City life in Kenya

Kenya is a wonderful country, and one that to me, springs up thoughts of the Masai Mara, wild animals and safari, with stunning beaches for relaxation. However, Kenya’s cities are wonderful in their own right, and worth a two-centre break at the very least.

Take Nairobi for instance.

A 9 hour flight from London will get you to the heart of this bustling, colourful city. Now, long-haul flying can be exhausting, so my tip would be to take advantage of great-value airport extras. I book an airport hotel wherever possible the night before flying, meaning I begin my journey relaxed and not stressed. Check out the Park Inn Hotel at Heathrow Airport for great rates and facilities. I recently stayed at the Premier Inn Manchester Airport and really enjoyed it – give it a try and see for yourself.

Nairobi is a huge, populous city, with scents, sounds and experiences to last a lifetime. Colourful, bustling markets are fantastic places to visit, and I guarantee you’ll come away with interesting souvenirs to take home, such as traditional clothing, handmade jewellery and spices. Haggle your prices on the market. It is a little daunting at first, but I found it easy once I’d tried it, and it’s good fun too!

Exploring the city will be an eye-opener, with colourful sights on every corner. One place I recommend you visit is the Bomas of Kenya. This is a village near to the city, giving a wonderful insight into the culture and life of the tribes of Kenya, including traditional dance and art. It’s a real eye-opener and one I’d highly suggest you visit.

Of course, Kenya is the home of safari to most, and a visit to the city need not mean you miss out. Nairobi National Park is a short distance away from the city and offers fantastic opportunities to spot wildlife in a natural habitat.

If you’re like me, and in awe of wildlife on this scale, you’ll want to book a full safari. A city-break in Nairobi is the perfect base for a few days’ on safari, and you’ll find many deals offering trips out into the national parks. I’d recommend you book this before you go, to make sure you have a reputable tour.

This being a large city, there are of course many shops and museums to visit, as well as boasting Africa’s largest ice rink – quite the novelty to visit!

Evening doesn’t mean the pace of city life slows down, with many bars and restaurants to visit and sample some local cuisine. I always like to try something traditional wherever I visit, to make me feel I’ve really experienced the destination, so give nyama choma (roasted meats) a try, for example. When dinner has digested, head to Langata Road for cocktails and dancing, with a backdrop of city skyscrapers.

Kenya isn’t all about safari, as Nairobi’s alluring atmosphere proves. Cut down the cost of this long-distance trip by taking full advantage of airport extras, such as Manchester Airport hotels and a trip to this African sensation is within reach.