Unlike other travel agencies, Charlie’s Travels is on the ground in Nairobi! As a result, our Angels, who arrange all Africa trips, know Nairobi inside and out. So it’s time to ask them about their favorite places, the best cafes, weekend getaways, must-sees and much more. Only a few days left in Nairobi? Then quickly read this Charlie’s Angels guide for the off-the-beaten track Nairobi and your days are so planned!

The tips from Charlie’s Angel Ruth

Must-try: Our own Nairobi city tour ! Together with a group of people who grew up in downtown Nairobi, you discover the city with the leg wagon and hear the most extraordinary stories.

Weekend break:  For all families: Lake Naivasha . Easy to reach from Nairobi by car, or adventurous with the matatu. Take a boat trip while you see large hippos have lunch on the side and spot the wonderful birds that fly by. Also don’t forget to make a stop at Hell’s Gate National Park, where you can cycle through by bike. Move over the plains on your mountain bike while the zebras run a little with you and the giraffes at ease eat the leaves of the trees.

Shop place: You cannot skip the Maasai Market! Touristic, though, but also the best place to score souvenirs. Colored bracelets, large earrings, a wooden salad cutlery or a colorful bag or table for the home. Everything can be found here! Keep in mind that it can be found in a different place every day.

Culture place: Bomas of Kenya breathes culture. There is a restaurant that serves all national specialties and you will find a group of dancers who would like to introduce you to the Kenyan dance and music traditions. Check their website to see which days there are shows and then don’t forget to reserve a ticket quickly.

Must-see: David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. Once you get here, you melt! Every day between 11 am and noon the orphan elephants come outside. In a row they thirst for their caretakers and the mega milk bottles that they hold. Greedily they start drinking and when they have had enough, their playtime really starts. A great way to see elephants up close, learn something about them and to contribute to putting the elephants back in the wild, because that’s what it’s all about!

David Sheldrick Orphanage

David Sheldrick Orphanage. Photo: Caro Cools

Nairobi tips from Charlie’s Angel Derk

Best cafe: By far Brew’s Bar. Brewed locally (as the name suggests), horrible beer. Fortunately, the taste does not really matter and you are here for the great vibe that the cafe has!

Local place: Valley Arcade, the local football pitch. Come here with some friends and play football!

Weekend getaway: The Taita Hills! Maybe a bit far for a weekend, but absolutely worthy! Put on hiking shoes, go into the mountains, enjoy the greenery and take a sporty weekend away. When you finally reached that breathtaking summit, you can go down abseiling and reward yourself with an ice cold Tuskertje! Moped through the region and especially check this article for more tips.

Must visit: Lucas in Magadi. Jump (on the back) the engine of Lucas and be guided by the alien-like Magadi. Tear through the desert and struggle with the soft sand under your tires. Along the way, sand bites get a completely different meaning! Have you arrived at Lake Natron, nice! Making a campfire, roasting sausages, adding a beer and staring at those stars. Believe me, you don’t want to leave here after one night.

Night spot: Can I mention Black Diamond here? Sloppy beats, moist glasses and big booties all around. The place where tourists and locals can be found until late at night and after which they often barely remember the next day …

Culture  spot : If you happen to be in Nairobi when a Sofar sounds is also planned, you cannot skip this! These are self-organized concerts in people’s homes. You pay an entrance fee and you can then enjoy music and culture in a different place. We too have had it once in the garden or our villa, check the pictures here !

Magadi motorcycling

Magadi desert

The tips from Charlie’s Angel Mona

Nature lovers, these are the things you must do!

Must-try: Nairobi National Park is skipped by many, which is a real shame! Especially if you don’t have much time to go to the Maasai Mara or to visit Amboselli National park, this is the place to go. With the Nairobi skyline in the background (which sometimes leads to bizarre photos) you will find roaring lions, herds of zebras and various rhino families here.

Night spot: For a wonderful, relaxing night you have to go to Abyssinia. An Ethiopian restaurant in the suburbs of Nairobi. Great meals, traditional music, you just forget that you are in Kenya and Ethiopia immediately appears at the top of your bucket list to go!

Shop-place: Nairobi does not really have entire shopping streets, but especially large malls in which the air conditioning is at its loudest and where you can find everything. The best known are Diamond Plaza, Westgate, Garden City and Two Rivers. The latter is especially popular because of the large clothing outlet and you will certainly leave the shop with a filled bag!

Nature: Sunsets at Lake Oloiden! This is the smaller brother of Lake Naivasha, but just as beautiful! Zebras and monkeys are hiding among all the trees and when evening falls, the sound of the crickets swells and the sun creates a red glow. Need I say more?

Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park

The tips from Charlie’s Angel Marieke

Best cafe: You go to Wasp & Sprout for the real hipster vibes. You can see countless laptops here from expats who work here for a day. A retro bicycle on the wall, delicious coffee and colorful cushions, you can easily sit here all day. Eat, working or just looking around at all the people who work here. Extra tip: upstairs is also a very nice shop!

Local place: Go to the Karura Forest to leave the bustle or Nairobi behind. Put on some music and lose yourself in the beautiful nature that lies right in the middle of the city. You can follow different paths here and the green trees tower high above you. During your walk you occasionally come across small waterfalls and winding monkeys and furthermore it is especially nice and quiet. Are you walking done completely and have you seen enough green again? Then settle down at Peponi Springs before heading back to crazy Nairobi.

Pro tip: Silk noodles on Arwings Kodeck Road! So tasty, so good, once you’ve tasted them, you don’t want anything else!

Must-see: Somewhat a bit creepy perhaps, but also very interesting: the old graveyard with a war cemetery, a Jewish place and a former colonial cemetery. Special to pause for a moment …

Wasp and Sprout

Wasp and Sprout

And of course the tips from Charles himself:

Local place: Harry’s Tavern is a good place to have lunch during the weekend. Be sure to order nyama choma here, the Kenyan delicacy that you should have tasted at least once during your trip through Kenya. Then hang out at the large bar. Everyone is having a drink here and enjoying their weekend, the perfect place for some fun.

Weekend getaway : If you have the time, you should go to Ragati Conservancy! I myself love green and fertile and I also like the cold, so in that respect you are at the top! Mt. Kenya has beautiful rain forests on the foot hills where you can hike, chill and make a campfire to warm yourself up. Ragati is the river in which they have released trout, so if you like it you can catch your dinner here yourself. 😉 The camp is basic camping but with good facilities, you come here mainly because it is so beautiful … Away from the electricity, civilization, and back to basic.

Pro tip:  ” Always call a woman a mama”  and she will protect you like an African mama  does.

Shop place:  For the true insiders, the Congolese market (diagonally opposite Bleson’s Enterprises, in a blue-painted building) is really great! In the Central Business District there are numerous African traders from all over Africa in an abandoned hotel. You can buy cool art there, once different from the Maasai market and the souvenirs that you see everywhere. Sometimes a bit more expensive, but then you really have something special!

Culture spot: Kuona Art trust has a good vibe. Artists have their workshop here and are often busy with it. You can drink a beer and of course buy art! Highly recommended if you want to buy something fun or just want to do something artistic. With 30 minutes you have seen it again, so perfect for in between.

Eco findings: Kitengela cottages , a beautiful, decorated, artistic, Gaudi-like place with a special owner. It’s not something for everyone, a bit of a hippie, sometimes a little dingy, but very unique with a story.

Congolese Market Nairobi

Have you felt like your trip to Nairobi and Kenya? Or do you want to know more about these tips? Contact us via chat and we will help you further! In the meantime you can read more about all Kenya adventures here! 

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