This is a note for someone who has limited time in Nairobi Lets say you are in between Meetings or during your lunch hour, step out and explore more of Nairobi city….
1] Grab some fruits at City Market; Nairobi city market is an almost carbon copy of Lawrence Hall, one of the two Royal horticultural halls in London which has similar vaulted ceilings and Art Deco interior features. The market has a variety of fruits, flowers and souvenirs. you can treat yourself with a bunch of fruits after all its healthy, buy yourself, or a loved one or even a stranger some flowers from the many venders, it might just make someones day..
2] Enjoy a 360degree view of Nairobi from KICC Helipad;
This is a short tour with a birds eye view of Nairobi from KICC helipad. This building was built in 1973 and holds a lot of kenyas History and Nairobi’s Landmark until 20th century this building was the tallest but now there more buildings taller, howvere its centralised location still offers an unblocked view of Nairobi city. An image of Nairobi without KICC is incomplete.
3] Go for Mass at Basilica. If you are in Nairobi around lunch Early morning or at 1315 or at 1800hrs drop in at this historical building and celebrate mass after all you are feeding your soul. The holy Family minor basilica parish is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Nairobi. The current church as it stands was built in the 1940s and 1950s, with interruptions during the country’s liberation struggle for independence. The story of the construction of the church goes back to 1899, where the once tiny rail workers camp was growing in leaps and bounds. This impromptu settlement of the swampy plain (Nairobi), was an opportunity for the Catholic Church to cater for the religious needs of the community. Under the administration of the Holy Ghost Fathers, in 1904, brother Josaphat, C.S.S.P (Holy Ghost Missionary) was entrusted with the building of the church. With a sitting capacity of 300-400 people, it was the first stone building in Nairobi.
The structure of the current church was constructed by a British firm, Mowlem construction International while the architectural work was designed by Mrs. Dorothy Hughes of Hughes & Polkinghorne Architects. The church as it stands today has a sitting capacity of 3000 – 4000 people.
The administration of the church was under the Holy Ghost Fathers from 1904-1991. The first baptism was documented in 1906, two years after the establishment of the first church building. The first marriage was conducted in 1908, while the first group of Christians was confirmed in 1923. Archbishop JJ McCarthy, (a Holy Ghost Missionary) was the first Archbishop of Archdiocese of Nairobi.
4] Grab that Afternoon Nap or leisure walk at Uhuru Park or Central Park This parks have a great history written all-over them with monuments built in the revolving around our political history and Environmental activism. You can take a moment and walk around and also enjoy a boat ride within the park.
5] Take a moment and learn about rich cultures of Africa at The Archives. This building originally housed Bank of India in Nairobi in 1904, later it was occupied by kenya commercial bank then kenya National Archives. Currently it houses Joseph Mu rumbas collection, Kenya’s second vice president. The history of Africa is evident from all the collections exhibited here. Good place to kill time and learn.
6] Enjoy some art at Nairobi Gallery. located at the intersection of Kenyatta Avenue/ Uhuru Highway in the heart of Nairobi City is the Nairobi Gallery. Built in 1913, this was the Old PC’s office building fondly referred to as ‘Hatches, Matches and Dispatches’ because of the births, marriages and deaths that were recorded here. Today, the building is a National Monument and serves as a museum holding temporary art exhibitions.
7] Get yourself a favorite drink and walk to The railway museum and you will learn a lot about Kenya history. You see the railway line contributed to the being of Nairobi city the struggles of building the Railway from Mombasa to Nairobi and then to other parts of kenya and Uganda. Its a story of both tragedy and Triumps a British colonial Era that saw the rise and growth of Nairobi, a time when kenyans had to have passes to travel. I always say that the Nairobi railway museum has a rich, deep history of kenya. The museums also has a collection of images and artifacts of earl years of kenya formation.
8] Window shop;;Nairobi has a lot of exhibition stalls and one can just wander around and compare prices from different stores.
if its on a Tuesday, Saturday or Sunday Visit the Maasai Market for local arts, Jewelry etc
There is soo much to do in Nairobi as most of the historical buildings are still protected and one can easily walk around, but a guide is crucial for you to actually get value from your walk.