All information gleaned from Kenya, a Lonely Planet Guide Book. Not all sights are visited on every trip.
David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage – a non-profit conservation trust within Nairobi National Park, named after David and Daphne Sheldrick who pioneered techniques of raising orphaned black rhinos and elephants and reintroducing them back into the wild. We will observe rhinos and elephants still reared on the site getting their daily mud bath and feeding. Park guides give informative talks to small groups for optimal engagement.
Karen Blixen Museum – is the farmhouse of the late Karen Blixen, author of Out of Africa, where she lived from 1914 to 1931. The lovely colonial house has been preserved as a museum and is set in beautiful gardens. A lovely place to wander around or sit and rest.
Langata Giraffe Centre – run by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife. Here you can observe, hand-feed or even kiss endangered Rothchild’s giraffes from a raised circular wooden structure, which is quite an experience. There is an interesting display of information about giraffes and very informative park guides. The gift shop is wonderful.
Nairobi Arboretum- the 80-acre site is home to over 350 species of trees. It is a green and vibrant public space with a network of walking trails and picnic sites. The arboretum provides a wonderful oasis in the middle of bustling Nairobi.
Nairobi National Museum – is housed in an imposing building amid lush, leafy grounds- The gardens are peppered with random sculptures- with a good range of cultural and natural history exhibits. One of the major attractions is the Peoples of Kenya series of tribal portraits by Born Free author Joy Adamson. The museum contains an excellent Gallery of East African Art where local artists display and sell their work.
Olorgasaile Prehistoric Site- this site was first explored in 1919 and Louis Leakey continued the excavation in the 1940s. There are still digs there today which can be visited along with the museum’s fine collection of fossils and stone tools.
Tea Farm -Tea is one of the largest Kenyan exports, ranking Kenya as the third-largest tea exporter in the world! A tea farm visit provides a representation of Kenya during the colonial period, and most plantation owners/operators are third-generation British Kenyans. Time spent at the farm includes garden and trail walks, a fine-dining experience, and an interactive historical discussion with the farm owners.
Amani – is “a sewing and reconciliation project for marginalized women in Africa.” The fifty women working for Amani represent 18 different ethnic groups from all across central and eastern Africa. All income generated by the project is used for operational expenses and provides for the needs of the women and their families. Meet some of the women while viewing and purchasing their exquisite sewn goods, including bags, accessories and home décor.
Kazuri Beads – Kazuri, the Swahili word for “small and beautiful,” is a bead factory that employs over 340 single women that design and make beautiful handmade ceramic jewelry and other small products to be sold both locally around Nairobi and internationally. A visit to the Kazuri bead factory includes a detailed tour of the facility, introductions to some of the women and men working for Kazuri, and a stop in the store for some shopping!
Kibera Paper – is a paper production project that employs 24 women from Kibera, the largest slum in Nairobi. These women individually craft and sell cards on recycled material to support their families. Visitors are shown how to make paper and given the opportunity to create their very own card! Shopping does take place!
Wamunyu Woodcarvers – Wamunyu wood carvers cooperative was founded in 1918. Woodcarving has become an art form and way of life for about 2000 carvers who are members of the coop. Come meet the carvers, see them work, and shop in their massive warehouse. Their wares are sold all over Kenya and their products are said to be the best in the country.
Lake Naivasha – With shores fringed with papyrus and yellow-barked acadias, and fresh water that supports protected hippo populations, fish eagles and a blossoming horticultural industry, Lake Naivasha’s beauty is as undeniable as is its importance to the region. A vast range of plains animals and a plethora of bird life have long called the verdant shoreline home, as have the Maasai, who consider it prime grazing land. Hippo safaris by boat and walk-abouts get you close to the animals, bird and plant life.
Lake Nakuru National Park – With a pink sea of flamingos lapping at its shores, rich areas of grassland, euphorbia and acacia forests, and rocky cliffs supporting a myriad of animal and bird species, there’s little doubt why Lake Nakuru is one of Kenya’s most popular national parks. The 180 square kilometer park supports lions, warthogs, waterbucks and buffaloes, gazelles, leopards, hippos, endangered Rothchild’s giraffes, and black and white rhinos, entertaining baboons and of course, the parks claim to fame- the pink flamingos.
Maasai Mara National Reserve – is more than just the most popular wildlife park in Kenya. It is the classic savanna you see in almost every African film and nature program that has ever been made and its sheer density of wildlife is amazing. The Mara’s 1510 square kilometers of open rolling grassland is littered with an astonishing amount and variety of wildlife. It is also the homeland of the Maasai tribe.