Nairobi is in many ways both a charming and peculiar city, all wrapped in one. Couples will find most parts of town are orderly, while some sections seem chaotic and haphazard. If you observe keenly, you will realize there is a method to the seeming madness. Once you get to know your way around you can enjoy both the charm and the chaos as a couple and make extraordinary memories in the city. Read on to see how couples can explore Nairobi and find romantic nooks and crannies for lovebirds.
Cheese is not your everyday staple in Kenya so a chance to taste some cheese is a great opportunity for couples in the city. Brown’s cheese is a cheese farm far enough from the city center to provide a relaxing and calming weekend. You will not only get to taste great cheese, fresh crackers and other delicious bites, you will also get to appreciate the time and effort that goes into making the cheeses on offer. Try the Gouda—it is out of this world, and what you like you can buy and take home with you.
On the southeast border of the Nairobi National Park is a lavish mansion sitting on top of a cliff overlooking a river valley. Couples who want to enjoy the sights and sounds of the wild, while spending some time alone, will find this lover’s spot absolutely enchanting. The landscape is picturesque and you can spot game from the comfort of your room. Definitely a must for nature lovers within the city.
Nowhere else in the world will you find a national park within the city other than Nairobi. Located only four miles (6.4 kilometres) south of the CBD, couples can enjoy a morning or afternoon game drive at the Nairobi National Park. Alternatively, opt for the Safari Walk, which allows you to enjoy a taste of the wild with a leisurely walk, viewing game through a designated and safe foot path. Admire lions, baboons, peacocks, even leopards and so much more. You never know what you’ll see here.
Giraffe Manor is a must-do for couples. This mesmerizing spot is located in Nairobi’s Langata suburb and sits on 12 acres (4.8 hectares) of private land within 140 acres (56.6 hectares) of indigenous trees. It is only a 30-minute drive from the CBD and, on a sunny day, you can have a meal on the restaurant patio.The Rothschild Giraffes found at the manor are an endangered species and you can gaze upon these magnificent creatures, only meters away, as they graze the tall trees. This is an unforgettable, memory-making experience; the only place in the world where you can photograph and feed giraffes over your breakfast or lunch.
Explore the city’s markets for thrift shopping or grocery shopping on the weekend. Within the CBD is City Market, which has both clothing and food sections. Brace yourself for fish and meat smells within the market, but be rewarded with an amazing array of hand-crafted products in the curio section. The food products are fresh and affordable, so couples who love to cook together can find great ingredients for a special dinner. Kariokor Market is just outside the city center and here you will find traditionally crafted leather ornaments, sandals, earrings and kitenge—the colorful African fabric used for dresses and shirts. The Maasai Market and the Village Market both offer a great opportunity to pick up authentic Kenyan souvenirs, although both venues are much pricier than the Kariokor Market.
Kenya is known for producing some of the world’s best coffee beans. With several coffee houses strewn all over the city, you will be spoiled for choice. For premium coffee try the Java Coffee Houses or Dormans Coffee cafés. Enjoy delicious café lattes and chai lattes, because in Kenya coffee and tea go hand-in-hand. And why wouldn’t they? The country produces the best of both in the world.
Step back in time and learn a little about the Kenyan people, the country’s many tribes, as well as its different traditions. You can do this right in the heart of Nairobi’s CBD by visiting the Kenya National Archives. Over and above preservation of records that form the bulk of the documentary heritage of Kenya, you will be met by pieces of art, including masks, tapestries, traditional attire, Maasai ornaments and even heritage pieces from all over Africa. The Nairobi National Museum on the upper part of town is equally impressive, with just as much history about the country.
There are quite a few artsy festivals going on in Nairobi, not to mention the Laugh Festival with standup comedians all over town. The impressive Safaricom International Jazz Festival and the Blankets and Wine event—where you can bring your own picnic and a bottle of wine to enjoy as you watch world-class performances by local and international musicians—are just some of the weekend events that couples can attend. Funny plays in vernacular languages are also a popular part of the entertainment scene, just like standup comedy. You can also check out the local arts spaces for exhibitions.
If you and your partner are foodies with adventurous palates, sink your teeth into some roasted game at Carnivore restaurant. Game meat, including crocodile and ostrich among others, is roasted to perfection and served while sizzling hot. A bottle of Tusker, Kenya’s leading lager, to wash down the meat is the perfect way to cap the meal and your day. Before bringing you your food, servers here place a small, white flag next to you on the table, so that when you’ve had enough you can “surrender” (lay the flag down), and they won’t serve you any more.