15 Fascinating Facts about Nairobi

Nairobi, Kenya's lively capital, is a city where modern life meets natural beauty. With over four million people, it's not just a political and economic hub but also a place where different cultures come together. Nestled near the Great Rift Valley, Nairobi has a mix of old and new buildings that make up its skyline. Nairobi has a rich history and diverse communities. Whether you're a local or a traveller, Nairobi invites you to explore its mix of traditions and modern life, offering a unique experience at every corner.

General Facts about Nairobi

People in Nairobi
  • Location: Southern-central Kenya, bordered by Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos, and Murang'a.
  • Population: Over 4 million.
  • Currency: Kenyan Shilling (KES).
  • Economy: Finance, trade, services, and technology.
  • Landscape: Varied topography showcasing modern skyscrapers, colonial-era architecture, and lush green spaces.
  • Climate: Mild climate due to its elevation, with temperatures ranging from 10 to 26 degrees Celsius (50 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Language: English and Swahili.
  • Communities: Kikuyu, Luo, Luhya, Kamba, Maasai, Somali, and Indian communities.
  • Key Tourist Attractions: Nairobi National Park, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and the Karen Blixen Museum.

15 Interesting Facts about Nairobi

Nairobi city

1. Nairobi got its name, meaning "cool water," from the Maasai phrase "Enkare Nairobi."

The name refers to the Nairobi River flowing through the city. In the past, the whole area, including the city, used to be marshy and empty. As Nairobi grew, the Maasai, who had large grazing lands, were moved south to make room for the expanding city. This reflects both the city's name origin tied to the river and the changes in Nairobi's landscape and culture over time.

2. Known as The Green City in the Sun, Nairobi is famous for its lush and lively atmosphere.

This nickname speaks to the city's abundance of green spaces, like parks and gardens, creating a refreshing and vibrant atmosphere. Nairobi's commitment to blending urban life with nature is evident in its tree-lined streets and beautiful surroundings, making it a city known for its harmonious balance between the urban and the natural.

3. Established in 1899 as a rail depot, Nairobi has a significant history connected to the Uganda - Kenya Railway.

This led to the town's rapid growth, and soon, it became Kenya's capital, replacing Mombasa. After gaining independence in 1963, Nairobi continued its historical journey, becoming the capital of the Republic of Kenya.

4. Nairobi is a bustling hub, hosting many Kenyan and international businesses.

It houses important international organizations like UNEP and the UN, numerous embassies, and well-known companies such as Google Africa, Coca-Cola, and IBM. Regional offices, including Safaricom, also contribute to making Nairobi a significant hub for business and commerce in East Africa.

5. The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) is one of Africa's largest and oldest stock exchanges.

It also ranks fourth in trading volume and fifth in market value on the continent. It can handle a substantial 10 million trades per day. The NSE gained international recognition in 1953 when the London Stock Exchange officially acknowledged it as an overseas stock exchange. Nairobi is also actively partaking in the global FinTech revolution, showcasing its commitment to financial innovation.

6. Nairobi functions as an administrative county, playing a vital role in local governance.

The county is entirely urban and divided into 17 constituencies, each with its specific responsibilities. Notably, Nairobi is where you find national institutions like the National Assembly and statehouse, highlighting its importance in both local and national governance.

7. Nairobi joined the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities in 2010.

This means Nairobi is committed to creating a culture of learning and skill development for its residents. By being part of this global network, Nairobi aims to exchange ideas with other cities, improve its educational practices, and contribute to the city's overall growth.

8. Nairobi is globally unique as the only city with a National Park inside.

Established in 1946, Nairobi National Park is special because it's the sole wildlife park located within a capital city. This means residents and visitors can enjoy a unique experience of seeing wildlife against the city backdrop, highlighting Nairobi's commitment to preserving both urban and natural spaces.

9. Nairobi is known as the safari capital of Africa.

Nairobi is a starting point for exploring the continent's famous wildlife destinations. From Nairobi, tourists can easily reach Kenya's national parks like the Maasai Mara, making it a convenient hub for safari adventures. The city's strategic location attracts travellers eager to experience Africa's diverse landscapes and incredible wildlife.

10. People from Nairobi are affectionately called 'Nairobians'.

This friendly term brings people together, highlighting a shared identity and community spirit among the diverse population of the city. Whether you're a native or a newcomer, being called a 'Nairobian' is a warm and inclusive way of belonging to Nairobi.
Giraffe in Nairobi

11. Giraffe Manor in Nairobi is famous for being the most Instagram-worthy hotel.

The pictures of giraffes poking their heads through the windows have made it a social media sensation. Apart from its lovely looks, Giraffe Manor offers a special experience where guests get up close with these gentle giants, making it a hit on Instagram and other platforms.

12. Nairobi consistently ranks among the top 10 destinations in Africa.

Nairobi consistently ranks among Africa's top destinations because it offers a lot to explore both within the city and nearby. Visitors can enjoy various attractions like the Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Centre, Mamba Village, Karura Forest, and Nairobi National Park.

13. Nairobi hosts one of Africa's largest slums.

Nairobi has one of Africa's biggest slums, called Kibera. This area is known for its large size and many people living close together. Despite the challenges, the community in Kibera shows strength and resilience, adding to Nairobi's diverse social scene. This highlights the city's ongoing work to address urban issues and create inclusive development.

14. Nairobi's Matatu Culture, featuring colourful minibuses, is a popular and unique part of local transport.

These buses stand out because they are covered in eye-catching graffiti featuring pop culture and modern themes, showcasing the city's vibrant culture. They are not just a means of transport but also a lively expression of Nairobi's dynamic urban life.

15. Nairobi is famous for its delicious coffee, highlighting Kenya's history of growing high-quality beans.

The city's coffee is known for its rich flavours, and you can experience this heritage in Nairobi's cafes and markets. Whether you're a local or a visitor, enjoying a cup of coffee in Nairobi is a delightful way to savour Kenya's coffee-making tradition.

Nairobi is not just an economic hub; it's a city full of diverse cultures, history, and interesting places. From the busy city life to the peaceful Nairobi National Park, it's a mix of traditions and modern living. Exploring Nairobi reveals it's more than just a place; it's a lively and vibrant experience for those who get to discover its wonders.

This post was published by Varsha Alva

Share this post on social media

Nairobi Travel Packages

Compare quotes from upto 3 travel agents for free

Comments on this post

View Packages