“Having a good discussion is like having riches.” -Kenyan Proverb
Country Overview and Fun Facts
Kenya travel Guide | I have been to Kenya four times and I love it there. The city of Nairobi, Kenya (which I discuss below) is so vibrant. I absolutely love the culture, the Masai, and the many handmade artisan crafts. One of my favorite things to do when I am there is to visit the Tambuzi Rose Farm. Anyone who loves fresh farm-grown flowers should definitely take the trip there. It is worth the drive. One of the other hats I wear is a luxury wedding and floral designer so my trip to the flower farm quenches both my personal thirst for beautiful fresh florals and my professional one.
I have also had the opportunity to watch the great migration at the Masai Mara. This is the world’s largest migration of wildlife where more than 2 million animals travel from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara National Reserve. If you’re going to Kenya, this is an absolute must-see. Kenya is also a good stopover country for flight connections and if you have a long connection you can go out of the airport and stay at the Four Points at the Sheraton. It is 2 minutes away from the airport and they do the best massages and have a 24-hour restaurant with excellent food.
Alright, let’s dive into some fun country facts.
Fun Facts about Kenya
● Kenya is located in East Africa and the capital city is Nairobi
● Tourism and coffee are two of Kenya’s biggest industries
● Lake Victoria is the world’s second-largest lake and it’s shared between
Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. The explorer John Hanning Speke named it
after Queen Victoria.
● The Kikuyu is the largest tribe in Kenya. They’re a Bantu people whose
traditional homeland was the mountain ranges of Mt Kenya, Ol Donyo Sapuk, the Ngong Hills, and the Aberdare (Nyandarua) Range.
● As of 2018, the population of Kenya was 51.39 million people.
English and Swahili are the two primary languages spoken in Kenya.
The currency in Kenya is the Kenya shilling. While other currencies such as US dollars are accepted, it’s advised to pay with the local currency for things like souvenirs, drinks, meals, etc.
Best Time to Visit
During dry season is the best time to visit Kenya. This is January and February and then July through October. Anytime between July to November is considered a great time to visit to witness Kenya’s great migration and in July and August, the wildebeest move into Kenya’s Maasai Mara. March is one of the hottest months in Kenya with temperatures averaging roughly 26 degrees celsius and July is the coolest month with temperatures averaging 22 degrees celsius.
Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya. It’s home to beautiful national parks, wildlife, and is filled with the most amazing people and culture. A fun fact is that Nairobi National Park is the only national park that borders a capital city. Nairobi is nicknamed both “the green city in the sun” and “the safari capital of the world.” One thing to keep in mind when traveling to Nairobi is that it is generally safe during the day but during the night, it is a high-risk area. It’s best to stay vigilant and practice common sense and safety at night. Nairobi’s name is derived from the Maasai phrase “Enkare Nairobi,” which translates to “cool water. Alright, let’s dive into what to do in both Kenya and Nairobi.
What to Do
Visit the Nairobi National Museum where you’ll learn about Kenya’s cultural heritage, history, and present. Everything from beautiful galleries to artifacts are on display.
Explore Nairobi National Park where wild grasses sit against the backdrop of cityscapes. Animals include buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, baboon, zebra, wildebeest, and cheetah along with a tremendous amount of birds and other animals. I have done the mountain safaris and love them and the cultural villages are a must, especially to learn about Kenyan culture and crafts.
Love on Giraffe at Giraffe Centre—a sanctuary for the Rothschild Giraffe and creation of the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife.
Shop for East African prints, fabric, jewelry, and more amongst the hustle and bustle of the open-air Nairobi market, Maasai Market.
Enjoy the city shopping altogether at the many malls and markets such as The Hub Karen, The Village Market, Spinners Web Kenya, or Utamaduni Craft Centre.
Embark on a mountain safari, trekking safari, or Lake Nakuru safari to witness the great migration, wildlife, or impeccable bird watching.
Where to Eat In and Around Nairobi
Before I share some great places to eat, let me share a dish that you must try. Nyama Choma is served in most restaurants and it’s my favourite food. It’s kind of that hearty food that reminds me of my own kitchen. Definitely give it a try!
The Carnivore Restaurant – Open-Air Restaurant
When you visit this restaurant, they say to “let loose the predator.” It’s been called the “beast of feast.” With a variety of meats – including wild game such as ostrich, crocodile, and camel—it’s for the adventurous and curious. It’s one of those must- try experiences just to say you did it. Carnivore also offers other grilled meat such as chicken, sausages, ribs, lamb and a variety of sauces and side dishes. Carnivore is a part of the Tamarind Group and honestly, any of their restaurants, including Tamambo Karen Blixen are incredible. Learn more about all of them here:
Brew Bistro and Lounge
A chic and modern sit-down restaurant, this bistro and lounge is great for lunch and cocktails or dinner and drinks. Their menu includes dishes such as calamari, beef tenderloin, greek gyros, pasta, and more. With almost 2,400 4.5 star reviews it’s a well-loved hotspot.
Seven Seafood and Grill
This well-loved seafood restaurant has over 700 4.5 star reviews and is known for their locally-sourced seafood. It’s also one of Kenya’s premier steakhouses. The atmosphere is classic and chic and they serve everything from prawns to oysters to lobster to gourmet sandwiches to a wide selection of salads. Their salad menu has some really unique options such as a barley and roasted beetroot salad, quinoa and grilled zucchini salad, and more. They also serve signature crepes with crab and snapper or spinach and roasted butternut for veggie lovers and vegetarians.
Highly rated on International platforms and featuring its own organic garden, the Talisman Restaurant has a charming origin story and ambiance. With fun starters like salt and pepper squid and Mexican street corn and a wide selection of mains and desserts from flambeed pork tenderloin to fish fingers in lemonade batter to char-grilled filet steak, Creme Brule, chocolate fondant, panna cotta, and more, this is the food connoisseurs dream. You should definitely reserve a table in advance if you plan on dining at the Talisman and add this to your list of must-visit restaurants.
Sikia Fine Dining—Classy, Fine Dining
Located on the mezzanine level of the Crowne Plaza Hotel (a 5-star business hotel), this is a formal dining experience. The ambiance is well-praised by many and the jumbo prawns come highly recommended. Always beautifully presented, they offer a wide variety of dishes and a full lunch, dinner, and dessert menu along with a selection of wine from around the world. Be sure to make reservations.
Website: Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/CrownePlazaNairobi/
Big Knife – Turkish Doner
If like me, you love wraps and Turkish food, their shawarmas are a must-try. They’re SOOOO tasty! This fast, street food is delicious and great for a quick bite on the go. Big Knife has over 1,000 4.2 star reviews and it’s just a great place to grab fries and a shawarma. In fact, some even call this place “the best shawarma in Kenya!” Give it a try!
Website: Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/bigknife254/
Fogo Gaucho—Brazillian Steakhouse
Known for its juicy steaks and fresh salads, Fogo Gaucho has over 3,000 4.6 star reviews. This is an all-you-can-eat steakhouse with over 17 cuts of steak and 25 different salads. The experience is what’s fun here. Once you arrive, you can grab your salads from the buffet and then the waiters and waitresses come around with cuts of meat. You get a red and green token at your place setting and when you want more meat, you flip it green and when you’re ready to stop, you turn it red. This prompts the waiters to either bring more meat around or give you a break LOL.
I hope you have enjoyed reading our Kenya Travel Guide! For more information contact Love From Mwai Experiences