We’re regular visitors to Kenya from Dubai, it’s only a 4.5 hour flight and there’s just a one hour time difference but it’s a whole world away from Dubai Life!
We recommend you visit Nairobi, the capital of Kenya for a short break. But don’t do those typical touristy things, read our account of how to savour the city like a local.
What would you do on a visit Nairobi – forget the usual touristy things and savour the city in style but like a local.
Try a gorgeous walk in Karura Forest
Karura forest is a protected natural area in Nairboi that has clearly marked walking and biking trails with beautiful, mature trees and woodland terrain. You can choose from 5/10 or 15 km trails. It’s very safe, you meet people walking alone, in groups or with their dogs.
It’s a regular activity for many people who live in Nairobi. There is a little animal life in the forest, the occasional monkey, plenty of birds and sometimes you see baby antelope. But you’re mainly here for some glorious forest bathing, with no sounds of cars or sites of any type of city life.
Lap it up and build up an appetite for a meal or snack at the River Cafe at the Limuru Gate entrance to the forest.
Non residents pay around US $5.00 to get in to the forest. NOTE you can’t take in any plastic water bottles. Scroll down for the Karura Forest official website.
Places to eat with delicious foodie vibes when you visit Nairobi
We recommend pizzas at Solo Grano at the Gigiri Courtyard in Gigiri. A vibrant, buzzy but laid back outdoor area with a variety of casual but very good eateries. We also had oysters from Gropper Seafood across the carpark, they come to you with the menu. Super value at $5.00 for 6 Kilifi oysters.
The pizzas are so reasonable too. We hear that a new BBQ place called Chop It has just opened there.
We also liked the tapas and cool terrace vibes of a restaurant called Tapas, on the ground floor of Westgate Mall.
For really casual Indian kebabs and bbq type food try the newly opened Rozina near Runda. Next to On The Way supermarket that has a super bakery at the back!
Rozina is the name of the grandmother of the owner and it’s her original recipes that are still used today. This is the 4th branch of this brand. It does have a full service bar as well, not too great for vegetarians, apart from their egg chappati which is MUST TRY. A sort of masala omlette encased in a crispy, flaky parantha type pastry case.
If you know someone that can sign you in the Muthaiga Country Club in, then go to Pinks and pick anything from the menu, lovely for breakfast or a snack, avoid weekends when it gets busy!
And if you’re in the mood for a snack lunch, or very late breakfast type then we loved the Art Caffe quiches at the Village Market branch. I wouldn’t recommend the side salads though!
How to shop for flowers when you visit Nairobi
First check with your home country that you’re allowed to bring flowers back! Not possible in London I know! But totally fine in Dubai via Emirates at least.
I like the Tambuzi roses best, sometimes available from Art Caffe Market branches. Thank you to my friend Firoza for that recommendation.
We like the Art Caffe Market in Runda. Else just buy your flowers from any roadside stall.
You do need to source a box to transport them in though.
Usually a good florist will sell you one or give you one for free if you buy flowers. Try Village Market or Sarit Centre depending on where you’re staying.
No need to go to the Mara for a safari
Nairobi National Park is a great way to experience a safari in the city. It’s about a 45 minute drive from the city and then you can spend most of a day there in a vehicle spotting animials.
There’s no guarantee you’ll see lot’s of wildlife but you may get lucky and see lions, buffalo, rhino and more.
More on Kenya here
If you fancy the Kenyan coast, again, super cool and nothing like our Dubai beaches, then check this post out.
Other short break destinations
We loved Milan, now over 20 flights a week now from the UAE!