Nairobi County

Discover Nairobi County

Spatial Location of Nairobi County in Kenya
Spatial Location of Nairobi County in Kenya

Brief Overview of Nairobi County

Nairobi is many things to many people. To some it is the 21st century business hub connecting 47 Counties of Kenya, Eastern Africa and Africa. To others it is the skyscrapers, unrivaled communication and modern infrastructure. Obvious perhaps is that safari begins here for many visitors to Kenya at Nairobi National Park and Nairobi Safari Walk. Still to others, this is the ethnical melting pot of Kenya. A large, multicultural and flourishing city with a population of about 4.5 million and the people of Nairobi come from far and wide. Indeed, the city is a cultural plait where untold local, regional and international revolutionary ideas and businesses come to life. Since its humble beginnings just over a century ago as a row of tin shacks and start-up industries, Nairobi is now rated as one of the top cities in Africa for tourism, economic flair and growth, beckoning a global interest, forever receiving visitors from all corner of the world, with open arms, who have transformed it into a cosmopolitan metropolis. Still and all, however important it has been to bring about the radical revolution in development and transformation, Nairobi carries on as a city of contrasts, segregated on the old norms of class, the old patterns of colonial settlement and its ancient traditions.

No other city in Kenya offers such contrast, different in many aspects from the bucolic cast of rural towns. It is a city of modern cuisine, internationally famous hotels and world class entertainment. It offers every traveller a warm welcome, modern amenities and unique touring resources. It is also the land of sunshine. Nairobi is now the 80th most visited city in the world, with more than 2 million tourists in 2019, overtaking Athens, Abu Dhabi and Rio de Janeiro. Today, it is ranked 56th in the Global Cities Index and is closing the gap on Johannesburg and Cairo thanks to its burgeoning importance as a technology and diplomatic hub. And considering what the world is now, the best it has been in innovative technological advancement, global calls to go green, initiatives to ban use of the destructive plastic, pollution, conservation and so on, Nairobi has been forward looking, aggressive in conservation of its natural heritage using advanced top in class technology, competitive in keeping up with latest standards in hospitality and leisure, determined in nurturing and developing novel business ideas. And with a society built along these lines, it enjoys peace, stability and justice for all.

Going through various particulars of Nairobi, it is salutary to mention one of its foible and cross-cutting oddities, its matatu, vaunted and loathed in equal parts and which have been the fascination of many a newcomer. Every country has it’s own set of factors that partly explain the differences in driving and in Kenya it is the exhilarating matatu – Nairobi’s reply to the Jeepneys of the Philippines, the Songthaew of Laos, the Chicken Buses of Central America and the Chiva Express of Ecuador. The despisers of the aggressive, graffiti-spotted matatu in Nairobi consider these a chaotic reflection of the blithe attitudes of the driving public as well as that of the law-enforcers themselves. The supporters on the other hand say there’s something witty and original about the graffiti idea. They say that Nairobi’s graffiti’d matatu portray Kenya’s outward-looking attributes.

View from Capitol Hill of Uhuru Highway.  Image Courtesy of Wiki Commons
View from Capitol Hill of Uhuru Highway. Image Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Salient Features of Nairobi County

  • County Number 47
  • Area – 686 km2
  • Altitude – 5250 to 6070 ft
  • Major Towns – Nairobi
  • Borders – Kiambu, Machakos, Kajiado
Nairobi County Map

Brief History of Nairobi County

Before the arrival of the railway line from Mombasa in 1899 – en route Kisumu and Uganda – Nairobi was largely an open plain. The placement of the railroad was exogenous to the population growth, as a commercial and business hub for the British East Africa Company. Soon after the arrival of the vital railway line, Europeans were allowed to settle down in the undulating area west of the city centre. Soon after, Asian traders were settled in the northeast (or Eastleigh). By 1963, Africans, who formed a major part of the population, lived in the eastern parts, while Europeans and Asians lived in the western and northeast suburbs with access to better services. A status still reflected today. In 1900, Nairobi’s status was upgraded to a town, and, in 1905, it replaced Mombasa as the main centre. In 1907, it became the Capital of Kenya. In 1950, it was declared a city.

Nairobi City Nairobi National Park.  Image Courtesy of The National
Nairobi City Nairobi National Park. Image Courtesy of The National
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76 Attractions in Nairobi County, arranged as one would visit these - south, north, west then east - with aid of in-depth narratives, images, strip maps and distance chart:

Panari Sky Centre (Solar Ice Rink), Go Down Art Centre, Nairobi South Cemetery, Nairobi National Park, Nairobi Safari Walk, Nairobi Animal Orphanage, Nairobi Tented Camp, Emakoko Lodge, Carnivore Nairobi, Langata GP Karting, Langata Rifles, Uhuru Gardens, Bomas of Kenya, Utamaduni Craft Centre, Langata Botanical Gardens, Matbronze Art Gallery and Foundry, Raptor Rehabilitation Trust Kenya, Nairobi Giraffe Center, Giraffe Manor, David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Karen Blixen Museum, Swedo House, Oloolua Nature Trail, Kazuri Beads, Karen Country Club, Marula Studio, Purdy Arms Karen, Nairobi Mamba Village, Resurrection Garden, Ngong Forest Sanctuary, Nairobi War Cemetery, Ngong Race Course, Nairobi Polo Club, Jamhuri Motocross Track, Bonzo Art Gallery, Circle Art Agency, Kioko Mwitiki Art Gallery, Photizo Art Gallery, Upepe Photography Gallery, The Kuona Trust, Shift Eye Studios, Royal Nairobi Golf Club, Nairobi National Library, Railways Golf Club, Nairobi Arboretum, All Saints Cathedral, Mau Mau Memorial, Nairobi Gallery, Goethe Institute, Alliance Francaise, Jomo Kenyatta Mausoleum, KICC Rooftop, Judiciary Museum, Nairobi Archives, Nairobi African Memorial, Jamia Mosque, McMillan Memorial Library, August 7th Memorial Park, Railway Museum, Kenya National Theater, Norfolk Hotel, Rahimtulla Trust, Rahimtulla Museum, Blue Sky’s Indoor Climbing Gym, Jewish Synagogue, Nairobi National Museum, The View at Movenpick, Shangilia Skate Park, Vetlab Sports Club, Forest Road Cemetery, Muthaiga Golf Club, United Nations Visitors Centre, Karura Forest, Windsor Golf Club, Constant Gardener House, The Eye of Kenya.

Geography, Land-Use, Highlights, Population, Roads, Airports, Climate and National Monuments in Nairobi County