17 Interesting Facts about the City of Nairobi, Kenya
Travelers visiting Nairobi will see how the city, popularly known as a “Green City in the Sun” or “Safari Capital of the World,” is lively and unique over the next couple of weeks.
Nairobi is the capital of Kenya, full of culture and historical sites. The city has some of the best infrastructure on the continent.
Many people know that Nairobi is the capital of Kenya, but there are some cool things about the city you’ll learn about in this blog post. Keep reading to find out more.
1. Nairobi was formed in late 1890
Founded around the late 1890s, Nairobi was brought into existence as a British railroad camp, giving rise to its name.
The railway crew camped when they arrived at Nairobi in 1899 and called it “Mile 327” because they were close to that number.
Nairobi was called a British provincial capital from 1899 to 1905, when it became the capital city in the British East Africa Protectorate.
In 1920, the British capital moved from London to a new location in Nairobi. They considered the Kenyan port city an essential site for British East Africa. It would eventually become independent in 1963 after getting its constitution, then renamed to become the capital of Kenya.
The name ‘Nairobi’ came from the Maasai phrase “Enkare Nairobi,” which means ‘cool water,’ signifying the Nairobi River that flows through the city.
The city of Nairobi, located in the south-central part of Kenya, is in the highlands at an altitude of 1,795 above sea level.
In 1907, the city of Mombasa was relocated and eventually turned into the capital of Kenya.
2. The 75 years+ Nairobi National Park covers a 117 km2 area
The Nairobi National Park was established in 1946 at the south end of Nairobi to protect a popular rhinoceros sanctuary called Kifaru Ark, meaning “Rhinoceros Sanctuary.”.
It’s the only protected area in Kenya with some of the most diverse wildlife, habitats, and other attractions.
A sizeable electric fence separates the park wildlife from the metropolis, and it has its bushland recesses and grassy plains at the edges of the forest.
The Nairobi National Park is a fantastic place to enjoy a natural experience with exciting wildlife, abundant scenery, and the sounds of wild animals. It offers boundaries by the Maasai Mara River and North Mara River on its northern and southern borders.
Uhuru or Uhuru Park is an innovation of Burnley Edge, a British architect and civil engineer. Jomo Kenyatta was the first president of Kenya, remembered in the park near Accra Gate, a memorial monument that overlooks the garden.
Nairobi National Park’s Wildlife
Nairobi National Park, with 133 sq km of cliffs, forest, and plains, has become a home to many species of animals. Tourists can find abundant animals such as zebras, rhinos, giraffes, buffalos, and wildebeests here.
Others you can spot at the zoo are leopards, lions, hyenas, and over 400 bird species which extend from seasonal to local.
Attractions in Nairobi National Park
- Large picnic sites
- Diverse birdlife
- Walking trails at hippo pools
- Nairobi Tented Camp for ideal under-canvas safari
- Ivory burning site monument
- Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and Nairobi Safari Walk
- Black rhinoceros
- Large herbivores and predators, such as lion, cheetah, eland, buffalo, leopard, hyena, zebra, and wildebeest
Activities at the park
Some of the best activities at Nairobi National Park are camping, picnicking, game viewing, and other special events for those feeling adventurous.
3. It houses the famous Maasai Market
The Nairobi Maasai market, with its African artifacts, is an open-air market that forms a regional meeting zone for tourists worldwide.
Every day aside from Mondays, some merchants sell traditional artifacts and ornaments in all parts of the city.
In the Maasai market, you can find trinkets, clothes, paintings, wood carvings, drawings, jewelry, and fabrics with East African prints.
Maasai Market Days and Locations
For Tuesdays: The Maasai traders stay along Kijabe Street, Nairobi River, and Prestige Plaza along Ngong road.
Wednesdays: They stay at the Capital Center, heading to JKIA.
Masaai traders operate from the High court parking lot in the city center on Saturdays and Sundays, the most popular market days.
4. Nairobi is East Africa’s business hub
Nairobi is the hub of East Africa and offers a range of business resources.
Nairobi is Kenya’s capital, largest city, and mega international hub. Organizations large and small from all over the world have their offices in Nairobi.
Super Companies in Nairobi
A list of essential corporations with their headquarters in Nairobi include;
- General Electric
- Cisco Systems
- Young & Rubicam, and more
Additionally, Nairobi is an industrialized city for processed foods, beverages, building materials, cigarettes, clothing, and textiles.
5. Nairobi has numerous amusement parks
Uhuru Park is one of the most popular parks in Nairobi. It is full of attractions that make it a must-visit site for tourists.
The most admired of the parks, Uhuru, was officially opened to the public on May 23, 1969, by Jomo Kenyatta.
The Uhuru amusement park contains monuments of national interest, an artificial lake, and an assembly ground for outdoor events.
6. It holds famous historical and architectural landmarks.
Nairobi is home to many landmarks that serve as identity and orientation points for the city.
This city has a lot of landmarks, some of which appear in sketches and other descriptions.
Architectural & historical landmarks in Nairobi
- Jamia mosque
- Parliament building and city hall
- Kenyatta international conference center
- Nairobi Mamba Village
- African Heritage House
- Commercial center
- Roman Catholic cathedral
- Karen Blixen Coffee Garden and Cottages
- Brown’s Cheese Factory & Farm
7. Nairobi has a mild climate all year round
The weather in Nairobi is frequently mild and pleasant because it’s a few degrees south of the equator, around 1660m to 1800m above sea level.
Because of Kenya’s warm climate and dense forest, Nairobi got the nickname “Green City in the Sun.”
The mild weather in the city spares visitors from the blazing and extreme temperatures in other regions.
Months with the most favorable weather in Nairobi
The summer months in Nairobi city occur from December to March when average highs are in the mid-70s and low 80s.
In winter (June through September), the average daily high temperature in Nairobi is in the 70s.
In other words, the temperature in Nairobi is (ten) 10°C in June and July, but from December to march, the temperature is 24°C.
8. Nairobi houses several educational institutions.
The university has existed in Nairobi since 1907, the second-largest institution in Kenya, and Nairobi is the only city that hosts these.
The educational institutions housed by Nairobi city include those founded in 1956, 1961, 1972, and more.
Institutions in the city
- Kenya Polytechnic University College
- University of Nairobi
- Kenya Institute of Administration
- Kenyatta University College
- Kenya National Archives
- McMillan Memorial Library
- National Museum of Kenya
- Kenya National Theatre
9. It’s Africa’s 4th largest stock exchange
There are rising numbers of successful people in the Kenya Stock Exchange, or Nairobi Securities Exchange, as the common name. More and more people get attracted to this exciting development in Nairobi’s economy, which has seen an increased number of successful entrepreneurs and businesses.
The Nairobi Securities Exchange is a leading African Exchange established in 1954 for listing and trading diverse securities.
10. Boasts several high-rise buildings
Nairobi city encompasses several high-rise buildings worthy to behold by visitors and residents.
These magnificent structures with heights of more than 100 meters have their beauty not compromised by people in the city.
High-rise buildings in Nairobi
Buildings standing more than 100 meters in Nairobi include;
- Times Tower
- Britam Tower
- Prism Tower
- Teleposta Towers
- UAP Old Mutual tower
- Parliament tower
- Social Security House
- Kenya Commercial Bank plaza
- 316 Upper Hill Chambers, and
- Kenyatta International Conference Center, among others.
11. Nairobi has the highest number of malls in the country.
The growth in malls has led to more modern shops across Kenya that can provide a modern shopping experience.
Without exception, these malls in Nairobi facilitate shopping for all types of customers.
Best shopping malls in Nairobi
- The Hub Karen
- Westgate Shopping Mall
- The Village Market
- Two Rivers Mall
- The Junction Mall
12. Nairobi is the headquarters of ambassadorial missions.
Another remarkable fact about Nairobi is that it houses many multinational brands and diplomatic missions.
The city of Nairobi, the headquarters of diplomatic missions, was constructed first on March 2, 1964, and later reconstructed in 2003 at Gigiri, a suburb of Nairobi.
The ambassadorial mission is to provide a full range of consular services.
Organizations with headquarters in Nairobi
Nairobi is the headquarters for United Nations and United Nations Environment Programme.
13. Nairobi has an Elephant and Rhino Orphanage.
One of the unique facts about Nairobi is its Elephant and Rhino Orphanage, also known as Elephant and Rhino Nursery.
The Elephant and Rhino Orphanage spot is a psychotherapy center for orphaned rhinos and elephants controlled by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Most animals at Elephant and Rhino Orphanage have had a difficult life, but they are flourishing thanks to the love and care provided by local conservationists.
14. A national museum is in Nairobi.
As initially designed, the National Museum of Kenya was in a state of disrepair and failed to see active use since 1910. In 2006, it underwent a renovation project to revitalize the building and bring it into as active a state.
After revamping the museum in 2006, it re-opened as an exceptional historical museum in 2008 with contemporary art.
The museum preserves the beauty of the country’s heritage, nature, history, and culture. It is a valuable asset for both locals and tourists alike.
Top Attractions in Nairobi National Museum
- Over 350,000 fossils
- Snake Park
- Nature trail
- Botanical gardens
15. Nairobi has Bomas of Kenya
Bomas of Kenya is a village in Langata, Nairobi, exhibiting traditional villages belonging to other Kenyan tribes.
The Bomas of Kenya, 10 km from the Central Business District, is home to one of the biggest auditoriums in Africa.
Bomas of Kenya allows you to learn about the daily routine, music, lifestyle, culture, and art of tribes in Kenya. Travelers can also get a taste of how locals live in different areas.
Amenities and facilities in Bomas of Kenya
- Utamaduni restaurant
- Cultural performances
16. Nairobi is the most populated city in Kenya
Nairobi, covering about 296 square miles, equivalent to 696 square kilometers of land area, is Kenya’s most populous city.
Most countries have a population of 2 million people or more. This statistic means that in 2021, the population of Nairobi will be about 2.7 million.
It is the only city in Kenya with more than one million population.
17. High forest cover
Statistics from the Kenya Open Data show that Nairobi is one of the cities in Kenya with a high forest cover.
Nairobi’s city center has a tree cover of more than 435 hectares and has lost some trees in the past few years.
All eyes are on Nairobi, which has been the capital of Kenya ever since its foundation in 1899. Even if you’re jet-setting across the world, this is where you should visit.
To feed your questioning about Nairobi facts, scroll up and read the interesting facts you might not have heard about Nairobi.