This will be a well managed excursion of the most thrilling tour areas within the Nairobi City
Stop 1: Giraffe Centre @ 9:00am
Since giraffes are his favorite animal, we are most excited to visit the African Fund for Endangered Species Giraffe Centre on our first day. The institution has bred the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe, found exclusively in East Africa. Jock and Betty Leslie-Melville founded the center in the 1970s to breed, conserve, and release giraffes and educate the public.
After arriving, we will receive a handful of pellets to feed the giraffes from a big observation platform. You can hand-feed mature giraffes from elevated platforms. Seeing these gorgeous long-legged animals up close is the highlight. To make the most of your visit, look down to see the resident warthogs, listen to one of the free informative sessions or lectures, and walk the Giraffe Centre Nature Path across the road.
We hope you like the Giraffe Center, although school and tour groups visit frequently. So be patient—it might get busy here. Visits average 30 minutes, but allow more time to explore the nature paths. We stayed an hour. Tours are available everyday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. You can buy tickets on-site or in advance.
Stop 2: Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage @ 10:30am
While in Nairobi, we went to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage for our second trip of the day. Kenya’s first wildlife warden and a prominent conservationist, David Sheldrick made his mark on the world stage. After his death in the late 1970s, his wife Daphne created the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust as a memorial to him. It is a sanctuary and nursery for elephants and rhinos. The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, housed in a part of Nairobi National Park, takes in and raises orphaned elephant and rhino calves from all around Kenya with the hope of eventually releasing them back into the wild. We highly suggest Daphne Sheldrick’s memoir Love, Life, and Elephants even if you haven’t read it yet.
If you want to visit, you should definitely make a reservation or schedule a guided tour before you depart. If you are taking a tour, the guide will help you figure this out, but you should still be prepared to pay the entrance charge out of pocket.
Stop 3: Utamaduni Shops @ 12:15am
Several excursions make a brief detour here so that passengers can do some last-minute shopping or have a cup of coffee. You can shop at the smaller outside stalls or the much larger indoor store. There is a wide variety of goods available, from soaps and slippers to apparel and toys for kids to pieces of jewelry. A selection of low-priced goods, all manufactured locally by disadvantaged youth, are available at the Steetwise booth in front of the building.
We can make a quick pit stop here, and it will be worthwhile. The serious souvenir shopper should plan ahead, as the shop is spread out over several small rooms and sells a wide variety of items. If you only have time for one store while in Nairobi, we suggest you make it here. Utamaduni Stores is home to several eateries where you may sit down for a full meal or grab a quick bite and a drink. As such, it’s possible that would be a nice area to grab some food or drink. A little playground is available for kids as well.
Stop 4: Karen Blixen Museum @ 1:00pm
The Karen Blixen Museum is located in Isak Dinesen’s 1914-1931 farmhouse. Karen and Baron Bror von Blixen Fincke bought the 1912 mansion to start a coffee plantation. Out of Africa, starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep, popularized Blixen and her coffee farm. A guided group tour of the house will explore the interior, detached kitchen, and a small piece of the grounds. The house is smaller than imagined but has Blixen’s original furniture, including the iconic cuckoo clock, and Out of Africa movie items.
Visitors can browse the grounds and gift shop after the 40–45-minute tour. It was nice to stroll around the property and see other things Blixen wrote about, including the great vistas of the Ngong Hills.
Stop 5: Karen Blixen Coffee Gardens @2:00pm
The restaurant serves all three meals of the day and is extremely spacious. There is also a bar and a lounge for relaxing. We might have eaten inside or out, depending on our mood. The gardens are beautiful, so we asked for a table outside, which is what you should do if you can. The two of you can get some coffee and converse for a while after lunch. Stopping in for coffee or drinks after touring the Karen Blixen Museum is a good idea even if you aren’t hungry. Some historic homes, such as the Swedo House and the Grogan MacMillan Manor House, are open to the public.
Lunch reservations are not required unless you have a large party, but evening ones are highly suggested.
Stop 6: Kazuri Beads @ 3:30pm
Kazuri Beads concludes your tour. Kazuri Beads handpaints ceramic beads, decorations, and ceramics. It was founded in 1975 to employ local single mothers and presently employs 300. Kazuri means “little and beautiful” in Swahili.
Then a guide gives a free factory tour. You may see them produce beads and ceramics, from mixing clay to hand painting beads to finishing touches. The 30-minute tour is worth it if you have time. The tour ends with Kazuri Beads, where you can browse on your own. Besides beaded jewelry, they sell clay tableware, pots, and ornaments. Supporting here is fantastic. You can buy souvenirs or gifts to bring home. Love my red necklace from here.
Stop 7: (later in evening): Carnivore Restaurant for Dinner @ 7:00pm
You may get “a beast of a feast” at Carnivore, the most well-known restaurant in Nairobi. Meats are roasted and barbecued over a massive charcoal fire using traditional Maasai swords at this eatery. Since game restrictions in Kenya have changed, the once-famous restaurant now serves exclusively farmed meat. Even though beef, chicken, lamb, and pork are more common, less conventional foods like crocodile and ostrich are still available. As opposed to standard fare, the dinner is presented in an unusual manner. Soup is served first, followed by salads and sauces, baked potatoes, and an assortment of meats. You are free to eat for as long as you like. When you “surrender” and are done eating, place the flag down on the table. If you still have room, dessert will be brought out.
A variety of services offer pick-up at your hotel, transportation throughout your dinner, and drop-off afterward, so if you’re searching for a way to get to Carnivore, you can find what you need here.