Posted by: Rasma R | August 11, 2017

Fascinating Nairobi

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Kenya is a country in East Africa with coastline on the Indian Ocean.

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Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya. It is home to the Nairobi National Park, a large game reserve that is known for breeding endangered black rhinos.

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This is also home to giraffes, zebras and lions. The park is located on the southern outskirts of the city. This is Africa’s smallest national park and is set against a backdrop of city skyscrapers. It’s the only national park in the world bordering a capital city.

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Nairobi National Park has gotten the nickname “Kifaru Ark” due to its success as a rhinoceros sanctuary. It is home to the world’s densest population of black rhinos. There are strong anti-poaching measures taken here. Commonly sighted in the park are lions and hyenas and you can possibly sight some cheetahs and leopards.

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Other animals living here are gazelles, warthogs, zebras, giraffes, ostriches and buffaloes. In the park’s wetland area are about 400 bird species.

Memorial at the Ivory Burning Site, Nairobi National Park, Nairobi, Kenya

Ivory Burning Monument is just inside of the park’s main gate. It marks the spot where Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi burnt 11 tons of ivory in 1989. This event improved Kenya’s conservation image.

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David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a non-profit trust established in 1977. It occupies a plot within Nairobi National Park and named after David Sheldrick the anti-poacing warden of Tsavo National Park. He along with his wife pioneered techniques for raising orphaned black rhinos and elephants and reintroducing them back into the wild. This center is one of Nairobi’s most popular attractions.

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Visitors are taken to a small viewing area centered on a muddy watering hole. Here you can see handlers bottle-feed baby elephants. Afterwards they romp about and take a mud bath. Meanwhile keepers inform visitors about the individual orphans and tell their stories. There is also an opportunity to “adopt” one of the elephants. There are also a number of orphaned rhinos. One exception is Maxwell, a blind rhino, who lives in a large stockade for his protection.

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Giraffe Center is a center that protects the highly endangered Rothschild’s giraffe.

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Visitors can observe and hand-feed the giraffes from a raised wooden structure. You can also spot warthogs rolling about the mud. There are over 300 giraffes here and the center releases these lovely animals into various national parks. Take an interesting self-guided forest walk through the adjacent Gogo River Bird Sanctuary.

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Visit the amazing National Museum that is housed in an impressive building set among lush, leafy grounds just outside the center. It offers a range of cultural and natural-history exhibits. You can see the life-sized fiberglass model of pachyderm celebrity Ahmed. He was the massive elephant that became a symbol of Kenya at the height of the 1980s poaching crisis and who was placed under 24-guard by Jomo Kenyatta.

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Visitors can see the museum’s permanent collection via the Hall of Kenya with ethnological exhibits. In the Birds of East Africa, a huge gallery there are around 900 stuffed specimens. In the Great Hall of Mammals you can see dozens of stuffed mammals. The Cradle of Humankind exhibition highlight is the Hominid Skull Room with an extraordinary collection of skulls. Upstairs is the Historia Ya Kenya display with an engaging journey through Kenyan and East African history.

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On the grounds of the National Museum is the zoo-like Snake Park with impressive snake species like the puff adder, black mamba, African rock python and the Gaboon viper, which is the longest in the world. You can also see local fish species, lizards, turtles and crocodiles.

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Bomas of Kenya the cultural resident artists at this cultural center perform traditional dances and songs from the country’s various tribal groups. The complex consists of “bomas” or villages, each constructed in the architectural style of Kenya’s major ethnic groups.

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This is the place to visit especially if you’ve seen the movie “Out of Africa”. This museum has found its home in the farmhouse of author Karen Blixen who lived here between 1914 and 1931. You can see the expansive gardens and get a look at the beautiful colonial house.

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The Go-Down Arts Center has found its home in a converted warehouse in the Industrial Area. Here you can find ten separate art studios and it is fast becoming a hub for Nairobi’s blossoming arts scene.

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Here visual and performing arts come together in regular exhibitions, shows, workshops and open cultural nights.

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Railway Museum is housed in an old railway building and has relics from the East African Railway. You can see train and ship models, photos, tableware and unusual things from the history of the railway, like the engine seat that let visiting dignitaries such as Theodore Roosevelt take potshots at unsuspecting wildlife from the front of the train.

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About the grounds are lots of fading locomotives from the steam engine days to independence. Visitors can walk about the carriages. At the back of the compound is the steam train used in the movie “Out of Africa”.

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African Heritage House was designed by Alan Donovan, an African-heritage expert and gallery owner. This impressive exhibition house overlooks Nairobi National Park and can be visited by prior arrangement. The mud architecture combines a range of traditional styles from across Africa and the interior is furnished with tribal artifacts and artworks. Those who wish can arrange for overnight stays, formal meals and luxurious transfers by steam train or helicopter.

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Kenyatta Conference Center towers over City Square on City Hall Way. It is Nairobi’s signature building and has been designed with a mix of modern and traditional African styles.

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There is a saucer-style tower and glass edifices. Visitors can take a lift up to the viewing platform and helipad on the roof for spectacular views over Nairobi.

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Jamia Mosque is an impressive building in typical Arabic Muslim style. It has domes, marble and Quranic inscriptions. There is the traditional row of shops on one side. Visitors can admire the mosque from the outside since non-Muslims are rarely allowed to enter.

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Right in the heart of Nairobi you’ll find the National Archives, the “Memory of the Nation”. This is a vast collection of documents and reference materials. Mostly it’s used by students and researchers.

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The ground floor atrium and gallery displays an eclectic selection of contemporary art, historical photos of Nairobi, cultural artifacts, furniture and tribal objects.

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American Embassy Memorial Garden is a well-tended walled garden created on the former site of the American Embassy that was destroyed by terrorist bombings in 1998.

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Gallery Watatu is one of Nairobi’s longest-established galleries. It has regular exhibitions of paintings, photos and some sculpture. There are items for sale here. There is also a great permanent display.

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Uhuru Park is an attractive city park where people can get away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets. It is here because of Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan Nobel Prize Winner. In the late 1980s she fought to save the park from bulldozers. When she died in 2011, her funeral was held in the park and attended by thousands.

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Today the park is always full of families enjoying the green space and picnicking.

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Parliament House offers visitors an opportunity to obtain a free permit for a seat in the public gallery when parliament is in session. When out of session visitors can get a tour of the buildings by arrangement.

 

 

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/kenya/nairobi/attractions/a/poi-sig/355332

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Responses

  1. Pretty Pictures of Kenya. I think my favorite pictures are the lions and their cubs and the Giraffe.

    • Thank you Crystal. Yes, at times it is easier to find beautiful animal photos than those of objects but nevertheless it is a challenge I always look forward to.


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