Nairobi — Even Greener Than You Think and Brimming with Adventure

by Dea Martinjonis July 21, 2017

Let this Jobbatical city guide take you on a journey through Nairobi — a city that’ll blow your mind with its friendly people, abundant wildlife, exciting cuisine, and thriving culture scene! Your tour guides for the day are our friends from team OkHi — an inspiring group of world-changers based in this vibrant metropolis.

Meet your guides at OkHi

Did you know that 4 billion people worldwide live without a physical address? OkHi is changing that by providing these people with an address that allows them access to the same services as everyone else. A combination of this audacious mission and a relentless drive to give back to the community is what makes this company tick.

What other group of people could be better suited to give you some valuable insights on their incredible home city and its jaw-dropping surroundings?

Welcome to Nairobi, Kenya—we hope you brought your camera

First things first — your trip won’t be complete without a visit to Nairobi National Park, the world’s only national park in a city. Relatively small compared to other African national parks, this one nevertheless boasts a dizzying variety of wildlife and has the added benefit of a particularly convenient location within easy reach of the hustle and bustle of Nairobi. While you’re here, don’t miss the Elephant Orphanage, a sanctuary that takes in orphaned and sick animals from all over Kenya.

Next up, treat yourself to a shopping spree at one of the Maasai Markets held in different parts of the city. Mainly aimed at tourists, these markets offer a unique opportunity to interact directly (and haggle—it’s expected!) with the locals who craft the items on sale.

Giraffes in Nairobi National Park (Photo: Mr Max/Shutterstock)

After a vigorous round of haggling, you’ll likely be getting hungry. With a lot of fresh produce available, Nairobi is the perfect place for travellers looking to discover the secrets of East African cuisine.

Team OkHi has lunch in the office, catered by their awesome chef, so the very best lunch spot they can recommend is their garden. If you don’t happen to work at OkHi, (which can easily be fixed here—they’re hiring), the team knows exactly where you can taste the best of what Nairobi has to offer.

The top local delicacy you don’t want to skip is Ugali (a dish of flour cooked in water or milk until it reaches a dough-like consistency) and fish—eat it at MAMA Oliech’s.

Ugali and fish (Photo: Sopotnicki/Shutterstock)

Kachumbari, a fresh salad of chopped tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers, is another must-try, widely available around the city.

Kachumbari (Photo: Charles Haynes)

For breakfast, brunch, and lunch (or even late afternoon cocktails), River Cafe in Karura Forest (more than 3 times the size of New York’s Central Park, all within city limits) comes highly recommended.

Other team favourites for an unforgettable meal include Nargis Restaurant, Diamond Plaza, and Talisman. For animal lovers, lunch at the Giraffe Manor is a must. Alchemist is perfect for grabbing a bite at the food court.

For sundowners (after-work drinks) with a view, you can’t miss Rolf’s Place on the edge of a gorge facing the National Park. Once you’re ready to get more serious, head to J’s for drinks and live music. Brew Bistro is another place everyone’s talking about, perfect for late night partying. Gipsy Bar and the rooftop bar at the Sankara hotel also get mentions.

Happy Hour at Brew Bistro (Photo: Brew Bistro and Lounge on Facebook)

If, after a night out on the town, you still can’t get enough of socialising with the locals (“Kenyans are soooo nice”—a direct quote from OkHi) and experiencing the culture scene, Nairobi is home to some amazing events worth taking the time to see.

Blankets & Wine, a quarterly music event showcasing the best performers on the African music scene, has spread all over East Asia from Nairobi since its birth in 2008. Similarly, the bi-monthly Koroga Festival celebrates the best African acts from all over the continent.

Sports fans should check out Safaricom 7s, an annual rugby sevens tournament.

Kenya scores a try against Tonga. If you don’t understand rugby—that’s good for Kenya. (Photo: Clayton Scott)

Ready to head out of the city for some beach time? You’re spoiled for choice. A trip to Diani, Kilifi, Watamu, or Lamu, the region’s finest beaches, will take less than two hours and only set you back about $50 each way.

Diani Beach (Photo: Eduard Kyslynskyy/Shutterstock)

For the diehard outdoor enthusiast, Kenya delivers like no other place on Earth. Go on a game drive in the Maasai Mara, hike Mt. Longonot, embark on a horse ride safari in Soysambu or a motorbike safari in the Aberdare National Park.

Lions in the Masai Mara (Photo: Ana Gram/Shutterstock)

Need more? No problem. Go fishing on the foothills of Mount Kenya (Africa’s second-highest mountain) or at Lake Naivasha, camp at the top of Mount Suswa, go bird watching in Lake Nakuru National Park, or take in the immensity of Mount Kilimanjaro in Amboseli National Park.

The view from Amboseli on Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak in neighbouring Tanzania (Photo: Eduard Kyslynskyy/Shutterstock)

With all these (and so many more—really, we’re barely scratching the surface here) natural wonders within easy reach, you can bet Nairobi is an adventure seeker’s dream destination.

To make sure you have enough time to do everything on this list, we recommend you join team OkHi as a React Native developer. Inspiring atmosphere, worthwhile mission, and great colleagues guaranteed. Apply here:

Got love for Nairobi? Show it by hitting that💙

Written for the Jobbatical Blog by Maria Magdaleena Lamp

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