Nairobi, the ultra-chic capital of Kenya, is one of my favourite travel destinations in Africa. The city has a reputation of being the pure blend of elegance and nature preserved in its unspoiled beauty. I did not have enough time to explore Nairobi the last time I visited, but the limited time I spent in the city, I was able to create lifetime memories and experience. As a first timer, Nairobi seduced my senses with its captivating attractions and amazing wildlife.Oh! the Kenyan signature barbecued meat, ‘Nyama Choma’ fulfilled my culinary desires and gave me one more reason to visit again, almost as delicious as our ‘Asun’ meat in Nigeria.
Nairobi is a must-visit destination for anyone planning to visit Africa. If you have limited time to spend in the metropolis, and you want to see amazing places and indulge in sensational activities that will give you the best of your time and money, here are exciting ways to spend 24 hours in Nairobi:
The Heron Portico Hotel
The Heron Portico Hotel Lobby
When you are briefly in a city, you need a good hotel that will add excitement and sumptuous vibe to your travel experience. I found that this 4-star hotel, The Heron Portico meets the requirement. If you wish to experience a comfortable stay at the most affordable price, then you should choose this hotel to stay. As one of the best hotels in Nairobi, it is in a tranquil location and helps guests to relax – and this adds to the memory of my 24 hours trip. The hotel is an epitome of elegance and style and that is why a lot of visitors are drawn to it. The Heron Portico offers modern amenities and a perfect setting to experience the beauty of Kenyan living. The hotel is located centrally, just a few minutes from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
For an early morning breakfast to start your beautiful day, you should go to Bashasha restaurant – a coffee shop with an Arabic flair, for a tasty and healthy meal. They serve the usual but delicious breakfast favourites, home-style breakfast meals made with fresh ingredients, plus a great selection of robust coffee and tea. I was able to find a delicious meal to kick-start my day.
Staying at The Heron Portico was an experience for me and it is an experience you should never miss while you are in Nairobi. It will definitely make your stay a memory to cherish once you return to Nigeria. Visit: The Heron Portico Hotel
Location: Opposite Provincial Police Headquarters, Milimani Road, Milimani, Nairobi, Kenya | Get Directions
KICC – Kenyatta International Conference Centre
KICC Building | City views from the Helipad | Oluwakemi on KICC Helipad
Time to explore Nairobi like no other person! The city is characterized by series of stunning iconic buildings and skyscrapers with post-modern architecture such as KICC and the The Times Tower, which is the tallest skyscraper in East Africa. I started my day at KICC before heading to Uhuru Park. KICC building is the most iconic skyscraper in Nairobi. Located within the city centre, KICC is a 28-story building with a helipad on the rooftop. It offers amazing sky-high views of Nairobi. I went to the helipad to catch the amazing views of the city. From KICC Helipad, I enjoyed the sweeping views of Nairobi skyline; I could see the Kenya Parliament Building, Uhuru Park, The Times Tower, Kenya Power Building, and other beautiful attractions. KICC Helipad is pretty much a must-visit because you don’t get the chance to enjoy a view like that … even in Nigeria.
Location: Harambee Ave, Nairobi City, Kenya | Get Directions
The Parliament Building, Nairobi | Photo by Oluwakemi
The Time Tower, Nairobi | Photo by Oluwakemi
Uhuru Park | Photo by Oluwakemi
Uhuru Park, the public recreation park in Nairobi is located in the city centre. I walked down from KICC to the park, passing by the Parliament House. The park is the one of the most stunning public attractions that the city has to offer. After a long week of hard work, locals head towards the park to chill and entertain themselves. Uhuru Park is covered with green grasses and surrounded by trees which provide silhouette for relaxation, an artificial lake and a number of national monuments. The park offers exciting activities such as boating, skateboarding, camel-riding, picnicking and many more. I enjoyed the beautiful water views and dramatic scenes at the park.
Location: Central Business District, Nairobi | Get Directions
Camel Rides at Uhuru Park | Photo by Oluwakemi
Nairobi Java House – Mama Ngina
Nairobi has an abundance of great restaurants and cafes. One of my favourites is Nairobi Java House; it is a dynamic dining destination. I didn’t leave the city centre until I had eaten a healthy and delicious lunch at Nairobi Java House – Mama Ngina. For excellent dining, visit Nairobi Java House, where you can indulge in delicious meals like Bacon Cheese Burger, Veggie Burger, Chicken Burrito, Bean and Cheese Burritos, Chicken Quesadilla served with Mushroom chips, Grilled Fillet Steak with Garden Salad, Mushroom Pork Chops with Garden Salad. The menu is impeccably prepared for their guests. You can order for a cocktail or a glass of wine. I hunkered down for lunch, ordered Bacon Cheese Burger and I did enjoyed the meal.
Location: Mama Ngina Street, Transnational Plaza, Nairobi | Get Directions
Bacon Cheese Burger at Nairobi Java House | Photo Source: kiplagat
Nairobi National Museum
Hop on a Matatu ( public transport) or get a cab and make your way to Museum Hill to see the beautiful exhibitions at the Nairobi National Museum. Get introduced to Kenya’s rich heritage, its history and culture, wildlife, nature, contemporary art at the museum. The museum is approximately 10 minutes drive from the Nairobi city centre. I was really inspired, learning a lot about Kenya, after exploring different halls, from the art gallery to the Botanical Gardens and Nature Trail. It’s really a place to be!
Location: Museum Hill, Ngara Rd, Nairobi | Get Directions
Nairobi National Museum | Photo Source: Elin Reitehaug
Mambo Italia is one of the most stylish restaurants in Nairobi, well-decorated with textured walls, wooden art pieces and furniture. I dined inside the restaurant, even though the terrace was breathtaking with views of the city. If you are not pizza lover, you will like Mambo Italia gourmet pizza. I enjoyed a delicious dinner in the relaxing environment with comfort. Don’t miss their Chicken Breasts with Salsa Verde and some vegetables – very yummy! Visit: Mambo Italia
Location: Lavington Curve, James Gichuru Road, Nairobi | Get Directions
Chicken Breast with Salsa Verde | Photo Source: Mambo Italia
Mambo Italia Restaurant | Photo by Oluwakemi
Mambo Italia Terrace | Photo by Oluwakemi
The Carnivore Restaurant
Head back to The Carnivore and kick start your evening with bottle of Tusker. My last destination for the night was The Carnivore before heading back to the Heron Portico Hotel to catch up on my sleep. I had been looking forward to the tasty local delicacy called Nyama Choma – barbecued meat. The Carnivore is the best place to get the best game meat serving superbly prepared over an open flame. You get to enjoy grilled chicken, crocodile, ostrich and leg of lamb. This place is just like the University of Suya in Ikeja. The best part of my night is crunching the Nyama Choma as it candied my taste buds. Don’t leave Nairobi without a taste of Nyama Choma.
Location: Langata Road, Nairobi | Get Directions
The Carnivore | Photo Source: The Carnivore
My 24 hours travel experience will help you discover the fashionable side of the city. However, Nairobi is best explored steadily and leisurely. If you want to see the very best of the city, you need to spend more than 24 hours in the city. Nairobi is a place for adventurers; it’s like a frontline of the country, unpretentious and authentic with multicultural cuisine, plenty of art, amazing wildlife and plentiful attractions. You will find beneath its picturesque look and quaint charm a scrupulously evolving city that will fascinate and make you visit again.
If you want to visit Nairobi without breaking a bank, you can book very cheap flights to the city with RwandAir and stay in a comfortable hotel. Similarly, if you have visited Nairobi before, please share your experience with us in the comment below: