fish, prawns, calamari, oysters, and octopus, served with a dazzling choice of cocktails with background live jazz? Mawimbi’s food is sophisticated but the atmosphere feels like being at the beach.

Located in Nairobi’s Central Business District, Mawimbi is ideal for guests staying at Villa Rosa Kempinski.

Image by Mawimbi Seafood Restaurant

Image by Mawimbi Seafood Restaurant


Originally planned as a pop-up restaurant to make the most of an abundant season of crops organically farmed in Langata, fans of Cultiva simply couldn’t get enough. Now a permanent fixture, Cultiva is the brainchild of another  Ecuadorian kitchen maestro, Ariel Moscardi, who loves to showcase the very best freshest produce from farm-to-table. The menu changes regularly and is a great choice for vegans and vegetarians, but there is heaps to keep carnivores happy, too. The on-site bakery prepares delicious sourdough breads and the ice-cream shop delights gelato lovers with combinations such as caramel, bacon and peanuts, and sesame and Canadian bourbon made with all-natural ingredients and vanilla beans grown in Uganda.

Located in Karen, Culitva is perfect for guests staying at Hemingway’s, Giraffe Manor and Eden.

Image by Cultiva

Image by Cultiva

Seven Seafood & Grill

You may have heard of the celebrity executive chef at this much-loved restaurant, Kenyan Kiran Jethwa. Kiran has feautured on cooking shows on Nat Geo, Channel 4 and the Food Network. At Seven Seafood & Grill, his creative Indo-Mediterranean cooking style showcases the very best Kenyan produce – freshly flown-in fish, crayfish, prawns and oysters from the coast and the finest local beef. The combination of fish and meat is likely to make most happy, with platters showcasing both and a range of vegetarian options for those who don’t like either. Mouth-watering and satisfying, the food at Seven never disappoints. Before heading home, end the evening off with one of the ‘Dangerous Ice Cream Cocktails’ or ‘Boozey Coffees’.

Located in Westlands, Seven Seafood & Grill is suited for guests staying at Villa Rosa Kempinksi.

Image by Seven Seafood & Grill

Image by Seven Seafood & Grill

Fogo Gaucho

While the concept of Fogo Gaucho may be Brazilian it is undeniable that Nairobians have a deep love for nyama choma, or grilled meat. It comes as no surprise that the Brazilian tradition of a churrascaria would be a huge success in this city of meat-lovers. Serving up 17 cuts of meat every day – each cooked to perfection over open coals and carved off steel skewers – Fogo Gaucho has an all-you-can-eat offering, so maybe consider skipping lunch before your visit. On the table, you’ll find a token which you will turn to green when you want the waiters to bring on the meat and turn to red when you need a break. With a wide variety of meats – including crocodile – Fogo Gaucho is a must for carnivores. Make sure to leave some space for their famous grilled pineapple with cinnamon sugar for dessert.

Located in Westlands, Fogo Gaucho is convenient for guests staying at Villa Rosa Kempinski.

Image by Fogo Gaucho

Image by Fogo Gaucho

What to do

Navigating Nairobi can be complicated given its traffic patterns so we suggest tailoring your time around where you are staying and what your key interests are — be it fashion, art, home — and we can create your itinerary lead by Annabel and Patricia.

Example of an Urban Experience:

Effortlessly chic, Annabel Onyango and Patricia Kihoro are two of Nairobi’s best-known tastemakers. Annabel (@annabelonyango) is a stylist, though studied as an environmental biologist (extra cool), and Patricia (@misskihoro) is an entertainer who sings, acts, and presents amongst other enviable talents. As a former New Yorker and admittedly somewhat jaded when it comes to discovering what cities “have to offer”, I was keen to discover a Nairobi outside of the well-tread stops in Karen.

With a directive to show us some of the best boutiques in fashion, art, and design, our first stop with Annabel was the studio of Adele Dejak, a Kenyan jeweller whose atelier is just on the outskirts of Nairobi. Dressed in a KikoRomeo tie-dye jumpsuit, a trendy Nairobi-based brand, she led us through Adele’s workshop where we chatted with women handcrafting jewellery and across the way to browse the shop. Filled with brass cuffs and rings along with earrings made of horn and other natural materials, this is a must-stop for those wanting only-found-in-Kenya  (note: our Safari Shop has a lovely collection of Adele pieces).

Image by Circle Art Gallery

 Circle Art Gallery

From there we hit  Circle Art Gallery, home to the best up-and-coming names in the East African art scene for interested collectors (where Patricia serenaded me with a Toni Braxton song), followed by a quick lunch at the outdoor Pallet Café, which creates employment opportunities for those with hearing impairments, dotted by little shopfronts for local makers.

Kuona Trust

At Kuona Trust, the artists’ collective housed in old shipping containers, we visited the outpost for Michael Soi, profiled in The New York Times for his social satire paintings, along with the very on-trend line drawings of  2Endo. We drove into the up-and-coming neighborhood of Loresho, popping in to see Deepa Dosaja’s silk dresses and Wasp and Sprout’s homeware and gifts sourced from local artisans.

Shamba Café

After hearing there was an outdoor market on at Shamba Café, we made a detour to the giant red barn home to a restaurant, fresh produce market, grocer and gift shop, set a farm which is part of the University of Nairobi’s College of Agriculture and Veterinary Science. Weekend markets are a staple in Nairobi as many are unable to maintain shopfronts, so it’s best to research which are happening when you’re there.

Tribal Gallery

Our final stop, and the one I was most excited for, was Tribal Gallery, a 1930’s Tudor home-turned-furniture gallery, where just about everything is for sale — decorative boxes from Senegal, rugs from Morocco, lamps made from dhows on the Kenyan Coast. You best come with extra luggage as you’ll want to take everything home (by appointment only).

Image by David Sheldrick’s Wildlife Trust

David Sheldrick’s Wildlife Trust

Best known for its Orphans’ Project, Sheldrick’s Wildlife Trust is the first and most successful elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world. Subject to availability, private viewings can be arranged upon request.

The Giraffe Centre

Established in 1983 by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife, The Giraffe Centre is home to the endangered Rothschild Giraffe and acts as an educational institution for the general public and students.


Guests can delight in an afternoon of discovery at the Bomas of Kenya, which offers a brilliant introduction into the fascinating cultural mix of the country. Kenya’s diverse array of ethnicities are represented in the various crafts, dance and musical performances on show. Also on display are the different homesteads of the country’s various tribes. Each homestead is unique and constructed using traditional methods.

Karen Blixen Museum

If you are into history and culture, make a visit to the Karen Blixen Museum at the foot of the Ngong Hills in Karen. The museum was once the home of Karen Blixen, the Danish author of Out of Africa, after whom the suburb is named. A visit to the museum will give you an interesting insight into Kenya’s colonial past.

Tea or Coffee Tour

Enjoy a tour of Nairobi’s oldest tea plantations, first established in 1910, followed by a three-course lunch prepared with vegetables from the garden. Or visit a private coffee grower, sample the coffees and take home a bag of your favourite coffee.

Kenya is renowned for its excellent tea and coffee; you can experience this straight from the source on a tea or coffee farm tour.

Craft Beer

There is great momentum in the craft beer scene in Kenya. For licensed brewers, the community has been overwhelmingly amicable and supportive, and there is talk of more breweries joining the party in the coming years. Beyond that, there’s an estimated 200+ homebrewers in and around Nairobi. It’s all happening, and it’s an exciting time to be a beer snob in Kenya.


Bateleur (now Bila Shaka Brewing) broke into the market with Kenya’s first IPA in December 2017, becoming Kenya’s first brewery to put ales at the forefront of their portfolio and marking the start of the creative experimentation with hops, yeasts, malts, and other ingredients that characterises contemporary craft brewing. The brainchild of Rajiv Shah, whose family has long been involved in beverages and bottling in Kenya, Bila Shaka has taken it a step further and also aligned themselves in mindset with traditional North American-style craft breweries by applying a holistic approach that goes beyond just the beer: they use natural spring water sourced just outside the brewery’s doors; utilise biofuel boilers that also create steam to wash bottles; spent grain is fed to rescued donkeys; and the brewery property has become a nature preserve in the Kedong Valley just outside of Nairobi. And, of course, their beer is delicious.

Shortly after the arrival of Bila Shaka Brewing, fellow newcomers 254 Brewing began finding their way into the market. Formally incorporated at the beginning of 2018, 254’s beers didn’t hit shelves until earlier this year when, after a full two years navigating more than a dozen government departments, they finally received their license. In addition to their mainstream beers in bars and supermarkets they have also created “Beer Club” where die hards can receive new creative styles every week. Check their website or go visit the tap room in Kikuyu to try them out! 254, unique in their commitment to being unpasteurised and unfiltered across all their products, has now brewed over 100 beers, from pineapple sours to nitro stouts. They’ve also just welcomed new head brewer Matt Walsh, revered in brewing circles in the US for his time with Modern Times and Lost Coast breweries in California.

254 Brewing’s brewing facility in Kikuyu, just outside Nairobi

Maasai Market

The giant market is filled with vendors selling all kinds of curios, paintings, drawings, clothes and fabrics with East African prints, jewellery and wood-carvings, many hand-made in Kenya by local artisans. The market moves around the city on different days of the week, typically operating from 8am to 6pm at each location.

But we are at hand to recommend some local, off-the-beaten-track experiences, if you really want to experience Nairobi

If you are looking for Kenyan made souvenirs, you’ll simply have to visit the Maasai Market in Nairobi.

Maasai Market in Nairobi

  • Guided Forest Walks – Ornithology, Medicinal Plants and Forest Tracking in the Giraffe Sanctuary Forest.


  • Golf – Karen Country Club :An expansive 18-hole golf course surrounded by stunning indigenous forests and wetlands.


  • Horse Riding – Karen-Forest and trail rides open to riders of all levels. Special breakfast and sundowner rides also available.

From street art to contemporary galleries and artists collectives in shipping containers, Nairobi has art to suit all tastes.


  • Nairobi Gallery – Built in 1913, Nairobi National Gallery used to be the old PC’s office and now serves as a museum holding temporary art exhibitions.


  • One Off Contemporary Art Gallery – promotes the best contemporary art from across East Africa. In addition to its permanent collection, the gallery showcases a revolving exhibition every month.


  • Kuona Trust – Kuona was introduced as a creative space to support emerging artists in Nairobi. To date, Kuona has worked with over 1,000 artists and continues to provide opportunities through training and mentoring programmes. Kuona is currently home to over 20 resident artists and hosts a series of exhibitions throughout the year
Meet The Locals

Connect with local Maasai families, with our partner SKYIN, who are able to provide exclusive opportunities and enriching experiences as a result of extensive relationships with chiefs of tribes. Designed not to exploit these experiences but instead open these extended communities, you are encouraged to connect with local families and intimately share their culture, traditions and rituals in unique and remove villages.

  • Langata Link – A popular shopping destination featuring a wide range of Kenyan brands and a small café making this the perfect coffee spot.


  • Made in Kenya -Nairobi’s creative event space filled with a community of entrepreneurs in art, food, fashion and music – Made in Kenya sells a curated selection from Kenya’s best artisans and designers.


  • Kitengela Hot Glass – visit the studio to view stunning glass creations or take part in a glass blowing experience. Glass blowing (except for ‘Blowing Bubbles’) includes a working bench with an expert teacher, shared glory hole, annealing space & any molten glass used. And contact us for a few more secret spots…

Talks and discussions by Kenya’s leading conservationists, creatives and thought leaders for private groups can be arranged upon request.

With thanks to Eden and Angama Mara.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us here

In this article
  • - Giraffe Manor
  • - Hemingways Nairobi
  • - Eden Nairobi
  • - INTI
  • - Mawimbi Seafood Restaurant
  • - Cultiva
  • - Seven Seafood & Grill
  • - Fogo Gaucho
  • - Urban City Exploration
  • - Circle Art Gallery
  • - Kuona Trust
  • - Shamba Café
  • -  Tribal Gallery
  • - David Sheldrick’s Wildlife Trust
  • - The Giraffe Centre
  • Contact Us

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