The climate in Kenya varies dependent upon your location. Lake Turkana and the northern deserts are eternally hot with little rain. Mount Kenya is surprisingly cool even in mid-summer. The capital city, Nairobi is temperate all year round, rarely going above 30 degree Celsius in summer or dipping below 12 in winter. As with many other places it is affected by the long rains in April – June and the short rains from October to November. Mombasa and the Indian Ocean offer a tropical climate with high temperatures throughout the year.
Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya. A gritty, colorful, chaotic dust bowl of a city that sits on atop the Great Rift Valley. It’s huddled in highlands that are marked by significantly cooler weather than the rest of Kenya. It is for this reason and the fertile farming land that British colonists settled here back in the 1800’s. Kenya is a new city, few buildings of historic worth litter the town; instead, you will be greeted by an unending landscape of high rises and construction work. Nairobi used to have a shady reputation is a high crime city, but this is no longer true.
Nairobi is a vast sprawling city with intermingling neighborhoods and no clear ‘downtown’ destination. When booking the best hotels in Nairobi, where you stay depends to a large degree on why you are visiting. Tourists may prefer to stay in the outer suburbs of Karen and Langata where the Elephant Orphanage and Giraffe Centre are situated and there is easy access to Nairobi National Park.
Business visitors might opt for the CBD, the hustle and bustle of Westlands, or the chic restaurants and hotels within the Village Market at Gigiri
Central Business District – Neighborhood of Nairobi
Sarova Stanley Hotel – Part of the Sarova Group of hotels, the Stanley is one of the older hotels in Nairobi this Victoria landmark has been updated with modern facilities and is perfectly located for business within the CBD. A 5* hotel its rooms retain an elegant grandeur. It has 4 restaurants, a heated pool, and a gym as well as extensive conferencing facilities.
Airport hotels in Nairobi – Neighborhood of Nairobi
Ole Sereni – The Ole Sereni sits right on the edge of Nairobi National Park and has one of the best views in Nairobi. You can arrive from the airport and in 10 minutes be enjoying a sundowner and watching a lion kill. Its 4 restaurants and outdoor heated pool maximize the view over the park.
Westlands – Neighborhood of Nairobi
Villa Rosa Kempinski – This towering monolith is as pink as its name and is full of all the luxuries and mod cons one could wish for. 200 rooms, 4 restaurants and bars, gym, wellness spa, conferencing facilities and easy access to all that Westlands has to offer.
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Karen & Langata – Karen Gables – This Cape Dutch-inspired boutique hotel is situated down a quiet lane at one of the most prestigious addresses in Nairobi. Once inside you are spirited away from city life into a world of tinkling streams and nature-filled gardens.
Hemingway’s Nairobi – Part of a collection of elite hotels it’s hard to imagine that this grand plantation hotel has only 45 rooms. Its elegance and serenity are unmatched in Nairobi. It houses an excellent restaurant, a sun downer bar with views over the Ngong Hills, and an onsite spa and pool.
Gigiri – Neighborhood of Nairobi
Tribe Hotel – The original Village Market hotel is fabulous in a great spot. 137 rooms, a top-end restaurant a luxurious spa. This is a boutique luxury five-star hotel that doesn’t feel like it’s in a mall.
Nairobi National Park
Nairobi is the only city in the world with a bonafide safari destination within its limits. Nairobi National Park isn’t a safari park in the western definition; it is a natural piece of land in which animals are free to roam. It isn’t enclosed, meaning that the natural corridors are maintained and animals come and go. You never know what you will see on a safari at Nairobi National Park but all of Kenya’s animals are here, except for elephants, which had to be removed due to human-wildlife conflict. Drive yourself or take a tour through this 100 KM park to see lion, leopard, cheetah, rhino, hyena, jackal, hippos, and all the other residents of the Lion King’s domain.
The Giraffe Centre
The Giraffe Centre is a sanctuary for the endangered Rothschild Giraffes. At the Giraffes Centre, you have the chance to hand feed a wild Giraffe. Upon entry, you are given pellets, which the Giraffe gobble up. Platforms are built allowing you to see the Giraffe’s eye to eye. A truly fascinating wildlife experience, not to be missed.
David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage
The Elephant Orphanage rescues juvenile elephants from all over Kenya and Tanzania and raises them in the orphanage adjacent to Nairobi National Park. Visitors can meet these tiny elephants, learn about them, and depending on when you visit, touch, and feed them. The DSWT is an amazing trust that I strongly recommend you read up on.