Casey and the Fam do Nairobi!

Nairobi isn’t often on travelers’ radars for African destinations, but this lively city has a lot to offer as a bookend to your safari. Whether you’re coming off a long haul flight and need a place to recharge or just coming off a safari and need one last dose of Kenyan magic before heading home, Nairobi has an accommodation and activity option for everyone.

Having visited the city countless times, the Mango team has refined its list of favorite guesthouses and boutique hotels to a fabulous collection that range from romantic retreats to family friendly escapes. Top of our list is the Giraffe Manor, a world famous hotel where habituated giraffes live right in the gardens. Every morning they will stop by the windows of your bedroom and the dining room for a morning treat. You wake up to a giraffe tapping on your second story bedroom window, looking for their morning snack, and enjoy your gourmet breakfast with a giraffe looking over your shoulder. It’s a must-stay destination for Nairobi, kids and adults alike will be absolutely thrilled by it. We certainly were!

We stayed at Giraffe Manor at the end of our safari on our last night before departing for home. Maybe it was the early hour, but at 5:45 when the giraffe came knocking at our bedroom, it was still a bit of a shock to see those curious brown eyes and big ears waiting impatiently at our second story window. I tried to rouse my daughter Stella, but after so many weeks of early morning wake-up calls she wasn’t having any of it. She slumbered right on through the visit! My husband and I enjoyed it though, and we couldn’t stop smiling all through breakfast as we watched them dip their graceful necks in through the open windows and leaned down over the tables. Fresh from a good night sleep, Stella loved getting to feed the giraffes out on the patio, even trying to give one a hug and a kiss.

If you have a little longer in the city, we love a mix of culture and nature. Take a game drive through Nairobi National Park, where you can see all the wildlife set against the skyline of the city – the best of Africa’s past and present in one scene.

Stop by the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage or Rothschild Giraffe Center to see the unbelievably adorable baby elephants, rhinos and giraffes that are being hand-raised by dedicated experts. Kids will especially love both of these experiences. At the Rothschild Giraffe Center, you can handfeed the animals, which is a great opportunity if you didn’t stay at Giraffe Manor.

For a little culture, you can’t go wrong with a guided visit to the local markets, where you can find all sorts of handcrafted artisan pieces, ranging from baskets and jewelry to clothing and paintings. This is perfect for a little last minute souvenir shopping.

Next time you’re in Nairobi, think beyond a quick overnight and a shuttle to the airport. This vibrant city offers so much! Our team at Mango can help you plan out the perfect stopover, no matter what your travel style is.

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