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A Brief History of Nairobi

Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya. The city and its surrounding area also form the Nairobi County. The name "Nairobi" comes from the Maasai phrase ‘Enkare Nyrobi’, which translates to "cool water. The area Nairobi currently occupies was essentially uninhabited swamp until a supply depot of the Uganda Railway was built by the British in 1899 linking Mombasa to Uganda. The location of the camp was chosen due to its central position between Mombasa and Kampala. It was also chosen because its network of rivers could supply the camp with water and its elevation would make it cool enough for residential purposes for not only the thousands of Indian laborers who came to Kenya seeking to be employed to work on the railway line, but also for the British settlers. With such an apt location, it had soon grown big enough to become the railway's headquarters.

Tourist Information

Nairobi is Kenya’s capital city. In the city center, you will find attractions such as the Nairobi National Museum, devoted to Kenyan art, artifacts, wildlife and early hominids. In addition to its urban core, the city has Nairobi National Park, a large game reserve known for breeding endangered black rhinos and home to giraffes, zebras and lions. Next to it is a well-regarded elephant orphanage operated by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Nairobi is also often used as a jumping-off point for safari trips elsewhere in Kenya. The Giraffe Centre sanctuary features a hand-feeding platform. The Karen Blixen Museum, in the “Out of Africa” author’s preserved colonial home, stands on the former farm that’s now an affluent suburb called Karen. The Bomas of Kenya cultural center, with huts representing Kenya's major ethnic groups, offers a look at traditional tribal life. Tribal arts and crafts are sold at the roving Maasai Market.

Passport and Visas

All foreign citizens wishing to travel to Kenya will need an evisa, except citizens from countries who are exempt (http://evisa.go.ke/evisa-faqs.html). Please refer to your local embassies for travel information.

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