Nairobi is the capital and the largest city of Kenya. The name comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nairobi, which translates to “cool waters”, a reference to the Nairobi River which flows through the city. The city proper had a population of 4,397,073 in the 2019 census, while the metropolitan area has a population of 9,354,580. The city is popularly referred to as the Green City in the Sun.
Nairobi was founded in 1899 by the colonial authorities in British East Africa as a rail depot on the Uganda Railway. After independence in 1963, Nairobi became the capital of the Republic of Kenya. The city lies on the River Athi in the southern part of the country. It has an elevation of 1,795 metres (5,889 ft) above sea level. According to the 2019 census, in the administrative area of Nairobi, 4,397,073 inhabitants lived within 696 km2.
Home to thousands of Kenyan businesses and over 100 major international companies and organizations, including the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) and the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON), diplomatic missions, including the Embassy of the United States of America and the British High Commission, Nairobi is an established hub for business and culture. The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) is one of the largest in Africa and the second-oldest exchange on the continent. It is Africa’s fourth-largest exchange in terms of trading volume, capable of making 10 million trades a day.
While visiting this city you will notice that there is a wealth of entertainment facilities, restaurants and shopping centres. Whether you will be visiting with your family or on your own, you will find some great places to spend some time. Enjoy some delicious cuisine that you won’t find anywhere else. Have a drink in one of the many bars there are to find. Do some shopping in some of Nairobi’s shopping centres, there’s plenty to choose from. You might even find yourself just taking a walk and exploring what this great city has to offer.
There will be lots of traditional items and clothing to see in the many stores you walk by. A lot of them making for a wonderful trinket or souvenir to take back and remember your visit. Of course, when you come to Africa you expect to see some of the amazing animals that you will only find in the wild on this beautiful continent.
Nairobi National Park is one of the natural habitats with a large game reserve. It was established in 1946 about 7 km south of Nairobi. It is fenced on three sides, whereas the open southern boundary allows migrating wildlife to move between the park and the adjacent Kitengela plains. Despite its proximity to the city and its relative small size, it boasts a large and varied wildlife population and is one of Kenya’s most successful rhinoceros sanctuaries.
Karura Forest is another natural urban forest in Nairobi. The forest was gazetted in 1932 and is managed by the Kenya Forest Service in conjunction with the Friends of Karura Forest Community Forest Association. Karura Forest is 1,041 ha (2,570 acre) consisting of three parts separated by Limuru and Kiambu roads. The forest is home to some 200 species of birds and animals. Karura now has over 50 km of trails for visitors to walk, run or bike.
Nairobi is home to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The airport served over 15 million passengers in 2018, making it the seventh busiest airport in passenger traffic on the African continent and serves direct flights to a number of African, Asian and European areas.
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