The Most Unique Things to Do in Nairobi

Uhuru Gardens Monument
Uhuru Gardens Monument | © Demosh / Flickr
Nandika Macharia

Nairobi offers eclectic choices of things to do for the adventurous soul. One minute you could be dining in a fine restaurant and the next you are dancing to the rhythm of traditional drums at a cultural night. Read on to see the most wonderfully unique things you can do in the capital city of Kenya.

Attend a cultural night

The various tribes in Kenya take turns hosting a cultural night where they showcase their culture and traditions. Traditional food is served and the audience is treated to an entire night of music exclusively from the tribe. If you are looking to enjoy culture and have a taste of indigenous Kenyan cuisine, go for a cultural night. These cultural nights also celebrate cultures from neighboring countries like Ethiopia, Rwanda and Burundi.


Take a matatu ride

A matatu is the public service vehicle used to transport people all around the city. Nairobi matatus are a thrilling ride, as the inside of the trendy vehicles are fitted with plasma screens showing the latest music video clips and a superior sound system for quality audio. The body of the vehicle is adorned with graffiti, depicting everything from the who’s-who of hip-hop culture to African heroes, like Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan.

Matatus in Nairobi

Eat ugali and nyama choma

Nyama choma is a delicacy that can be compare to the Brazilian churrascaria or the South African braai. The meat is roasted on an open coal fire and is served with ugali (the local cornmeal staple) and a finely chopped mixture of tomatoes, red onions, pepper and coriander, locally known as kachumbari. This meal is usually followed by a cold Tusker, the infamous Kenyan beer.

Roasting meat

Explore the local slums

A visit to the largest slum dwelling in sub-Saharan Africa will open your heart to the challenges faced in informal settlements, and is a great experience for anyone looking to support initiatives in these slum areas. The tours are conducted by young guides who have lived in the slums and have been vetted by the Kibera Slum Tours organization.

Kibera slums

Go thrift shopping

Thrift markets are wonderful places to interact with locals and see how vendors market their goods. Look out for singing vendors, often a male and female duet that moves through the crowds describing their goods and wares to passersby.

Thrift shopping

Stargaze from the KICC

The KICC (Kenyatta International Conference Center) is the tallest building in Nairobi, and its rooftop offers panoramic views of the city. It is the best seat in the house when it comes to watching the African sunset, while the stars at night offer a most romantic backdrop.

Kenyatta International Conference Center

Visit the Unites Nations Headquarters in Africa

A tour of the United Nations HQ in Africa, which is located at Gigiri in Nairobi allows you to see the United Nations hub at work, and maybe even an African dignitary or two. It is one of the four possible tours one can take of UN headquarters in the world, the others being in New York, Geneva and Vienna.

The United Nations Flags

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