Going to Nairobi? Is it safe? Are there are any direct flights from Muscat? These are some of the questions which I faced, when I told my friends that I am going to Kenyan capital on Oman Air’s inaugural flight.
After coming back, I can say Nairobi still conjures all the romance and adventure and is one of the best places on earth if you love to see big cats chasing their prey. And it would be a great loss to miss out on some magnificent experiences in Kenya, basing your travel decisions on just a few unreasonable bad reports.
After all, thousands of animal lovers from across the world come to Nairobi all through the year. It’s just a five hours journey in the unique comfort of Oman Air from your busy life in Muscat to beautiful, unspoilt Nairobi. This country it seems has been blessed with friendly people and nature’s bounty — and the breathtaking Nairobi National Park. Established in 1946, the national park was Kenya’s first. It is located approximately 7 kilometres south of the centre of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, with only a fence separating the park’s wildlife from the metropolis.
Four out of the so-called “Big Five” – lion, leopard, buffalo, and rhino – stalk these plains and glades, along with many of the other safari big-hitters: Cheetah, antelope, and more than 450 bird species.
Lions and hyenas are commonly sighted here but need a little bit of luck to spot cheetahs and leopards. Other regularly spotted species include gazelles, warthogs, zebras, giraffes, ostriches, and buffaloes. To explore the park you can hire a car, join one of the half-day tours offered by various operators or even jump on a public minibus tour on Sundays.
After watching the big cats in Nairobi National Park, it is turn to have good dinner at Carnivore where its specialty is meat, and features an all-you-can-eat meat buffet.
As you take your seat, a food-bearing waiter, wrapped in a zebra-print apron and with beads of sweat on his forehead, appears at your table.
This protein-obsessed establishment is one of Kenya’s most popular eating houses among locals and safari-bound tourists alike. “Today we have ostrich, camel, cow, sheep, crocodile, and some chickens on our menu so just take a seat and eat, and eat, and eat,” said the waiter.
Surely, meat lover’s dream will come true at Carnivore. Fortunately, I had two-night itinerary for Nairobi to grasp as much as I could. Balancing the rough and organic feel of the city, The Mandhari, a fine dining restaurant situated in The Nairobi Serena Hotel ambience provided high-end luxury touch. A fine dining restaurant servicing exquisite Mediterranean cuisine with a terrace view over-looking lavish landscape of the hotel.
Born in the dying moments of the 19th-century, Nairobi was not so much founded as hastily thrown together. And while my specifics aren’t sufficiently rose-tinted to describe Nairobi as an oil painting, a visit to Kenya’s panhandling; hustling capital doesn’t have to be an ordeal to be endured between airport arrival and safari or beach. There’s plenty to savour in its cultural and – surprisingly – natural attractions.
Guide to Kenya
National carrier, Oman Air flies direct to Nairobi four times a week - leaving on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 1450pm and arrives in Nairobi at 1855pm. And from Nairobi, the flights will depart on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, leaving at 0045 am and arriving in Muscat at 0650am.
There are a lot of options to choose from but Villa Rosa Kempinski or The Nairobi Serena Hotel is good option. In The Nairobi Serena Hotel, the interior décor reflects an entirely pan-African theme featuring art and inspiration from Ethiopia, the Maghreb, West Africa, and East Africa. Offering a range of dining experiences, the hotel is renowned for its “Mandhari” fine-dining restaurant, which is rated as one of the Kenya’s finest.
The people of Kenya are friendly, helpful and courteous. They speak English in addition to various native dialects. The common East African language is Swahili. Communication should not pose a problem.
OMR 1 is equal to 268 Kenyan Shillings but US Dollars are widely accepted.
What to See
Nairobi National Park, Nairobi Animal Orphanage, The Giraffe Centre, Paradise Lost Cave and Waterfall, Nairobi National Museum, Nairobi Snake Park, and Crocodile Park.
Be licked by a giraffe at the Giraffe