The safari capital of Africa and once known as "Nairobbery", the buzzing modern city of Nairobi is usually the stepping off point for tourists chasing "the Big Five" (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros). But you can actually see the wild hordes without leaving the capital by visiting the Nairobi National Park where endangered black rhinos are being told to breed, there are giraffes, lions and the gangly but graceful antics of adorable giraffes. You can also go to the elephant orphanage of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for a bit of mothering.
Built on what was once a Masai watering hole, Nairobi is a bustling and energetic city, the cosmopolitan hub of East Africa, where ancient customs blend with pulsing music clubs, vivid rich markets, assorted restaurants such as the internationally famous "Carnivores" and cafes to grab that necessary Tusker beer. The city heart is safe to walk around and it is easy to grab a taxi to anywhere else.
The Karen Blixen Museum is a must, as it is where the Danish author lived when she wrote the famous memoir, "Out of Africa". Verging on being the ultimate microcosm of Africa you can trek the Kenya Mountains, witness tribal culture, sun the body on a beach or glide through a desert. For the soft adventurer, you can balloon over the Masai Mara and for those with a decent bank balance, splurge on staying at the Giraffe Manor Hotel, where you can have afternoon tea with a giraffe poking his head through a window.
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