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Wednesday, 12 December 2012 07:42

Things to do in Nairobi Central District

Written by Duara Safaris

 

 

Nairobi city is one that never sleeps so when you visit the city you will lack for little to do! There are so many exciting things to do during your stay in Nairobi central district and to be honest l’m not sure l can exhaust everything though l will try and make sure that l name the main things that are popular to do and whet your appetites. I think it’s only fair to start with Shopping and this is the capital city for shopping with a huge array of shops, malls that has everything that you can imagine to buy from designer clothing’s, perfumes to even basic toiletries that can be found in the UK or anywhere in the world a visit to the mall is quiet and experience and Nakumatt and Uchumi offer everything in one roof from grocery’s to furniture and whatever you can think off and some of their branches are open 24 hrs Off course there are the local markets like Gikomba Market, Maasai Market , city market, Kenyatta Market and  city hawker market for Fresh fruits. You can also visit Banana Hill Artists or Gallery watatu for some inspiring African creative artworks. The list can go on and on.

Nairobi is the only City in the world with a National Park so going on a Safari is not only something to do but is a must do especially as it is less than 10 -20 minutes’ drive to reach there or if adventurous you can take the Nairobi Safari Walk around the park it is simply just exciting and a wonderful thing with the back drop of the city and the wildlife is plenty Lions, Rhino, Giraffes, Zebra, Buffaloes to name a few.

Take a Tour of the City there is so much to see and an organized tour is the best way to do it and there are available in Nairobi just ask the concierge or reception desk and at any of the hotels you will be guided to one it will certainly be a fulfilling half day or full day whichever option you take. Eating out has to be on top of your list and when you visit Nairobi City you have to ensure you have the right appetite as the variety of cuisine is rich from Indian, Italian, Mexican, Ethiopian to your normal KFC you will have plenty to choose from we definitely recommend visiting the Carnivore which serves a bountiful array of delicious tender roasted meats. The meats are grilled over coals on a sword and carved directly onto your plate.

To crown it all a visit out at night will ensure that you enjoy a robust nightlife. The nightlife in Nairobi is complex and always changing. Hot spots transfer from place to place depending on the crowd and the scene tends to change rapidly. That being said, there are plenty of places for a night out in Nairobi some places to visit are like the  Pavement Nightclub – Techno upscale Euro disco, K2 – Clubhouse – Large outdoors style club and lounge, Red Tape / Black Diamond – Local clubs and Florida Kenya (F2)

Do have a fabulous time and do share with us some of the things we might have forgotten to mention off course one must never leave Nairobi without enjoy Kenya’s famous Tusker beer.

 

 

 

Tuesday, 11 December 2012 06:33

Accommodation in Nairobi Central District

Written by Duara Safaris

 

 

Nairobi is in my words a grand African city beloved by all and a hub for many of the African countries to and from various countries. Due to its popularity Nairobi has plenty of accommodation to offer and today we feature the following which not only offer accommodation but also offer prime restaurants and entertainment make each a special place to visit.

Sarova Stanley Hotel

From the day it opened its doors in 1902, Sarova Stanley, a 5 star hotel in Nairobi, has been making history - hosting royal safaris and a long line of living legends. The stature and historical importance of Sarova Stanley was aptly described in an article that appeared in The East African and Rhodesian in 1930 that said, "There is probably no other colony in the British Empire where a hotel has been more intimately associated with communal development and welfare than has The Stanley of Nairobi with the modern history and progress of Kenya. That celebrated establishment has been so long a popular rendezvous of the colonists that it has acquired an individuality entirely of its own".

Sarova Stanley has 217 guest rooms over eight floors in different categories including Heritage Suites, Executive Suites and Club Rooms. Dining facilities include the legendary Thorn Tree Cafe, Thai Chi Restaurant which has been awarded as the most authentic Thai restaurant in East Africa, and Exchange Bar which was once the venue for Nairobi's first stock exchange, Pool Deck Restaurant and 24 hour In-room Dining.

Business facilities include wireless internet, fully-equipped business centre, meeting rooms in varying capacities and secretarial services. The heated pool on the 5th floor adjoins a fully equipped health club with gym, steam, sauna and massage facilities. Sarova Stanley's mini shopping arcade houses Gift Shops, Newspaper Stand, Bookshop, Boutique, Curio shop, Chemist, Optician, Locksmith, Art Gallery and Car Rental outlets.

Nairobi Inter Continental Hotels

A haven in the city, this Nairobi hotel is ideally located for business, close to the Parliament buildings and next to Kenyatta International Convention Centre. Select from a wide range of dining options, including grilled seafood al fresco on a stunning outdoor pool terrace overlooking Uhuru Park

All 376 Air-conditioned, non-smoking rooms have 24 hour Room Service, Satellite TV, Mini-bar and Telephone. Located on the Sixth Floor, the Club Inter Continental Lounge allows Club Room guests private check-in and complimentary continental breakfast buffet and internet. Our restaurants include: the Italian La Prugna D’oro, Indian Bhandini, Plantation, Terrace, and Makuti Bar. The Health Club has fully qualified fitness instructors and facilities such as sauna, gym equipment, among others

Nairobi Serena

Justly famed for its exceptional standards of efficiency, service and five-star hospitality, the elegantly sophisticated Nairobi Serena is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World group and  consistently voted ‘Best Hotel in Nairobi' by airlines and international travel magazines alike. Despite its pivotal central location, the Serena Nairobi hotel remains true to its title and offers an oasis of serenity amidst the bustle of one of Africa's most vibrant capital cities.

 

The interior decor reflects an entirely pan-African theme featuring art and inspiration from Ethiopia, the Maghreb, West Africa and East Africa. Offering a range of dining experiences, our hotel in Kenya is renowned for its ‘Mandhari' fine-dining restaurant, which is rated as one of the Kenya's finest. The Nairobi Serena Hotel also offers a world-class Conference Centre and the exclusive ‘Maisha' Health Club and Spa.

They offer a wide range of Nairobi rooms and suites, all of which are elegantly presented in a fusion of international and pan-African styles. All the rooms and suites in Nairobi Serena are equipped with: air-conditioning, 2 telephones with international direct-dial and voice-mail, Internet (Wi-Fi and hard-wire connection), mini bar, digital safe, tea/coffee making facilities, LCD flat-screen satellite TV, 24-hour room service, dedicated resident's lounge, laundry, valet and shoe-shine.

Fairmont the Norfolk Hotel

Fairmont the Norfolk Hotel has played a leading role in Kenya's colorful history, and continues to be Nairobi's finest and best-known luxury hotel. The town and later the modern city of Nairobi grew up around Fairmont the Norfolk hotel, which still has its own private tropical gardens. The hotel is still the traditional starting point for safaris and the Lord Delamere Terrace is modern Nairobi's popular meeting place, where drinks and light meals are served continuously from morning till late evening.

The hotel now offers accommodations in 165 guest rooms and suites, has eight conference rooms, the largest seating 175 delegates, a heated outdoor swimming pool, health club with gym, sauna and steam room and gift shops.

Hilton Nairobi

Centrally located in the heart of the shopping and business district of Nairobi, Hilton Nairobi offers easy access to many local attractions including the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, the government offices, Curio Shops and Masai Craft market on weekends; Settle into a comfortable guest room built for work and relaxation. Choose an Executive Room or Suite for more living space while enjoying stunning city views and access to the exclusive Executive Lounge offering complimentary breakfast and refreshments throughout the day.

Take a dip in the heated outdoor pool and focus on well-being at the fully equipped fitness center with sauna, personal trainers, aerobics classes and massages. Indulge with a candlelit Italian meal or savor internationally themed buffets, tempting steaks, pastries, and poolside food in one of the five dining and beverage venues at Hilton Nairobi

 

Monday, 10 December 2012 11:45

Discover Nairobi City

Written by Duara Safaris

 

 

This week we visit exciting Nairobi City as l like to call it! Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya. The name "Nairobi" comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyrobi, which translates to "cold water", the Maasai name of the Nairobi River. However, Nairobi has three informal nicknames. The first is "The Green City in the Sun", which is derived from the city's foliage and warm climate. The second is the "Safari Capital of the World", which is used due to Nairobi's prominence as a hub for safari tourism it is popularly known and the Residents of Nairobi are known as Nairobians.

I love historical facts and Nairobi has plenty of them did you know that it was Founded by the British in 1899 as a simple rail depot on the railway linking Mombasa to Uganda, as the town quickly grew to eventually become the capital of British East Africa in 1907, it eventually became the capital of a free Kenyan republic in 1963. During Kenya's colonial period, the city became a center for the colony's coffee, tea and sisal industry.  The location of the Nairobi railway camp was chosen due to its central position between Mombasa and Kampala. It was also chosen because its network of rivers which could supply the camp with water and its elevation would make it cool enough for residential purposes. And the city grew around administration and tourism, initially in the form of big game hunting. As the British colonialists started to explore the region, they started using Nairobi as their first port of call. This prompted the colonial government to build several spectacular grand hotels in the city. The main occupants were British game hunters.

Today Nairobi is now one of the most prominent cities in Africa politically and financially. Home to thousands of Kenyan businesses and over 100 major international companies and organizations which has led to a very cosmopolitan outlook ,with the recent development of Thika superhighway and the opening of Syokimau railway station; Nairobi has become a well-placed competitive city in the world and definitely one of Africa’s most prominent.

Nairobi has grown around its central business district. It takes a rectangular shape, around the Uhuru Highway, Haille Selassie Avenue, Moi Avenue, and University Way. It features many of Nairobi's important buildings, including the City Hall and Parliament Building. The city square is also located within the perimeter. Nairobi downtown area or central business district is bordered to the southwest by Uhuru Park and Central Park. Nairobi is the most populous city in East Africa, with a current estimated population of about 3 million according to the 2009 Census. Nairobi is currently the 12th largest city in Africa, including the population of its suburbs.

Nairobi is a cosmopolitan and multicultural city. Since its foundation, Nairobi has maintained a strong British presence, and a lasting legacy from colonial rule. This is highlighted by the number of English-named suburbs, including Hurlingham and Parklands. By the mid twentieth century, many foreigners settled in Nairobi from other British colonies, primarily India and parts of Pakistan. These immigrants were workers who arrived to construct the Kampala - Mombasa railway, settling in Nairobi after its completion, and merchants from Gujarat. Nairobi also has established communities from Somalia and Sudan.

This is one of the most interesting cities to visit in Africa; with so much history, culture there is so much more to do and see why don’t you take a journey with me and share with us what one can do and see in the “Green city in the Sun”.

 

 

 

 

Friday, 07 December 2012 07:41

How to get to Kisumu

Written by Duara Safaris

 

 

Air Transport

 

Kisumu is served by an airport, with regular daily flights to Nairobi and elsewhere. There are plans to expand the airport in anticipation of increased trade brought about by the recreated East African Community of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Kenya Airways, Fly540, Jetlink have daily flights to Nairobi.

 

Road

Most buses, Matatu’s (minibuses), and taxis to various destinations in Kenya leave from the large bus and Matatu stations north of the main market. Nairobi is 5½ hours from Kisumu and a Matatu ride will cost you approx. 600-800 though sometimes you have to do the trip via Eldoret taking two Matatu’s.  Coach bus services are available in Kisumu with has daily buses to and from Nairobi for it takes approximately 7 hours. The cost is approx. 600 to 700 from Nairobi.

 

Rail

Trains to Nairobi leave on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings.

Expect delays! It takes about 13 hours from Kisumu to Nairobi.

 

Transport within Kisumu

Boda-Boda

Bicycle, motor bike and tuk tuk taxis are numerous in Kisumu and great fun way to get around the town.

And the rides are quite cheap as well.

 

Ferry

The Lake Victoria ferries are steam- and diesel-powered ships used for freight and passenger transport between Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya on Lake Victoria. The main ports on the lake are Kisumu, Mwanza, Bukoba, Entebbe, Port Bell and Jinja. Typical journey times between Port Bell, in Uganda and Kisumu, in Kenya, are 13 hours and between Port Bell and Mwanza, in Tanzania, are 19 hours.

The original ferries serving the Uganda Railway in the early 1900s, were built in Britain, disassembled, transported in parts by sea to Mombasa and by rail to Kisumu and reassembled. The successor to Uganda Railway links Mombasa to the port of Kisumu on Lake Victoria. A Tanzanian railway links Mwanza and Dares Salaam.

This network allows countries of the African interior such as Uganda and Rwanda to transport freight to and from world markets.

 

Thursday, 06 December 2012 06:38

Things to do in Kisumu

Written by Duara Safaris

 

I do love the sound of Kisumu city, as it roles of the tongue of the locals! There is a certain amount of pride that one senses, when talking of this city. The people of Kisumu are a proud people who value Education. Their place in the history of Kenya is solid; with the likes of Tom Mboya, Odinga Oginga who have contributed to the nation building since independence and many more others not mentioned. The most significant of all is that Obama is a son of K’ogelo which borders Kisumu as they are both in Nyanza County. So one of the things to do that has recently gained in popularity, is to visit K’ogelo Village and learn of the roots of Obama’s father and his extended family, and of how his presidency changed a sleepy village.

The other popular things that one can do is Fishing in Lake Victoria, Bird watching at Kisumu bird sanctuary, Take a boat and visit Ndere island while enjoying sights and sounds and game watching. Enjoy the robust nightlife in Kisumu which is livelier than Nairobi; the best parties, live Congolese bands cropping up at various venues such as the Kimwa Grand along the roads out of town. Go shopping at Kibuye Market which is a huge outdoor affair that draws people from all around the district each Sunday. Everything from second-hand clothes to furniture and food can be found spread out along the road.

 

Have fun when you visit Kisumu and do share with us as always we love hearing from you and if you have something that is special for us to do we’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

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