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Nairobi

Situated at an altitude of about 6,000 feet near the eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley, Nairobi (meaning “place of cool waters” in Maasai) is the modern, bustling capital of Kenya. In addition, the city is undoubtedly East Africa’s safari capital: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport connects safariers across East Africa, while Wilson Airport is the gateway to all of Kenya's major safari areas. Nevertheless, spending a day here either before or after a safari should be considered.

The National Museum houses the paleo-anthropological discoveries excavated by Louis and Mary Leakey along with Joy Adamson’s artwork. The Municipal Village Market in the center of town is popular with local and tourists. Vendors sell unusual and beautiful curios (be sure to bargain). The Railroad Museum is great for railroad enthusiasts and those interested in the "Man Eaters of Tsavo". Bomas of Kenya features regular performances of ethnic dances. The Giraffe Centre is an excellent venue to learn about Rothschild’s giraffes and to feed them. For those interested in the movie "Out of Africa", the Karen Blixen Museum is a must-see. Set in lush gardens, the pretty restored house displays some of the famous author’s personal possessions. Another venue that should be on everyone’s bucket list is the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. The trained team has tirelessly reared countless sick or abandoned elephants and rhino calves over the years.

The best restaurants in Nairobi and surrounding areas are The Talisman and Purdy Arms in Karen, the Osteria del Chinati on Lenana Road, and the Mediteraneo at the Junction and at Westlands. A popular dining spot is the Carnivore, famous for its tasty selection of meats cooked on giant open grills. Furthermore, Kenya has several great Indian restaurants; the Haandi, Haveli and Anghiti are among some of its finest. In addition, Alan Bobbies’ Bistro, ‘Thai Chi’ at The Stanley Hotel and the Tatu Restaurant are excellent as well.

Not to mention, Nairobi National Park, situated only 8 miles (13 km) south of Nairobi, covers 45-square-miles (117-km2) and has a bit of everything except elephant. Most of the park consists of open plains and it is quite remarkable to observe animals against the city skyline.

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