Kenya conjures up images of safari's and white-sand beaches, but why not take some time to explore the capital city Nairobi.
The name of which comes from a Masai phrase meaning 'The Place of Cool Waters' as it sits comfortably on Nairobi River.
It is a very up and coming, cosmopolitan city with much to offer, here are a few of my recommendations
Kazuri meaning 'small and beautiful' is a bead factory. Kazuri began in 1975, with a small workforce, it was there to give women, mainly single mothers a chance to earn money making beads. Now employing over 400 women the organisation has grown and the Kazuri jewellery is exported to over 30 countries. You can have a tour around the factory and meet the women who make and hand paint all the beads. It is an incredibly inspirational place and you can visit the on-site shop and spend hours picking a necklace (or several). Kazuri is located in the Karen area.
The Giraffe Centre
This not-for-profit organisation began in 1979 with an aim of creating an educational insitution as well as rescuing the endangered Rothschild giraffes. It provides conservation education for children free of charge from profits made from the entrance fee and the gift shop. You can spend some time getting up close and personal with the giraffes at the park and you can even feed them!
Sitting on the same grounds as the Nairobi National Museum, the Snake Park houses an array of not only snakes but also crocodiles, turtoises, turtles and lizards. If you have a free afternoon, check both places out.
Selling all sorts of tradional crafts such as wooden animals and masks, jewelley, bags, keyrings, drums to name a few and of course the obligatory purchase of a Tusker t-shirt! These markets are held in popular locations like the Village Market in Gigiri on Fridays, the Yaya shopping centre on Sundays and in West Gate shopping centre on Tuesdays.
Away from all the hustle and bustle, you may want somewhere relaxing to unwind. At the Zen Gardens you can enjoy the space with Jade Coffee and Tea House or try Bamboo a fine dining restaurant specialising in Pan-Asain cusine open for lunch and dinner. The food here is seriously good!
Travel tip shared by Sjackz