Nairobi (/naɪˈroʊbi/; locally [naɪˈroːbi]) is the capital
and largest city of Kenya. The name comes from the Maasai phrase
Enkare Nyrobi, which translates to "cool water", a reference to the
Nairobi River which flows through the city. The city proper has a
population of 3,138,369, while the metropolitan area has a population
of 6,547,547. The city is popularly referred to as the Green City in
Nairobi was founded in 1899 by the colonial authorities in British
East Africa, as a rail depot on the
Uganda Railway. The town
quickly grew to replace
Machakos as the capital of
Kenya in 1907.
After independence in 1963,
Nairobi became the capital of the Republic
of Kenya. During Kenya's colonial period, the city became a centre
for the colony's coffee, tea and sisal industry. The city lies on
the River Athi in the southern part of the country, and has an
elevation of 1,795 metres (5,889 ft) above sea level.
With a population of 3.36 million in 2011,
Nairobi is the
second-largest city by population in the
African Great Lakes
African Great Lakes region
after Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. According to the 2009 census, in
the administrative area of Nairobi, 3,138,295 inhabitants lived within
696 km2 (269 sq mi).
Nairobi is the 10th-largest
city in Africa, including the population of its suburbs.
Home to thousands of Kenyan businesses and over 100 major
international companies and organisations, including the United
Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) and the United Nations
Nairobi is an established hub for business
and culture. The
Nairobi Securities Exchange
Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) is one of the
largest in Africa and the second-oldest exchange on the continent. It
is Africa's fourth-largest exchange in terms of trading volume,
capable of making 10 million trades a day.
Nairobi Metropolitan Region
2.6 Historical population data for Nairobi
3.2 Districts and neighbourhoods
3.3 Parks and gardens
4 Political divisions
5.1 Central business district and skyline
5.2 Upper Hill
5.4 Places of interest
7 Society and culture
7.1 Literature and film
9.1 Higher education
10.1.6 Private Car Population Projection for Nairobi
10.2 Water supply and sanitation
11 Crime and law enforcement
13 The future of Nairobi
14 Twin towns – sister cities
15 Image gallery
16 See also
18 External links
Nairobi Metropolitan Region
Nairobi County (Green) surrounding
Nairobi Metro (Red)
Nairobi is found within the Greater
Nairobi Metropolitan region, which
consists of 5 out of 47 counties in Kenya, which generates about 60%
of the entire nation's . The counties are:
Cities/Towns/Municipalities in the Counties
Kiambu, Thika, Limuru, Ruiru, Karuri, Kikuyu, Ruaka, Kahawa
North Eastern Metro
Gatanga, Kandara, Kenol/Kabati, Murang'a
Kajiado, Olkejuado, Bissil, Ngong, Kitengela, Kiserian, Ongata Rongai
Kangundo-Tala, Machakos, Athi River
History of Nairobi
History of Nairobi and Timeline of Nairobi
Nairobi looked in 1899, just a bunch of Tents and then a Railway
The area was an uninhabited swamp until a supply depot of the Uganda
Railway was built in 1896, which soon became the railway's
headquarters. The decision by railway engineers irked the colonial
government, who originally preferred
Machakos as the ideal capital of
the colony. The main issue, from the very start, was the lack of
proper drainage as the selected site was swampy. But railway engineers
Nairobi would become nothing more than an Indian
township which they argued, could 'prosper in spite of unsanitary
conditions and chronic plague.'
The city was named after a water hole known in Maasai as Enkare
Nairobi, meaning "place of cool waters". Its main street at the time,
Biashara Street, was completely rebuilt in the early 1900s after an
outbreak of plague and the burning of the original town. The
location of the
Nairobi railway camp was chosen due to its central
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. However,
malaria was a serious problem, leading to at least one attempt to have
the town moved.
Nairobi Railway Station 1899
Mombasa as capital of the British
protectorate, and the city grew around administration and tourism,
initially in the form of big game hunting. As the British occupiers
started to explore the region, they started using
Nairobi as their
first port of call. This prompted the colonial government to encourage
the building of several hotels in the city. The main occupants were
British game hunters.
Nairobi continued to grow under the British and many people settled
within the city's suburbs. In 1919,
Nairobi was declared to be a
In February 1926, E. A. T. Dutton passed through
Nairobi on his way to
Mount Kenya, and said of the city:
Maybe one day
Nairobi will be laid out with tarred roads, with avenues
of flowering trees, flanked by noble buildings; with open spaces and
stately squares; a cathedral worthy of faith and country; museums and
of art; theaters and public offices. And it is fair to say that the
Government and the Municipality have already bravely tackled the
problem and that a town-plan ambitious enough to turn
Nairobi into a
thing of beauty has been slowly worked out, and much has already been
done. But until that plan has borne fruit,
Nairobi must remain what
she was then, a slatternly creature, unfit to queen it over so lovely
The continuous expansion of the city began to anger the Maasai, as the
city was devouring their land to the south. It also angered the Kikuyu
people, who wanted the land returned to them. After the end of World
War II, this friction developed into the
Mau Mau rebellion. Jomo
Kenyatta, Kenya's future president, was jailed for his involvement
even though there was no evidence linking him to the rebellion. The
pressure exerted from the locals onto the British resulted in Kenyan
independence in 1963, with
Nairobi as the capital of the new republic.
Nairobi grew rapidly and this growth put pressure
on the city's infrastructure. Power cuts and water shortages were a
common occurrence, though in the past few years better city planning
has helped to put some of these problems in check.
Nairobi in 1973
On 11 September 1973, the Kenyatta International Conference Centre
KICC was open to the public. The 28-storey building at the time was
designed by the Norwegian architect Karl Henrik Nøstvik and a Kenyan
David Mutiso, the construction was done in three phases.Phase I was
the construction of the podium, Phase II consisted of the main tower
and Phase III involved the Plenary. Construction was completed in
1973; with the opening ceremony occurring on 11 September and being
presided over by Kenya’s founding father President Kenyatta. It is
the only building within the city with a helipad that is open to the
public. Of the buildings built in the Seventies, the KICC was the most
eco-friendly and most environmentally conscious structure; its main
frame was constructed with locally available materials Gravel, sand,
cement and wood, it had wide open spaces which allowed for natural
aeration and natural lighting. Cuboids made up the plenary hall, the
tower consisted of a cylinder composed of several cuboids and the
amphitheatre and helipad both resembled cones. The tower was built
around a concrete core and it had no walls but glass windows, which
allowed for maximum natural lighting. It had the largest halls in
eastern and central Africa.
Three years prior in 1972, the
World Bank approved funds for further
expansion of the then
Nairobi Airport (now
Jomo Kenyatta International
Airport), including a new international and domestic passenger
terminal building, the airport's first dedicated cargo and freight
terminal, new taxiways, associated aprons, internal roads, car parks,
police and fire stations, a State Pavilion, airfield and roadway
lighting, fire hydrant system, water, electrical, telecommunications
and sewage systems, a dual carriageway passenger access road,
security, drainage and the building of the main access road to the
airport (Airport South Road). The total cost of the project was more
than US$29 million (US$111.8 million in 2013 dollars). On 14 March
1978, construction of the current terminal building was completed on
the other side of the airport's single runway and opened by President
Jomo Kenyatta less than five months before his death. The airport was
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in memory of its First
United States Embassy, then located in downtown Nairobi, was
bombed in August 1998 by Al-Qaida, as one of a series of US embassy
bombings. It is now the site of a memorial park.
Nairobi showing Fedha Towers, ICEA Building, the
Nairobi Safari Club
and Anniversary Towers
On 9 November 2012, President
Mwai Kibaki opened the KES 31 billion
Thika Superhighway.The mega-project in East and Central Africa started
in 2009 and ended in 2011. It involved expanding the four-lane
carriageway to eight lanes, building underpasses, providing
interchanges at roundabouts, erecting flyovers and building
underpasses to ease congestion. The 50.4 kilometre road was built in
three phases: Uhuru Highway to
Muthaiga Roundabout; Muthaiga
Kenyatta University and;
Kenyatta University to Thika
On 31 May 2017, The current president
Uhuru Kenyatta inaugurated the
Standard Gauge railway which runs from
Mombasa and vice
versa . It was primarily built by a Chinese firm with about 90% of
total funding from
China and about 10% from the Kenyan government. A
second phase is also being built which will link
Naivasha to the
existing route and also the
Historical population data for Nairobi
1, 324, 570
2, 143, 254
3, 138, 369
An aerial view of Nairobi, the central business district and Ngong
Kenyatta International Convention Centre
Kenyatta International Convention Centre with
Times Tower in the
Satellite View of Nairobi
The city is situated at 1°09′S 36°39′E / 1.150°S
36.650°E / -1.150; 36.650 (Nairobi, Kenya) and 1°27′S
37°06′E / 1.450°S 37.100°E / -1.450; 37.100 (Nairobi,
Kenya) and occupies 696 square kilometres (270 sq mi).
Nairobi is situated between the cities of
Kampala and Mombasa. As
Nairobi is adjacent to the eastern edge of the Rift Valley, minor
earthquakes and tremors occasionally occur. The Ngong Hills, located
to the west of the city, are the most prominent geographical feature
Nairobi area. Mount
Kenya is situated north of Nairobi, and
Mount Kilimanjaro is towards the south-east.
Nairobi River and its tributaries traverse through the Nairobi
Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize laureate
Wangari Maathai fought fiercely to
save the indigenous
Karura Forest in northern
Nairobi which was under
threat of being replaced by housing and other infrastructure.
Nairobi's western suburbs stretch all the way from the Kenyatta
National Hospital in the south to the UN headquarters at
in the north, a distance of about 20 kilometres (12 mi). The city
is centred on the City Square, which is located in the Central
Business District. The Kenyan Parliament buildings, the Holy Family
Nairobi City Hall,
Nairobi Law Courts, and the Kenyatta
Conference Centre all surround the square.
Under the Köppen climate classification,
Nairobi has a subtropical
highland climate (Cfb/Cwb). At 1,795 metres (5,889 ft) above
sea level, evenings may be cool, especially in the June/July season,
when the temperature can drop to 9 °C (48 °F). The
sunniest and warmest part of the year is from December to March, when
temperatures average the mid-twenties during the day. The mean maximum
temperature for this period is 24 °C (75 °F).
There are two rainy seasons, but rainfall can be moderate. The
cloudiest part of the year is just after the first rainy season, when,
until September, conditions are usually overcast with drizzle. As
Nairobi is situated close to the equator, the differences between the
seasons are minimal. The seasons are referred to as the wet season and
dry season. The timing of sunrise and sunset varies little throughout
the year for the same reason.
Nairobi southern suburbs. In the background is Wilson Airport
Climate data for
Nairobi (Dagoretti) 1961–1990, extremes 1955–1982
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Mean daily sunshine hours
Source #1: NOAA
Deutscher Wetterdienst (extremes from 1955–1982 and
humidity, 1961–1990), Meteo Climat (extremes from
Climate data for
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport)
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Mean daily sunshine hours
Source: Deutscher Wetterdienst
Districts and neighbourhoods
Nairobi is divided into a series of constituencies with each being
represented by members of Parliament in the National Assembly. These
constituencies are: Makadara, Kamukunji, Starehe, Langata, Dagoretti,
Westlands, Kasarani, and Embakasi. The main administrative
Nairobi are Central, Dagoretti, Embakasi, Kasarani,
Kibera, Makadara, Pumwani, and Westlands. Most of the upmarket suburbs
are situated to the west and north-central of Nairobi, where most
European settlers resided during the colonial times AKA 'Ubabini'.
These include Karen, Langata, Lavington, Gigiri, Muthaiga, Brookside,
Spring Valley, Loresho, Kilimani, Kileleshwa, Hurlingham, Runda,
Kitisuru, Nyari, Kyuna, Lower Kabete, Westlands, and Highridge,
although Kangemi, Kawangware, and
Dagoretti are lower income areas
close to these affluent suburbs. The city's colonial past is
commemorated by many English place-names.
Most lower-middle and upper middle income neighbourhoods are located
in the north-central areas such as Highridge, Parklands, Ngara,
Pangani, and areas to the southwest and southeast of the metropolitan
area near the
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The most notable
ones include Avenue Park, Fedha, Pipeline, Donholm, Greenfields,
Nyayo, Taasia, Baraka,
Nairobi West, Madaraka, Siwaka, South B, South
C, Mugoya, Riverbank, Hazina, Buru Buru, Uhuru,
Servants', Akiba, Kimathi, Pioneer, and Koma Rock to the centre-east
Kasarani to northeast area among others. The low and lower income
estates are located mainly in far eastern Nairobi. These include,
Umoja, Kariokor, Dandora, Kariobangi, Kayole, Embakasi, and Huruma.
Kitengela suburb, though located further southeast,
Ongata Rongai and
Kiserian further southwest, and Ngong/Embulbul suburbs also known as
'Diaspora' to the far west are considered part of the Greater Nairobi
Metropolitan area. More than 90% of
Nairobi residents work within the
Nairobi Metropolitan area, in the formal and informal sectors. Many
Somali immigrants have also settled in Eastleigh, nicknamed "Little
Main article: Kibera
Kibera slums being upgraded to New Apartment by the Kenyan Ministry of
housing and United Nations Habitat
Kibera slum in
Nairobi (with an estimated population of at least
500,000 to over 1,000,000 people) was thought to be Africa's second
largest slum. However, recent census results have shown that
indeed much smaller than originally thought.
Parks and gardens
Kenyatta Avenue with
Uhuru Park between Upper Hill and the
Nairobi has many parks and open spaces throughout the city. Much of
the city has dense tree-cover and plenty of green spaces. The most
famous park in
Nairobi is Uhuru Park. The park borders the central
business district and the neighbourhood Upper Hill. Uhuru (Freedom in
Swahili) Park is a centre for outdoor speeches, services, and rallies.
The park was to be built over by former President Daniel arap Moi, who
wanted the 62-storey headquarters of his party, the
National Union, situated in the park. However, the park was saved
following a campaign by
Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai.
Central Park is adjacent to Uhuru Park, and includes a memorial for
Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya, and the Moi Monument,
built in 1988 to commemorate the second president's first decade in
power. Other notable open spaces include Jeevanjee Gardens, City Park,
7 August Memorial Park, and
The colonial 1948 Master Plan for
Nairobi still acts as the governing
mechanism when it comes to making decisions related to urban planning.
The Master Plan at the time, which was designed for 250,000 people,
allocated 28% of Nairobi's land to public space, but because of rapid
population growth, much of the vitality of public spaces within the
city are increasingly threatened. City Park, the only natural park
in Nairobi, for example, was originally 150 acres, but has since lost
approximately 50 acres of land to private development through
squatting and illegal alienation which began in the 1980s.
The City of
Nairobi enjoys the status of a full administrative County.
Nairobi province differs in several ways from other Kenyan
regions. The county is entirely urban. It has only one local council,
Nairobi City Council.
Nairobi Province was not divided into
"districts" until 2007, when three districts were created. In 2010,
along with the new constitution,
Nairobi was renamed a County.
Nairobi County has seventeen constituencies. Constituency name may
differ from division name, such that
Starehe Constituency is equal to
Lang'ata Constituency to
Kibera division, and
Kamukunji Constituency to
Pumwani Division in terms of boundaries.
Co-operative Bank of
Nairobi is divided into seventeen constituencies and eighty five
wards, mostly named after residential estates.
for example, includes
Kibera (Kenya's largest slum) as well as
affluent estates of Karen and Langata.
Kitisuru · Parklands/Highridge · Karura ·
Kangemi · Mountain View
Kilimani · Kawangware · Gatina ·
Kileleshwa · Kabiro ·
Mutu-ini · Ngand'o · Riruta ·
Uthiru/Ruthimitu · Waithaka ·
Nairobi West · Ngumo · South C ·
Nyayo Highrise ·
Laini Saba · Lindi · Makina · Woodley/ Kenyatta
Golf Course · Sarang'ombe ·
Roysambu · Garden Estate · Muthaiga ·
Ridgeways · Githurai ·
Kahawa West ·
Zimmermann · Kahawa
Clay City · Mwiki · Kasarani · Njiru ·
Babadogo · Utalii ·
Mathare North · Lucky
Summer · Korogocho ·
Imara Daima · Kwa Njenga · Kwa Reuben ·
Pipeline · Kware ·
Kariobangi North ·
Dandora Area I ·
Dandora Area III ·
Dandora Area IV ·
Kayole North · Kayole North Central · Kayole
South · Komarock · Matopeni/ Spring Valley ·
Upper Savanna · Lower Savanna · Embakasi ·
Utawala · Mihang'o ·
Umoja I · Umoja II · Mowlem · Kariobangi
Maringo/ Hamza · Viwandani · Harambee ·
Makongeni · Mbotela
Pumwani · Eastleigh North · Eastleigh South ·
Airbase · California ·
Nairobi Central · Ngara · Pangani · Ziwani/
Kariokor · Landimawe ·
Nairobi South ·
Hospital · Mabatini · Huruma · Ngei ·
Mlango Kubwa · Kiamaiko ·
See also: List of companies and organizations based in Nairobi
Nairobi is a major financial capital of Africa. It is also one of the
most modern cities in Africa.
I&M Bank headquarters in Nairobi.
Nairobi is home to the
Nairobi Securities Exchange
Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), one of
Africa's largest. The NSE was officially recognised as an overseas
stock exchange by the
London Stock Exchange
London Stock Exchange in 1953. The exchange is
Africa's 4th largest in terms of trading volumes, and 5th largest in
terms of Market Capitalization as a percentage of GDP.
Nairobi is the regional headquarters of several international
companies and organisations. In 2007, General Electric, Young &
Rubicam, Google, Coca-Cola,
IBM Services, Airtel, and Cisco Systems
relocated their African headquarters to the city. The United
Nations Office at
Nairobi hosts UN Environment and UN-Habitat
Several of Africa's largest companies are headquartered in Nairobi.
KenGen, which is the largest African stock outside South Africa,
is based in the city.
Kenya Airways, Africa's fourth largest airline,
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as a hub.
Goods manufactured in
Nairobi include clothing, textiles, building
materials, processed foods, beverages, and cigarettes.[citation
needed] Several foreign companies have factories based in and around
the city. These include Goodyear, General Motors, Toyota Motors, and
Nairobi has a large tourist industry, being both a tourist destination
and a transport hub.
Central business district and skyline
Nairobi has grown around its central business district. This takes a
rectangular shape, around the Uhuru Highway, Haille Selassie Avenue,
Moi Avenue, and University Way. It features many of Nairobi's
important buildings, including the City Hall and Parliament Building.
The city square is also located within the perimeter.
Most of the skyscrapers in this region are the headquarters of
businesses and corporations, such as I&M and the Kenyatta
International Conference Centre. The
United States Embassy bombing
took place in this district, prompting the building of a new embassy
building in the suburbs.
In 2011, the city was considered to be about 4 million residents. A
large beautification project took place in the Central Business
District, as the city prepared to host the 2006 Afri-Cities summit.
Iconic buildings such as the Kenyatta International Conference Centre
had their exteriors cleaned and repainted.
Nairobi downtown area or central business district is bordered to the
Uhuru Park and Central Park. The
Mombasa to Kampala
railway runs to the southeast of the district.
Panorama of Kenyatta Avenue,
Nairobi CBD's main street
Main article: Upper Hill, Nairobi
Today, many businesses are considering relocating and /or establishing
their headquarters outside the Central Business District area. This is
because land is cheaper, and better facilities can easily be built and
maintained elsewhere. Two areas that are seeing a growth in companies
and office space are Upper Hill, which is located, approximately
4 km (2.5 mi) from the Central Business District and
Westlands, which is also about the same distance, away from the city
Companies that have moved from the Central Business District to Upper
Citibank and in 2007,
Coca-Cola began construction of
their East and Central African headquarters in Upper Hill,
cementing the district as the preferred location for office space in
Nairobi. The largest office development in this area is UAP Tower, a
recently completed 33-storey tower at 163 meters high. The World Bank
International Finance Corporation
International Finance Corporation (part of the
World Bank Group)
are also located in Upper Hill at the Delta Center, Menegai Road.
Earlier on, they were located in the Hill Park Building and CBA
Building respectively(both also in Upper Hill), and prior to that in
View Park towers in the Central Business District.
To accommodate the large demand for floor space in Nairobi, various
commercial projects are being constructed. New business parks are
being built in the city, including the flagship
Nairobi Business Park.
Nairobi panorama, viewed from Westlands
Construction boom and real estate development projects
A view of
Nairobi from the Kenyatta International Conference Centre
Nairobi is currently undergoing a construction boom. Major real estate
projects and skyscrapers are coming up in the city. Among them are:
Hass twin towers which will tower at 212m,
Britam Tower (198m), Avic
International Africa headquarters (176m), Prism tower (140m), Pan
Africa insurance towers, Pallazzo offices, and many other projects.
Shopping malls are also being constructed like the recently completed
Garden city Mall, Centum's Two rivers Mall, The Hub in Karen, Karen
Thika Greens, and the recently reconstructed Westgate
Mall. High-class residential apartments for living are coming up like
Le Mac towers, a residential tower in
Nairobi with 23
floors. Avic International is also putting up a total of four
residential apartments on Waiyaki way: a 28-level tower, two 24-level
towers, and a 25-level tower. Hotel towers are also being erected in
the city. Avic International is putting up a 30-level hotel tower of
141m in the Westlands. The hotel tower will be operated by Marriot
group. Jabavu limited is constructing a 35 floor hotel tower in Upper
Hill which will be high over 140 metres in the city skyline. Arcon
Group Africa has also announced plans to erect a skyscraper in Upper
hill which will have 66 floors and tower over 290 metres, further
cementing Upper hill as the preferred metropolis for multinational
corporations launching their operations in the Kenyan capital.
Nairobi's tallest skyscrapers
274 m (899 ft)
163 m (535 ft)
140 m (460 ft)
120 m (390 ft)
Kenyatta International Conference Centre
105 m (344 ft)
103 m (338 ft)
I&M Bank Tower
100 m (330 ft)
84 m (276 ft)
Cooperative Bank House
83 m (272 ft)
National Bank House
82 m (269 ft)
81 m (266 ft)
80 m (260 ft)
A giraffe at
Nairobi National Park, with Nairobi's skyline in
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Nairobi is one of the few cities in the world with a national park
within its boundaries, making it a prime tourist destination as well,
with several other tourist attractions. The most famous is the Nairobi
National Park, the only game reserve of this nature to border a
capital city, or any major city. The park contains many animals
including lions, giraffes, and black rhinos. The park is home to over
400 species of birds. The
Nairobi Safari Walk is a major attraction to
Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park as it offers a rare on-foot experience of
Nairobi is home to several museums, sites, and monuments. The Nairobi
National Museum is the country's national museum and the largest in
the city. It houses a large collection of artefacts portraying Kenya's
rich heritage through history, nature, culture, and contemporary art.
It also includes the full remains of a homo erectus popularly known as
the Turkana boy. Other prominent museums include the
Nairobi Railway Museum, and the
Karen Blixen Museum located in the
affluent Karen suburb. Uhuru Gardens, a national monument and the
largest memorial park in Kenya, is also the place where the first
Kenyan flag was raised at independence. It is located along Langata
road near the Wilson Airport.
The Sarova Stanley
Nairobi is nicknamed the Safari Capital of the World or the Green City
in the Sun, and has many hotels to cater for safari-bound tourists.
Five-star hotels in
Nairobi include the
Nairobi Serena, Laico Regency
(formerly Grand Regency Hotel), Windsor (Karen), Holiday Inn, Nairobi
Safari Club (Lilian Towers), The Sarova Stanley Hotel, Safari Park
& Casino, InterContinental, Panari Hotel, Hilton, and the Norfolk
Hotel. Other newer ones include the Crowne Plaza Hotel
Upper Hill area, the Sankara
Nairobi in Westlands, Tribe Hotel-Village
Market, House of Wayne, The Eastland Hotel, Ole Sereni, and The Boma
Mombasa Highway. International chains apart from the
Hilton, the Intercontinental group, and Serena Hotels are also setting
up properties in
Nairobi city. Upcoming establishments include
Radisson Blu and the upscale boutique Bidwood Suite Hotel in
Westlands, which are nearing completion. The Best Western
Nairobi and The Villa Rosa
Kempinski have been completed and
Nairobi is also home to the largest ice rink in Africa: the Solar Ice
Rink at the Panari Hotel's Sky Centre. The rink, opened in 2005,
covers 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) and can accommodate 200
Shopping malls in
Nairobi include the Greenspan Mall (Donholm), Yaya
Sarit Centre (Westlands), Westgate Shopping Mall
(Westlands), ABC Place (Westlands),
The Village Market
The Village Market (Gigiri),
Junction Shopping Mall (Ngong Road), Prestige Plaza (Ngong Road),
Crossroads Shopping Centre (Karen), T-Mall (Langata), Garden City Mall
Thika Road) and
Thika Road Mall (
Thika Road). Nakumatt, Uchumi, and
Tuskys, Naivas are the largest supermarket chains with modern stores
throughout the city.
Woodvale Grove, Westlands
Nairobi Java House is a coffee house and restaurant chain with
branches located around the city including one at the Jomo Kenyatta
International Airport. Other coffee chains include Art Caffe, Dormans
Coffee House and Savannah, which is part of Sasini Tea.
Nairobi's night life is popular with tourists, young and old. From a
collection of gourmet restaurants offering local and international
Nairobi has something to offer to every age and pocket. Most
common known food establishments include The Carnivore and The
Tamarind Restaurants which have outlets in Langata, City Centre, and
the Village Market. For those more discerning travellers, one can
choose from a wide array of local cuisine, Mediterranean, fast food,
Ethiopian, and Arabian. The city's nightlife is mostly centred along
friends and colleagues meeting after work especially on Fridays –
commonly known as "Furahiday" (Happy Day), theme nights, events and
concerts, and Shisha cafés. The most popular clubbing spots are
centred in upmarket
Westlands which has come to be known as "Electric
Avenue", Karen, Langata, Hurlingham, and "uptown" venues in the city
centre. Nairobians generally go out every day of the week and most
establishments are open till late.
Other sites include Jomo Kenyatta's Mausoleum,
Kenya National Theatre,
Kenya National Archives. Art galleries in
Nairobi include the
Rahimtulla Museum of Modern Art (Ramoma), the Mizizi Arts Centre, and
Nairobi National Museum.
Places of interest
Bomas of Kenya
David Sheldrick Centre
Florida Discothèque (demolished)
Garden City Shopping Complex
Karen Blixen Home
Karen Blixen Museum
Kenyatta International Conference Centre
Kenyatta International Conference Centre Rooftop and View of City
Nairobi Mamba Village
Nairobi National Museum
Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park (incl.
Nairobi Safari Walk)
Oloo's Children Center in
Splash Water World
The Memorial Park Garden
The National Council of Churches of
Kenya HQ, Hurlingham
United Nations Office at Nairobi
Utamaduni Craft Centre
Nairobi between 1906 and 2009.
Nairobi has experienced one of the highest growth rates of any city in
Africa. Since its foundation in 1899,
Nairobi has grown to become the
second largest city in the African Great Lakes, despite being one of
youngest cities in the region. The growth rate of
Nairobi is currently
4.1% a year. It is estimated that Nairobi's population will reach
5 million in 2025.
These data fit remarkably closely (r^2 = 0.9994) to a logistic curve
with t(0) = 1900, P(0)=8500, r = 0.059 and K = 8,000,000. This
suggests a current (2011) growth rate of 3.5% (the CIA estimate of
4.5% cited above would have been true in 2005). According to this
curve, the population of the city will be below 4 million in 2015, and
will reach 5 million in 2025.
Given this high population growth, owing itself both to urban
migration and high birth rates, the economy has yet to catch up.
Unemployment is estimated at 40% within the city, mainly in the
high-density, low income areas of the city which can make them seem
even denser than the higher-income neighborhoods.
Society and culture
Basilica of the Holy Family in Nairobi
Nairobi is a cosmopolitan and multicultural city. The names of some of
its suburbs, including Hurlingham and Parklands reflect Nairobi's
early history of colonial occupation.
By the mid twentieth century, many foreigners settled in
other parts of the British Empire, primarily India and parts of
(present-day) Pakistan. These immigrants were workers
who arrived to construct the
Mombasa railway, settling in
Nairobi after its completion, and also merchants from Gujarat. Nairobi
also has established communities from
Somalia and Sudan.[citation
There are a number of churches, mosques, temples, and gurdwaras within
the city. Prominent places of worship in
Nairobi include the Cathedral
Basilica of the Holy Family, All Saints Cathedral, Ismaili Jamat
Khana, and Jamia Mosque.
Nairobi has two informal nicknames. The first is "The Green City in
the Sun", which is derived from the city's foliage and warm
climate. The second is the "Safari Capital of the World", which is
used due to Nairobi's prominence as a hub for safari tourism.
There are a number of shopping malls in the
Nairobi Area. These
include: Garden city mall,
Thika road mall (TRM), the West Gate mall,
Prestige Plaza, the Village Market, the Sarit Centre, the Junction,
Rosslyn Riviera mall, Two Rivers mall. A variety of amenities are
provided at these malls and include: cinemas, fashion and apparel
retailers, bookshops, electronics and grocery stores, coffeehouses,
restaurants and bars.
Literature and film
Kwani? is Kenya's first literary journal and was established by
writers living in Nairobi. Nairobi's publishing houses have also
produced the works of some of Kenya's authors, including Ngũgĩ wa
Meja Mwangi who were part of post-colonial writing.
Many film makers also practice their craft out of Nairobi. Film-making
is still young in the country, but people like producer Njeri Karago
and director Judy Kibinge are paving the way for others.
Perhaps the most famous book and film set in
Nairobi is Out of Africa.
The book was written by Karen Blixen, whose pseudonym was Isak
Dinesen, and it is her account of living in Kenya.
Karen Blixen lived
Nairobi area from 1917 to 1931. The neighbourhood in which she
lived, Karen, is named after her.
Out of Africa
Out of Africa was made into a film, directed by Sydney
Pollack. The film won 28 awards, including seven Academy Awards. The
popularity of the film prompted the opening of Nairobi's Karen Blixen
Nairobi is also the setting of many of the novels of Ngũgĩ wa
Thiong'o, Kenya's foremost writer.
Nairobi has been the set of several other American and British films.
The most recent of these was The Constant Gardener (2005), a large
part of which was filmed in the city. The story revolves around a
British diplomat in
Nairobi whose wife is murdered in northern Kenya.
Much of the filming was in the
Among the latest Kenyan actors in Hollywood who identify with Nairobi
is Lupita Nyong'o. Lupita received an Oscar award for best supporting
actress in her role as Patsy in the film
12 Years a Slave
12 Years a Slave during the
Academy Awards at the Dolby theatre in Los Angeles. Lupita is the
daughter of Kenyan politician Peter Anyang' Nyong'o
Most new Hollywood films are nowadays screened at Nairobi's cinemas.
Up until the early 1990s, there were only a few film theatres and the
repertoire was limited. There are also two drive-in cinemas in
In 2015 and 2016,
Nairobi was the focus point for the American
Sense8 which shot its first and second seasons
partly in the city. The TV series has high reviews in The Internet
Movie Database (IMDB).
Nairobi was also featured in the British thriller film Eye in
the Sky (2015 film), which is a story about a lieutenant general and a
colonel who faced political opposition after ordering a drone missile
strike to take out a group of suicide bombers in Nairobi, Kenya.
In Nairobi, there is a range of restaurants and, besides being home to
nyama choma which is a local term used to refer to roasted meat, there
are American fast food restaurants such as KFC, Subway, Dominos Pizza,
Burger King which are popular, and the longer
established South African chains, Galittos, Steers, PizzaMojo, Spur
Steak Ranches. Coffee houses, doubling up as restaurants, mostly
frequented by the upper middle classes, such as Artcaffe,
House and Dormans have become increasingly popular in recent days.
Traditional food joints such as the popular K'osewe's in the city
centre and Amaica, which specialise in African delicacies are also
widepsread. The Kenchic franchise which specialised in old-school
chicken and chips meals was also popular, particularly among the lower
classes and students, with restaurants all over the city and its
suburbs. However, as at February 2016, Kenchic stopped operating its
eatery businesses. Upscale restaurants specialising in specific
cuisines, ranging from Italian, Lebanese, Ethiopian, French and
seafood are more likely to be found in five star hotels and the
wealthier suburbs in the West and South of the city.
Nairobi has an annual restaurant week (NRW) at the beginning of the
year, January–February. Nairobi's restaurants offer dining packages
at reduced prices. NRW is managed by Eatout
Kenya which is an
online platform that lists and reviews restaurants in Nairobi, and
provides a platform for Kenyan foodies to congregate and share.
Nairobi is the centre of Kenya's music scene. Benga is a Kenyan genre
which was developed in Nairobi. The style is a fusion of jazz and Luo
music forms. Mugithi is another popular genre in Kenya, with its
origins in the central parts of the country. A majority of music
videos of leading local musicians are also filmed in the city.
In the 1970s,
Nairobi became the prominent centre for music in the
African Great Lakes. During this period,
Nairobi was established as a
hub of soukous music. This genre was originally developed in Kinshasa
and Brazzaville. After the political climate in the region
deteriorated, many Congolese artists relocated to Nairobi. Artists
such as Orchestra
Super Mazembe moved from Congo to
Nairobi and found
Virgin records became aware of the popularity of
the genre and signed recording contracts with several soukous artists.
Nairobi has become the centre of the Kenyan hip hop
scene, with Kalamashaka, Gidi Gidi Majimaji being the pioneers of
urban music in Kenyan. The genre has become very popular amongst local
youth, and domestic musicians have become some of the most popular in
the region. Successful artists based in Nairobi
include Jua Cali, Nonini, Camp Mulla, Juliani, Eric Wainaina, Suzanna
Owinyo and Nameless. Popular Record labels include Ogopa DJs, Grand Pa
Records, Main Switch, Red Black and Green Republik,
Calif Records and
Bornblack Music Group.
Many foreign musicians who tour Africa perform in Nairobi. Bob
Marley's first-ever visit to Africa started in Nairobi. Acts that have
Nairobi include Lost Boyz, Wyclef Jean, Shaggy, Akon,
Eve, T.O.K, Sean Paul, Wayne Wonder, Alaine, Konshens, Ja Rule, and
Morgan Heritage, and Cabo Snoop. Other international musicians who
have performed in
Nairobi include the rocking show by Don Carlos,
Demarco, Busy Signal, Mr. Vegas and the Elephant man crew.
Nairobi, including the coastal towns of
Mombasa and Diani, have
recently become the centre of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) in Kenya,
which includes Trance, Techno, House, Progressive, Drum & Bass,
and Dubstep. Prominent international composers &
DJs have graced their presence in these cities, including Kyau &
Albert, Solarity, Ronski Speed, and Boom Jinx.
Many nightclubs in and around the city have witnessed a growth in the
population that exclusively listen to Electronic Dance Music,
especially amongst the younger generations[neutrality is disputed].
These youth also support many local EDM producers & DJs, such as
Jahawi, Mikhail Kuzi, Barney Barrow, Jack Rooster, HennessyLive,
Trancephilic5 As well as up and comers such as L.A Dave, Eric K,
Raj El Rey, Tom Parker and more.[dubious – discuss]
Gospel music is also very popular in
Nairobi just as in the rest of
Kenya, with gospel artistes having a great impact in the mostly
Christian city . Artistes such as Esther Wahome,
Eunice Njeri, Daddy Owen, Emmy Kosgei and the late Angela Chibalonza,
among others, have a great pull over the general population while
others like MOG, Juliani, Ecko dyda, DK Kwenye Beat have great
influence over the younger generation. Their concerts are also very
popular and they have as much influence as the great secular
artistes.The most popular being Groove tours, TSO
(Totally Sold Out) new year concerts.
Sauti Sol performed for U.S. President
Barack Obama when
he was in the city for the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship summit.
Nairobi is the
African Great Lakes
African Great Lakes region's sporting centre. The
premier sports facility in
Nairobi and generally in
Kenya is the Moi
International Sports Centre in the suburb of Kasarani. The complex was
completed in 1987, and was used to host the 1987 All Africa Games. The
complex comprises a 60,000 seater stadium, the second largest in the
African Great Lakes
African Great Lakes (after Tanzania's new national stadium), a 5,000
seater gymnasium, and a 2,000 seater aquatics centre.
Nyayo National Stadium
Nyayo National Stadium is Nairobi's second largest stadium
renowned for hosting global rugby event under the "Safaricom Sevens."
Completed in 1983, the stadium has a capacity of 30,000. This
stadium is primarily used for football. The facility is located close
to the Central Business District, which makes it a convenient location
for political gatherings.
Nairobi City Stadium is the city's first stadium, and used for club
Nairobi Gymkhana is the home of the Kenyan cricket team, and
was a venue for the 2003 Cricket World Cup. Notable annual events
Safari Rally (although it lost its World
Rally Championship status in 2003),
Safari Sevens rugby union
Football is the most popular sport in the city by viewership and
participation. This is highlighted by the number of football clubs in
the city, including
Kenyan Premier League
Kenyan Premier League sides Gor Mahia, A.F.C.
Leopards, Tusker and
There are six golf courses within a 20 km radius of Nairobi.
The oldest 18-hole golf course in the city is the Royal
Club. It was established in 1906 by the British, just seven years
after the city was founded. Other notable golf clubs include the
Windsor Country Club, Karen Country Club, and
Muthaiga Golf Club. The
Kenya Open golf tournament, which is part of the Challenge Tour, takes
place in Nairobi. The
Ngong Racecourse in
Nairobi is the centre of
horse racing in Kenya.
Rugby is also a popular sport in
Nairobi with 8 of the 12 top flight
clubs based here.
Basketball is also a popular Sport played in the City's Primary,
Secondary and College leagues. Most of the City's Urban youth and are
basketball fans and watch the American NBA.
The majority of schools follow either the Kenyan Curriculum or the
British Curriculum. There is also International School of
follows the North American Curriculum and the German school in Gigiri.
Kenya High School, one of the schools in Kenya, is located in Nairobi.
Nairobi is home to several Universities and Colleges.
University of Nairobi
University of Nairobi is the largest and oldest university in
Kenya. It was established in 1956, as part of the University of East
Africa, but became an independent university in 1970. The university
has approximately 84,000 students.
Kenyatta University is situated 16 km (9.9 mi) from Nairobi
Thika dual carriageway on 1,100 acres
(4.5 km2) of land. The university was chartered in 1985, offering
mainly education-related courses, but has since diversified, offering
medicine, environmental studies, engineering, law, business,
statistics, agriculture, and economics. It has a student body of about
32,000, the bulk of whom (17,000) are in the main (
campus. Currently it is one of the fastest growing public
Strathmore University started in 1961 as an
Advanced Level (UK) Sixth
Form College offering Science and Arts subjects. The college started
to admit accountancy students in March 1966, and thus became a
university. In January 1993, Strathmore College merged with Kianda
College and moved to Ole Sangale Road, Madaraka Estate, Nairobi.
United States International University
United States International University –
Nairobi was originally a
branch of the
United States International University, but became a
fully autonomous university in 2005. It was first established in 1969.
The university has accreditation from the Western Association of
Schools and Colleges, in USA, and the Government of Kenya. It is
located in a quiet west side location of
Kasarani area north-central
Nairobi opposite the Safari Park Hotel.
In 2005, The Aga Khan Hospital,
Nairobi was upgraded to a health
sciences teaching hospital, providing post graduate education in
medicine and surgery including nursing education, henceforth renamed
the Aga Khan University Hospital.
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
Catholic University of Eastern Africa located in
obtained its "Letter of Interim Authority" in 1989. Following
negotiations between the Authority of the Graduate School of Theology
and the Commission for Higher Education (CHIEA), the Faculty of Arts
and Social Sciences was established three years later, culminating in
the granting of the Civil Charter to CHIEA on 3 November 1992.
The Technical University of
Kenya Polytechnic) is the
only Technical University in the country. Established in 1961 as the
Kenya Technical Institute, the University was chartered by Mwai Kibaki
in 2013 to become an independent institution of higher learning (It
was previously a constituent college of the University of Nairobi). It
offers highly technical degree courses in three faculties: Engineering
and Built Environment, Applied Sciences and Technologies, and Social
Sciences and Technologies.
KCA University (formerly the
Kenya College of Accountancy), located in
The Presbyterian University of
East Africa (PUEA) is also another
Institution of higher learning that is located in the town. It has
several campuses around the town.
Pan African Christian University
Pan African Christian University in Kasarani.
East Africa Institute of Certified Studies (well known as ICS College)
is located at Stanbank House with branches in
Mombasa and Kisumu.
Numerous other universities have also opened satellite campuses in
Nairobi. The Railways Training Institute established in 1956, is also
a notable institution of higher learning with a campus in Nairobi.
Syokimau Railway Station
Major plans are being implemented in the need to decongest the city's
traffic and the completion of
Thika Road has given the city a much
needed face-lift attributed to road's enhancement of global standards.
Several projects have been completed (
Syokimau Rail Station, the
Eastern and Northern Bypasses) while numerous other projects are still
underway. The country's head of state announced (when he opened
Syokimau Rail Service) that
Kenya was collaborating with other
countries in the region to develop railway infrastructure to improve
regional connectivity under the ambitious LAPPSET project which is the
single largest and most expensive in the continent.
Kenya signed a bilateral agreement with
Uganda to facilitate joint
development of the Mombasa-Malaba-
Kampala standard gauge railway. A
branch line will also be extended to Kisumu.
Kenya signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the
Ethiopia for the development of Lamu-Addis Ababa
standard gauge railway. Under the Lamu-South
Sudan and Ethiopia
Transport Corridor Project, the development of a railway component is
among the priority projects.
The development of these critical transport facilities will, besides
reducing transport costs due to faster movement of goods and people
within the region, also increase trade, improve the socio-economic
welfare of Northern
Kenya and boost the country's potential in
attracting investments from all over the world.
The first phase of the Standard Gauge Railway project was launched on
31 May 2017 by the President of
Uhuru Kenyatta in a ceremony
that saw thousands of Kenyans ride on the inaugural trip free of
charge. The two passenger locomotives christened Madaraka Express
currently operate daily trips between
Mombasa with the
fixed departure time of 9:00 AM.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is the largest airport in East and
Central Africa. Domestic travelers made up 40% of overall passengers
in 2016. An increase of 32% in 5 yrs since 2012. JKIA had more than 7
million passengers going through it in 2016. In February 2017, JKIA
Category One Status from the
FAA boosting the airport's
status as a Regional Aviation hub.
Wilson Airport is a general-aviation airport handling smaller
aircraft, mostly propeller-driven. In July 2016, construction of a new
Air Traffic Control Tower commenced at a cost of KES 163 Million
(approximately USD 1.63 million)
Eastleigh Airport is a military base airport. In its earlier years, it
was utilised as a landing strip in the pre-jet airline era. It was
mostly used as a British Passenger and mail route from
Cape Town in the 1930s & 1940's. This route was served by flying
boats between Britain and
Kisumu and then by land-based aircraft on
the routes to the south.
Main article: Matatu
Matatus are the most common form of public transport in Nairobi.
Matatu, which literally translates to "three cents for a ride"
(nowadays much more) are privately owned minibuses, and the most
popular form of local transport, and generally seat fourteen to
twenty-four. Matatus operate within Nairobi, its environs and suburbs
Nairobi to other towns around the country. The matatu's route
is imprinted along a yellow stripe on the side of the bus, and matatus
plying specific routes have specific route numbers. However, in
November 2014 President
Uhuru Kenyatta lifted the ban on the yellow
stripe and allowed matatus to maintain the colourful graphics in an
effort to support the youth in creating employment. Matatus in Nairobi
were easily distinguishable by their extravagant paint schemes, as
owners would paint their matatu with various colourful decorations,
such as their favourite football team or hip hop artist. More
recently, some have even painted Barack Obama's face on their vehicle.
They are notorious for their poor safety records, which are a result
of overcrowding and reckless driving. Due to the
intense competition between matatus, many are equipped with powerful
sound systems and television screens to attract more customers.
However, in 2004, a law was passed requiring all matatus to include
seat belts and speed governors and to be painted with a yellow
stripe. At first, this caused a furore amongst
but they were pressured by government and the public to make the
changes. Matatus are now limited to 80 kilometres per hour
(50 mph). However, many of the matatu vehicles have had their
speed governors disabled, which is evident by them travelling at
speeds well over 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph).
In December 2010, the Government embarked on a policy to phase out
matatus as a means of public transport. Consequently, no new matatus
are licensed to operate from January 2011 while the current ones will
be allowed to live out their lifespan; a move aimed at enhancing the
safety of citizens and visitors as well. However, the matatus continue
to occupy the road ways in large numbers contributing to the
congestion of Nairobi.
Buses are increasingly becoming common in the city with some even
going to the extents of installing complimentary WiFi systems in
partnership with the leading mobile service provider. There are four
major bus companies operating the city routes and are the traditional
Kenya Bus Service (KBS), and newer private operators Citi Hoppa,
Compliant MOA and Double M. The Citi Hoppa buses are distinguishable
by their green livery, the Double M buses are painted purple,
Compliant MOA by their distinctively screaming names and mix of white,
blue colours while the KBS buses are painted blue.
Public Transport in Nairobi
Companies such as Easy Coach, Crown Bus, Coast Bus, Modern Coast,
Eldoret Express, Chania, the Guardian Angel, Spanish and Mash Poa run
scheduled buses and luxury coaches to other cities and towns.
Nairobi was founded as a railway town, and the main headquarters of
Kenya Railways (KR) is still situated at
Nairobi railway station,
which is located near the city centre. The line runs through Nairobi,
Mombasa to Kampala. Its main use is freight traffic connecting
Mombasa and Kisumu. A number of morning and evening
commuter trains connect the centre with the suburbs, but the city has
no proper light rail, tramway, or rapid transit lines. A proposal has
been passed for the construction of a commuter rail line. The
country's third president since independence, President
Mwai Kibaki on
Tuesday, 13 November 2012 launched the
Syokimau Rail Service marking a
major milestone in the history of railway development in the country.
The opening of the station marked another milestone in efforts to
realise various projects envisaged under the Vision 2030 Economic
Blueprint. The new station has a train that ferries passengers from
Syokimau to the city centre cutting travel time by half. Opening of
the station marks the completion of the first phase of the Sh24b
Nairobi Commuter Rail Network that is geared at easing traffic
congestion in Nairobi, blamed for huge economic losses. Other modern
stations include Imara Daima Railway Station and Makadara Railway
Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway connects the port city
Mombasa and Nairobi. The new railway line has replaced the 1900
metre-gauge railway. The
Nairobi Terminus is located at Syokimau, some
20 km from the city centre. Passengers travelling from Mombasa
are usually transferred from the metre-gauge trains to the CBD.
Museum hill interchange, where uhuru highway links to forest road
which is an extension of the
Thika superhighway.Nairobi's tall
skyscrapers can be seen on the background.
The A104 heading to
Nairobi is served by highways that link
Kampala in Uganda
and Arusha in Tanzania. These are earmarked to ease the daily motor
traffic within and surrounding the metro area. However, driving in
Nairobi is chaotic. Most of the roads are tarmacked and there are
signs showing directions to certain neighbourhoods. The city is
connected to the
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by the Mombasa
Highway, which passes through Industrial Area, South B,
South C and
Embakasi. Ongata Rongai,
Langata and Karen are connected to the city
Langata Road, which runs to the south. Lavington, Riverside,
Westlands, etc. are connected by Waiyaki Way. Kasarani, Eastlands, and
Embakasi are connected by
Thika Road, Jogoo Road, and Outer Ring Road.
Highways connect the city with other major towns such as Mombasa,
Machakos, Voi, (A109), Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret,
Nairobi is currently undergoing major road constructions to update its
infrastructure network. The new systems of roads, flyovers, and
bridges would cut outrageous traffic levels caused the inability of
the current infrastructure to cope with the soaring economic growth in
the past few years. It is also a major component of Kenya's Vision
Nairobi Metropolis plans. Most roads now, though, are well
lit and surfaced with adequate signage.
Eastern Bypass, Nairobi
Nairobi Bypasses are currently under construction by the
Kenyan government and financed by Chinese Government. Their
construction seeks to ease congestion in Nairobi's downtown area and
the surrounding suburbs. The Bypasses will comprise the:
Northern bypass – linking
Limuru road to
Eastern bypass – linking
Mombasa road to Ruiru-
Kiambu road near
Southern bypass – run from Kikuyu to
Mombasa road via Ngong road
Private Car Population Projection for Nairobi
Number Of Private Cars
Water supply and sanitation
Further information: Water supply and sanitation in Nairobi
94% of the piped water supply for
Nairobi comes from rivers and
reservoirs in the
Aberdare Range north of the city, of which the
reservoir of the
Thika Dam is the most important one. Water
distribution losses – technically called non-revenue water – are
40%, and only 40% of those with house connections receive water
Slum residents receive water through water kiosks and
end up paying much higher water prices than those fortunate enough to
have access to piped water at their residence. In the middle of a
severe drought, the board of the
Nairobi City Water and Sewerage
Company was sacked July 2009 for "malpractices", following the
publication of a report by Transparency International-
Kenya and the
Kenyan NGO Maji Na Ufanisi (Water and Development). The report had
found cases of bribery for illegal connections, tampering with meter
readings, and diversion of water from domestic users to industries in
five cities, with the highest incidence of bribery in Nairobi.
Nairobi Metro Map
Nairobi County (red)
Kajiado County (green)
Machakos County (yellow)
Kiambu County (purple)
There is wide variety regarding standards of living in Nairobi. Most
wealthy Kenyans live in Nairobi, but the majority of Nairobians are
average and poor. Half of the population have been estimated to live
in slums which cover just 5% of the city area. The growth of these
slums is a result of urbanisation, poor town planning, and the
unavailability of loans for low income earners.
Kibera is one of the largest slums in Africa, and is situated to
the west of Nairobi. (
Kibera comes from the Nubian word Kibra, meaning
"forest" or "jungle"). The slums cover two square kilometres
and are on government land.
Kibera has been the setting for several
films, the most recent being The Constant Gardener.
Other notable slums include
Mathare and Korogocho. Altogether, 66
areas are counted as slums within Nairobi.
Nairobi non-slum-dwellers live in relatively good housing
conditions. Large houses can be found in many of the upmarket
neighbourhoods, especially to the west of Nairobi. Historically,
British occupiers have settled in Gigiri, Muthaiga,
Langata and Karen.
Other middle and high income estates include Parklands, Westlands,
Hurlingham, Kilimani, Milimani, Spring Valley, Lavington, Rosslyn,
To accommodate the growing middle class, many new apartments and
housing developments are being built in and around the city. The most
notable development is Greenpark, at Athi River,
25 km (16 mi) from Nairobi's Central Business District. Over
5,000 houses, villas and apartments are being constructed at this
development, including leisure, retail and commercial facilities.
The development is being marketed to families, as are most others
within the city. Eastlands also houses most of the city's middle class
and includes South C, South B, Embakasi, Buru Buru, Komarock, Donholm,
Umoja, and various others.
Crime and law enforcement
Throughout the 1990s,
Nairobi had struggled with rising crime, earning
a reputation for being a dangerous city and the nickname "Nairobbery,"
a name which persists today. On 7 August 1998, the US Embassy was
bombed, killing 224 people and injuring 4000. In 2001, the United
Nations International Civil Service Commission rated
Nairobi as among
the most insecure cities in the world, classifying the city as "status
C". In the United Nations report, it was stated that in 2001, nearly
one third of all
Nairobi residents experienced some form of robbery in
the city. The head of one development agency cited the notoriously
high levels of violent armed robberies, burglaries, and
carjackings. Crime had risen in
Nairobi as a result of unplanned
urbanisation, with a minimal number of police stations and a proper
security infrastructure. However, many claim that the
biggest factor for the city's alarming crime rate is police
corruption, which leaves many criminals unpunished. As a security
precaution, most large houses have a watch guard, burglar grills, and
dogs to patrol their grounds during the night. Most
crimes, however, occur around the poor neighbourhoods where it gets
dangerous during night hours.
In 2006, crime decreased in the city, due to increased security
and an improved police presence. Despite this, in 2007, the Kenyan
government and US State Department have announced that
experiencing a greater level of violent crime than in previous
years. Since then, the government has taken measures to combat
crime with heavy police presence in and around the city while US
government has updated its travel warning for the country.
Following a grenade attack in October 2011 by a local Kenyan man, with
terrorist links, the city faced a heightened security
presence. Fears spread over further promised retaliations by the
Al-Shabaab group of rebels over Kenya's involvement in a coordinated
operation with the Somalian military against the insurgent outfit.
There have been a spate of
Blasts in Nairobi
Blasts in Nairobi which started on 10 March
2012, where assailants threw grenades at a busy bus station and a
blue-collar bar in Nairobi, killing nine and injuring more than 50. On
28 May 2012, 28 people were injured in an explosion in a shopping
complex in downtown Nairobi, near Moi avenue. On 21 September
2013, Al-Shabaab-associated militants attacked the Westgate Mall. 67
people were killed.
Nation Centre, headquarters of the Nation Media Group
Nairobi is home to most of Kenya's news and media organisations. The
city is also home to the
African Great Lakes
African Great Lakes region's largest
Daily Nation and The Standard. These are circulated
Kenya and cover a range of domestic and regional issues. Both
newspapers are published in English.
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, a state-run television and radio
station, is headquartered in the city.
Kenya Television Network is
part of the Standard Group and was Kenya's first privately owned TV
Nation Media Group
Nation Media Group runs NTV which is based in Nairobi.
East Africa Television Channel 5 is 24-hour music channel based in Dar
Tanzania and broadcasts in Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya.
There are also a number of prominent radio stations located in Kenya's
capital including KISS 100, Capital FM, East FM, Kameme FM, Metro FM,
and Family FM, among others.
Several multinational media organisations have their regional
headquarters in Nairobi. These include the BBC, CNN, Agence
France-Presse, Reuters, Deutsche Welle, and the Associated Press. The
East African bureau of
CNBC Africa is located in Nairobi's city
centre, while the
Nairobi bureau of the
New York Times
New York Times is located in
the suburb of Gigiri. The broadcast headquarters of CCTV Africa are
located in Nairobi.
Nairobi is also home to the
East African School of Media Studies due
to its large media focus.
The future of Nairobi
Nairobi has grown since 1899. A population projection in the 21st
century is listed below.
Twin towns – sister cities
Nairobi is twinned with:
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro state
Nairobi at sunrise
I&M Bank Tower
Nairobi City Hall
Entrance to Parliament
University of Nairobi
Jomo Kenyatta Statue
Nairobi at sunset
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology
Stanley Hotel, Nairobi
United Nations Environment Programme
Nairobi in German
Nations Environment Programme
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Kenya Golf Safaris".
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Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 4 November
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Kenya Derby is main Jockey Club of Kenya
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University of Nairobi
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United States embassy bombings
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Inundated With Crime". The New York Times.
^ Xinhua News. "U.N. Starts Crime Study in Kenya's Capital".
www.xinhuanet.com/. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
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^ OSAC –
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News. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
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attacks". The Guardian. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 7 November
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questions weigh heavily". csmonitor.com. Retrieved 23 March
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^ "Convenio de amistad entre Ciudad de México y Nairobi" (PDF) (in
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Nairobi.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nairobi.
"Nairobi". Encyclopædia Britannica. 19 (11th ed.). 1911.
The City Council of
Nairobi (official website)
National Museums of
Kenya (official website)
Nairobi Social Audit Report
Nairobi's Local Online Business directory
Latest News from Kenya
Articles and topics related to Nairobi
Nairobi at Wikimedia Commons .
Nairobi metropolitan area
Population - 7.8 million
Urban Centres over 200K
Other major Urban Centres
Konza Technology City
First- and second-level administrative divisions of Kenya
(since March 2013)
Homa Bay (43)
Tana River (04)
Uasin Gishu (27)
West Pokot (24)
Kangundo - Tala
Capitals of Africa
Dependent territories and states with limited recognition are in
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Bangui, Central African Republic
Brazzaville, Rep. of the Congo
El Aaiún(claimed)/Tifariti(factual), Sahrawi Arab Democratic
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Jamestown, St Helena, Ascension & Tristan da Cunha2
Juba, South Sudan
Kinshasa, D.R. Congo
Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Lobamba (legislative), Swaziland
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Port Louis, Mauritius
Praia, Cape Verde
Cape Town (legislative)
Bloemfontein (judicial), South Africa
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas, Canary Islands5
São Tomé and Príncipe
Abidjan (economic), Ivory Coast
1 An unrecognised or partially-recognised nation
2 British Overseas Territory
Overseas region of France
4 Autonomous region of Portugal
5 Autonomous community of Spain
All-Africa Games host cities
BNF: cb118650453 (d