Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya. The city and its surrounding area also forms the Nairobi Province. The name "Nairobi" comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyirobi, which translates to "the place of cool waters". However, it is popularly known as the "Green City in the Sun."
Founded in 1899 as a simple rail depot on the railway linking Mombasa to Uganda, the town quickly grew to become the capital of British East Africa in 1907 and eventually the capital of a free Kenyan republic in 1963. During Kenya's colonial period, the city became a center for the colony's coffee, tea and sisal industry. Nairobi is also the capital of the Nairobi Province and of the Nairobi District. The city lies on the Nairobi River, in the south of the nation, and has an elevation of 1661 m (5450 ft) above sea-level.
Nairobi is the most populous city in East Africa, with an estimated urban population of between 3 and 4 million. According to the 1999 Census, in the administrative area of Nairobi, 2,143,254 inhabitants lived within 684 km2 (264 sq mi). Nairobi is currently the 4th largest city in Africa.
Nairobi is now one of the most prominent cities in Africa politically and financially. Home to many companies and organizations, including the United Nations Environment Programme and the UN Office in Africa, Nairobi is established as a hub for business and culture. The Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) is one of the largest in Africa, ranked fourth in terms of trading volume and capable of making 10 million trades a day. The Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC) defines Nairobi as a prominent social centre.
At 1,661 metres (5,449 ft) above sea level, Nairobi enjoys a fairly moderate climate. The altitude makes for some chilly evenings, especially in the June/July season when the temperature can drop to 10 °C (50 °F). The sunniest and warmest part of the year are from December to March, when temperatures average the mid-twenties during the day. The mean maximum temperature for this period is 24 °C (75 °F).
There are two rainy seasons but rainfall can be moderate. The cloudiest part of the year is just after the first rainy season, when, until September, conditions are usually overcast with drizzle. As Nairobi is situated close the equator, the differences between the seasons are minimal. The seasons are referred to as the wet season and dry season. The timing of sunrise and sunset does not vary tremendously throughout the year, due to Nairobi's close proximity to the equator.
Nairobi is divided into a series of districts. The constituencies of Nairobi are Makadara, Kamukunji, Starehe, Langata, Dagoretti, Westlands, Kasarani and Embakasi. The main administrative divisions of Nairobi are Central, Dagoretti, Embakasi, Kasarani, Kibera, Makadara, Pumwani and Westlands. Most of the upmarket suburbs are situated to the west of Nairobi, where most European settlers resided in colonial times. These include Karen, Langata, Lavington and Highridge. The region's European past is highlighted by the number of English place-names in the area. In the western outskirts, Kangemi and Dagoretti areas are inhabited by non-wealthy residents. Most low and lower-middle income estates are located in eastern Nairobi. These include Kariokor, Dandora, Kariobangi, Embakasi and Huruma. Many Somali immigrants have settled in Eastleigh, nicknamed 'Little Mogadishu'.
Nyayo Monument, located in Central Park, built in 1988 to commemorate 10 years in power of former president Daniel arap Moi.
Nairobi has many parks and open spaces throughout the city. Most of Nairobi is green-space, and the city has dense tree-cover. The most famous park in Nairobi is Uhuru Park. The park borders the central business district and the neighbourhood Upper Hill. Uhuru (Freedom) Park is a centre for outdoor speeches, services and rallies. The park was to be built-over by former President Daniel arap Moi, who wanted his KANU party's 62-storey headquarters situated in the park. However, the park was saved by Wangari Maathai, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her efforts.
Central Park is adjacent to Uhuru Park, and includes a memorial for Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya. Other notable open spaces include Jeevanjee Gardens, City Park and Nairobi Arboretum.
Nairobi is home to the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE), one of Africa's largest. The NSE was officially recognised as an overseas stock exchange by the London Stock Exchange in 1953. The exchange is Africa's 4th largest (in terms of trading volumes) and 5th (in terms of Market Capitalization as a percentage of GDP).
Nairobi is the regional headquarters of several international companies and organizations. This makes it one of the most influential cities in Africa.[neutrality disputed] In 2007 alone, General Electric, Young & Rubicam, Google, Coca Cola, Celtel and Cisco Systems relocated their African headquarters to the city.  The United Nations has strong presence in Nairobi; the United Nations Office at Nairobi hosts UNEP and UN-Habitat headquarters.
Several of Africa's largest companies are headquartered in Nairobi. KenGen, which is the largest African stock outside South Africa, is based in the city. Kenya Airways, Africa's fourth largest airline, uses Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as a hub.
Goods manufactured in Nairobi include clothing, textiles, building materials, processed foods, beverages, cigarettes. Several foreign companies have factories based in and around the city. These includes Goodyear, General Motors, Toyota Motors, Coca Cola and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Nairobi has a large tourist industry, being both a tourist destination and a transport hub.
Nairobi is a cosmopolitan and multicultural city. Since its foundation, Nairobi has maintained a strong British presence, and a lasting legacy from colonial rule. This is highlighted by the number of English-named suburbs, including Hurlingham and Parklands.
By the mid twentieth century, many foreigners settled in Nairobi from other British colonies, primarily India and PakistanThese immigrants were workers who arrived to construct the Kampala - Mombasa railway, settling in Nairobi after its completion, and merchants from Gujarat. Nairobi also has established communities from Somalia and Sudan.
As Nairobi has a diverse and multicultural composition, there are a number of churches, mosques, temples and gurdwaras within the city. Prominent places of worship in Nairobi include the Holy Family Basilica Cathedral, All Saints Cathedral, Ismaili Jamat Khana and Jamia Mosque.
Nairobi has two informal nicknames. The first is "The Green City in the Sun", which is derived from the city's foliage and warm climate. The second is the "Safari Capital of the World", which is used due to Nairobi's prominence as a hub for safari tourism.
Kwani? is Kenya's first literary journal and was established by modern writers living in Nairobi. Nairobi's publishing houses have also produced the works of some of Kenya's best known and most respected authors, including Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Meja Mwangi who were all part of the post-colonial writing boom.
Many film makers also practice their craft out of Nairobi. Film-making is still young in the country but people like producer Njeri Karago and director Judy Kibinge are paving the way for others.
Perhaps the most famous book and film set in Nairobi, is Out of Africa. The book was written by Karen Blixen (pen name Isak Dinesen), and it is her account of living in Kenya. Karen Blixen lived in the Nairobi Area from 1917 to 1931 (though the neighbourhood in which she lived, Karen, is named after her cousin Karen Melchior).
In 1985, Out of Africa was made into a film, directed by Sydney Pollack. The film won 28 awards, including 7 Academy Awards. The popularity of the film prompted the opening of Nairobi's Karen Blixen Museum.
Nairobi is also the setting of many of the novels of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Kenya's foremost writer. Nairobi has been the set of several other American and British films. The most recent of these was The Constant Gardener (2005), a large part of which was filmed in the city. The story revolves around a British diplomat in Nairobi whose wife is murdered in northern Kenya. Much of the filming was in the Kibera slum.
Most new Hollywood films are nowadays screened at Nairobi's cinemas. Up to early 90s there were only few film theatres and the repertoire was scanty. There are also two drive-in cinemas in Nairobi.
Nairobi is the centre of the Kenyan music scene. Benga is a Kenyan genre which was developed in Nairobi. The genre evolved between the 1940s and the 1960s, and by the late 1960s, it was the most popular music genre in Kenya. The genre is a fusion of jazz and Luo music forms.
In the 1970s, Nairobi became the prominent centre for East and Central African music. During this period, Nairobi was established as a hub of soukous music. This genre was born in Kinshasa and Brazzaville. After the political climate in the region deteriorated, many Congolese artists relocated to Nairobi. Artists such as Orchestra Super Mazembe moved from Congo to Nairobi and found great success. Virgin records became aware of the popularity of the genre and signed recording contracts with several soukous artists.
More recently, Nairobi has become the centre of the Kenyan hip hop scene. The genre has become very popular amongst the East African youth, and Nairobi acts have become some of the most popular in the region. Successful artists based in Nairobi include Nonini and Nameless, and record labels based in the city include Ogopa DJs. Genge music, a subgenre of hip hop, was born in Nairobi.
Hip-hop has become a major part of the youth's culture in Nairobi. While some rock and alternative music can be found, the most popular types among black Africans are hip-hop and raggamuffin. Raggamuffin is a more Americanized version of Reggae music, openly acceptive of drugs. In fact, Bob Marley made marijuana standardly used among Raggamuffin fans.
Many foreign musicians who tour Africa, perform and visit Nairobi. Bob Marley's first ever visit to Africa started in Nairobi. Acts that have performed in Nairobi recently include Shaggy, Sean Paul and Ja Rule. Nairobi has number of nightclubs in the CBD as well as suburbs.
Exterior of the 60,000 capacity Moi International Sports Centre.
Nairobi is East Africa's sporting centre. The premier sports facility in Nairobi is the Moi International Sports Centre in the suburb of Kasarani. The complex was completed in 1987, and was used to host the 1987 All Africa Games. The complex comprises a 60,000 seater stadium, the second largest in East Africa (after Tanzania's new national stadium), a 5,000 seater gymnasium, and a 2,000 seater aquatics centre.
Nyayo National Stadium is Nairobi's second largest stadium. Completed in 1983, the stadium has a capacity of 30,000.[ This stadium is primarily used for football. The facility is located close to the Central Business District, which makes it a convenient location for political gatherings.
Nairobi City Stadium is the city's first stadium, and used for club football. Nairobi Gymkhana is the home of the Kenyan cricket team, and was a venue for the 2003 Cricket World Cup. Notable annual events staged in Nairobi include Safari Rally (although it lost its World Rally Championship status in 2003), Safari Sevens rugby union tournament, and Nairobi Marathon.
Football is the most popular sport in the city by viewership and participation. This is highlighted by the number of football clubs in the city, including Mathare United, AFC Leopards, Gor Mahia and Tusker FC.
There are six golf courses within a 20km radius of Nairobi. The oldest 18-hole golf course in the city is the Royal Nairobi Golf Club, founded in 1906 by the British, just seven years after the city was founded. Other notable golf clubs include the Windsor Country Club, Karen Country Club and Muthaiga Country Club.
An aerial of the cargo terminal at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the largest and busiest airport in East Africa.
Nairobi is served primarily by Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. It is the largest airport in East and Central Africa, and handled over 4.4 million passengers in 2006. The airport is a major transit hub for passengers flying to East Africa's natural attractions, and other smaller cities in East and Central Africa. The airport is situated 20 km (12 mi) from Nairobi's Central Business District. The airport directly serves intercontinental passengers from Europe and Asia.
Wilson Airport is a small, busy airport to the south of Nairobi. It handles small aircraft that generally operate within Kenya, although some offer services to other East African destinations.
Eastleigh Airport was the original landing strip in the pre-jet airline era. It was used in a landing point on the 1930s and 1940s British passenger and mail route from Southampton to Cape Town. This route was served by flying boats between Britain and Kisumu and then by land-based aircraft on the routes to the south. The airport is now a military base.
A Nairobi Matatu, after the regulation changes.
Buses are the most common form of public transport in Nairobi. Matatus, privately owned minibuses, are the most popular form of local transport, and generally seat fourteen to twenty-four. Matatus operate within Nairobi and from Nairobi to other towns. The matatu's destination is imprinted on the side of the bus. Matatus plying specific routes have specific route numbers. Matatus were easily distinguishable by their extravagant paint schemes. Owners would paint their matatu with their favourite football team or hip hop artist. They were notorious for their poor safety records, which was a result of overcrowding and reckless driving. Matatu drivers were pressured to make as many round trips as possible to maximize profits for their operator. They are very popular within the city. Most are equipped with high music systems which attract customers as competition is very high between matatus. The more round trips with the more customers basically means more money for the workers and the owners.
However, in 2004 a law was passed in which all matatus had to include seat-belts, speed governors, and all be painted in a uniform white with yellow band across it. At first, this caused a furore amongst matatu operators, but they were pressured by government and public to make the changes. Matatus are now limited to 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph).
Citi Hoppa is the newest bus fleet operating in Nairobi. Run privately, the Citi Hoppa offer relatively modern buses on many routes within the city. The Citi Hoppa buses are distinguishable by their green livery. It is now the leading bus operator in Nairobi, after Bustrack fell along with its mother company, Kenya Bus Services.
Nairobi was founded as a railway town, and the Kenya Railways (KR) main headquarters are still situated there, near the city centre. The line runs through Nairobi, from Mombasa to Kampala. Its main use is freight traffic, but regular nightly passenger trains connect Mombasa, Nairobi and Kisumu. A number of morning and evening commuter trains connect the centre with the suburbs, but the city has no proper light rail, tramway or subway lines. A JKI airport shuttle rail service is being contemplated.
Nairobi is also the junction for a branch railway to Nanyuki.
Nairobi is home to most of Kenya's news and media organisations. The city is also home to East Africa's largest newspapers: the Daily Nation and the The Standard. These are circulated within Kenya and cover a range of domestic and regional issues. Both newspapers are published in English.
Kenya Television Network is the largest television station based in Nairobi. It generally broadcasts business news for Kenya and the continent. Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, a state-run television and radio station, is also headquartered in the city. The Nation Newspaper also runs a TV Station that broadcasts from and is based in Nairobi.
GTV launches expand to region- GTV a pan African pay Television has set up its African office in Kenya that will serve as the hub for the whole of the continent via satellite transmission to over 48 countries. GTV services across Africa will run through Gateway Broadcasting Services, a subsidiary of Gateway Communications that provides satellite infrastructure to most telecoms and corporations in Africa.
Several multinational media organizations have their regional headquarters in Nairobi. These include the BBC, CNN, Agence France-Presse, Reuters, and the Associated Press. The East African bureau of CNBC Africa is located in Nairobi.
Kiss 100FM is one of the most popular radio stations in Nairobi. Kiss 100 FM
There are wide variety of standards of living in Nairobi. Most wealthy Kenyans live in Nairobi but the majority of Nairobians are poor. Half of the population have been estimated to live in slums which cover just 5% of the city area. The growth of these slums is a result of urbanization, poor town planning and the unavailability of loans for low income earners.
Kibera is the one of the largest slums in Africa, and is situated to the west of Nairobi. (Kibera comes from the Nubian word Kibra, meaning "forest" or "jungle"). The slums cover two square kilometresand is on government land. Kibera has been the setting for several films, the most recent being The Constant Gardener. Other notable slums include Mathare and Korogocho. Altogether, 66 areas are counted as slums within Nairobi. A middle-class Nairobi residential suburb, with the Central Business District in the distance.
Many Nairobi non slum-dwellers live in relatively good housing conditions. Large houses can be found in many neighbourhoods, especially to the west of Nairobi. Historically, British immigrants have settled in Langata and Karen. Other middle and high income estates include Parklands, Westlands, Hurlingham, Milimani and Nairobi Hill.
To accommodate the growing middle class, many new apartments and housing developments are being built in and around the city. The most notable development is Greenpark, at Athi River town, 25 km (16 mi) from Nairobi's CBD. Over 5,000 houses, villas and apartments are being constructed at this development, including leisure, retail and commercial facilities. The development is being marketed at families, as are most others within the city.
Nairobi has experienced some of the highest growth rates of any city in Africa. Since its foundation in 1899, Nairobi has grown to become the largest city in East Africa, despite being the youngest large city in the region. The growth rate of Nairobi is currently 6.9% It is estimated that Nairobi's population will reach 5 million in 2015.
The Kenya Open golf tournament, which is part of the Challenge Tour, takes place in Nairobi.
A giraffe at Nairobi National Park, with Nairobi's skyline in background.Nairobi is not a prime tourist destination, but it does have several tourist attractions. The most famous is the Nairobi National Park. The national park is unique, in being the only game-reserve of this nature to border a capital city, or city of this size. The park contains many animals including lions and giraffes. The park is home to over 400 species of bird.
Nairobi is home to several museums. The National Museum of Kenya is the largest in the city. It houses a large collection of artefacts, including the full remains of a homo erectus boy. Other prominent museums include the Nairobi Railway Museum and the Karen Blixen Museum.
Nairobi is nicknamed the Safari Capital of the World, and has many spectacular hotels to cater for safari-bound tourists. Five star hotels in Nairobi include the Nairobi Serena, Grand Regency, Windsor (Karen), Holiday Inn, East African Safari Club (Lilian Towers), The Stanley Hotel, Safari Park & Casino, InterContinental, Panari Hotel, Hilton, and the Norfolk Hotel.
Nairobi is also home to the largest ice rink in Africa: the Solar Ice Rink at the Panari Sky Centre. The rink, opened in 2005, covers 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) and can accommodate 200 people.
Other notable sites include Jomo Kenyatta's mausoleum, Kenya National Theatre and the Kenya National Archives. Art galleries in Nairobi include the Rahimtulla Museum of Modern Art (Ramoma) and the Mzizi Arts Centre.
- Places of interest
- Nairobi National Park
- Karen Blixen Museum
- Bomas of Kenya
- Giraffe Centre
- Safari park
Nairobi is no doubt worth watching place, and has plenty to offer to its visitors, If you are planning to visit Nairobi and want to book a cheap flight to Nairobi , i-cheapflights.co.uk is the company that offers cheap flights to Nairobi from all major Airports of UK with top quality Airlines. If you want to find out more about cheap flights to Nairobi (Kenya).You can call our customer service and our friendly staff will provide you the best suggestions about your Nairobi trip and will arrange cheap tickets to Nairobi for you .
Our Customer service number is: 0208-123-8085