Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya, and it's the starting point for most safari adventures in the country. I only spent one night in Nairobi, but I suggest two to allow time for rest and relaxation after the long journey to Kenya.
Although my time in the capital city was short, I was still able to see several of the top attractions thanks to GoAfrica Safaris, including two wildlife refuges — one for elephants and another for giraffes.
Recounting my safari was too much for one blog post, so I've broken it up into multiple articles. Here's the table of contents and links to other articles in my Kenya Safari series:
Introduction: Planning A Wheelchair Accessible Kenya Safari
Tipping Etiquette: Guide to Tipping on an African Safari
Wheelchair Accessible Things to Do in Nairobi, Kenya
Wheelchair Accessible Places to Stay on a Kenya Safari
Exploring Kenya's Lake Nakuru National Park in a Wheelchair
Spotting the Big 5 on a Wheelchair Accessible Tour of Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve
Lake Naivasha: The Perfect Pit-stop on a Kenya Safari
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Elephant Orphanage
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was founded in 1977 and operates an elephant orphanage and rehabilitation center in Nairobi National Park. Staff from the center travel all across the country to rescue orphaned elephants and rhinoceros, bringing them to Nairobi for emergency care and rehabilitation, with the intention of later reintegrating them into elephant herds in the wild.
Visitors are welcomed for one hour each day, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., to watch the elephants feed and to learn about their individual circumstances. It is a unique experience that allows you to get close to the elephants before seeing them on safari.
The cost of admission is 500 KSh or $7 USD. For more information, visit the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust website.
Nairobi Giraffe Centre
The Nairobi Giraffe Centre opened in 1979 and is a project of the non-profit African Fund for Endangered Wildlife. Its mission is primarily an educational one, and the centre welcomes thousands of Kenyan schoolchildren each year.
The residents of the sanctuary are the subspecies of giraffe known as the Rothschild Giraffe. The Giraffe Centre is a stop on every Nairobi itinerary, and visitors have the opportunity to feed the giraffes, as I am doing in the photo above. The giraffes love the food pellets visitors are given, and they will even kiss you to score the treat.
For more information, check out the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife website.
Karen Blixen Museum
This is your chance to see the famous "farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills."
A 1937 memoir by Danish author Karen Blixen, Out of Africa, is highly regarded for its insight into European settlers' experiences in early 20th century Kenya. In 1985, Blixen's memoir was adapted into screenplay for a movie of the same title. Starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, Out of Africa won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Today, the Karen Blixen Museum, located in a house on her former coffee plantation outside of Nairobi, is open to the public. Whether you are a fan of the book, movie or haven't touched either, you'll enjoy touring the museum. It is small, but wheelchair accessible thanks to a wooden ramp at the back door.
On my visit, I connected with a guide, who shared lots of insight about the house, the history of the surrounding land, Karen Blixen, and Kenyan culture today. After the tour, I made sure to tip him and left with some great memories.
For more information, see the National Museums of Kenya website.
Kazuri Beads Factory
The Swahili word Kazuri translates to "small and beautiful," and it is the name for a craft company in Kenya that employs more than 300 single mothers and other disadvantaged members of Kenyan society. Kazuri produces handcrafted ceramic beads, which are used to create decorative jewelry.
Visitors are welcomed to the Kazuri Beads Factory for a tour of the production facilities. I was a little late arriving, so I did to get to see all of the workers assembling the pieces, but the kilns were still firing. After you've completed the free tour, you can venture into the shop to purchase some beads of your own. To learn more or browse the online shop, visit the Kazuri website.
If you'd like to visit Nairobi, Kenya and enjoy an African safari of your own, reach out to GoAfrica Safaris — the wheelchair accessible safari experts! Thanks to their support, I was able to experience the accessible safari of a lifetime!