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Understanding Nairobi

Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya. Located in the south-central part of the country, Nairobi is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with a population of over four million people. The city serves as a hub for business, tourism, and culture in East Africa, and it is home to various national and international organisations.

Things to do in Nairobi

Nairobi has several attractions that draw visitors from around the world, some of the most popular tourist activities in Nairobi include:

  1. Nairobi National Park: This is the only national park in the world located within a city. It offers visitors the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife, including lions, leopards, and giraffes.

  2. Giraffe Centre: Visitors can get up close and personal with giraffes at this conservation center, which is home to a herd of Rothschild's giraffes.

  3. Visit the Elephant orphanage: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is dedicated to the conservation of elephants and other wildlife in Kenya. Visitors can see baby elephants being fed and learn about the organization's conservation efforts.

  4. Karen Blixen Museum: The museum is located in the former home of the author of the memoir "Out of Africa," and it offers visitors a glimpse into the life of early colonial settlers in Kenya.

  5. Nairobi National Museum: The museum showcases Kenya's rich cultural and natural history and features exhibits on anthropology, art, and wildlife.

  6. Shop at the Maasai Market: The Maasai Market is a popular outdoor market in Nairobi, Kenya, where visitors can buy a wide range of African arts and crafts, including clothing, jewelry, wood carvings, and textiles.

  7. Nairobi is also known for its vibrant nightlife, diverse cuisine, and shopping. Visitors can explore the city's markets and shopping centers, sample traditional Kenyan dishes, and enjoy a night out in the city's bars and clubs.

You can find more detailed information on the best things in Nairobi here.

Although Nairobi is a commercial epicentre for East Africa, it is not all sugarcanes and fairy loss. There is a huge portion of the population living in poverty and without access to basic necessities like running water, education and health care. Majority of these people live in the slums of Nairobi.

Slums of Nairobi

Nairobi, like many other cities in Africa, has slum areas that are characterized by high population densities, inadequate housing, and poor sanitation conditions. Kibera, Mathare, and Mukuru are some of the largest slums in Nairobi, with an estimated population of over a million people combined.

Kibera is the largest slum in Nairobi and one of the largest in Africa, with an estimated population of up to 700,000 people. The slum is located near the city center and is known for its crowded and congested living conditions, inadequate sanitation facilities, and poor access to basic services such as healthcare, education, and clean water.

Mathare is another large slum in Nairobi, with an estimated population of over 500,000 people. The slum is situated to the east of the city and is characterized by poor housing conditions, limited access to clean water and sanitation facilities, and high levels of poverty.

Mukuru is a collection of several slums in Nairobi, with an estimated population of over 300,000 people. The slum is located near the industrial area of the city and is known for its poor housing conditions, limited access to basic services, and high levels of crime and insecurity.

Despite their challenges, slums in Nairobi are also home to vibrant communities with their own unique culture and traditions. Various non-governmental organizations and government agencies are working to improve the living conditions in these slum areas, through initiatives such as providing access to clean water, improving sanitation facilities, and offering educational and vocational training programs.

NGO's & NFP's in Nairobi

Nairobi, as the capital city of Kenya, is a central hub and home to a large number of NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and NFPs (Not for Profit Organisations) working in various sectors, including health, education, human rights, and development. Here are some examples of NGOs in Nairobi:

  1. CARE International: This organization works to promote women's empowerment, social justice, and sustainable development in Kenya and other countries.

  2. Amref Health Africa: This NGO focuses on improving health outcomes in Africa through training and capacity building, advocacy, and community health programs.

  3. Save the Children: This global organization has a presence in Nairobi and works to improve the lives of children and families in Kenya and other countries through education, healthcare, and protection.

  4. Haki Africa: This human rights organization works to promote and protect the rights of marginalized communities in Kenya, particularly in the areas of justice, equality, and security.

  5. Ushahidi: This technology company provides software tools for crisis response and open data, and it has been used in various humanitarian and development projects in Kenya and other countries.

These are just a few examples of the many NGOs operating in Nairobi. There are many more organizations working on different issues, and visitors can explore and learn more about these organizations through their websites, social media pages, or by visiting their offices.

United Nations

Nairobi is home to one of the four main United Nations (UN) headquarters in the world. The UN Office in Nairobi (UNON) is the UN's headquarters for Africa and hosts several UN agencies and programs, including:

  1. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP): UNEP is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda and promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the UN system.

  2. United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat): UN-Habitat works to promote sustainable urbanization and improve the living conditions of people in cities and towns around the world.

  3. United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS): UNOPS supports the implementation of sustainable development and humanitarian projects around the world.

  4. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): UNDP works to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality, and promote sustainable development around the world.

  5. United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF): UNICEF works to improve the lives of children around the world, providing access to health care, education, and protection from violence, exploitation, and abuse.

These are just a few of the UN agencies and programs that are based in Nairobi. The UNON also plays a key role in supporting peace and security initiatives in Africa, and it hosts several international conferences and events throughout the year.

Overall, Kenya is home to many NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) that work on a wide range of issues, including health, education, human rights, environment, and poverty reduction, with a large proportion of them being bases in the country's epicentre, Nairobi.

At Indy Escapes we are affiliated with a number of NGO's around the world. In Kenya, we spend time at and support the Ruben Centre Nairobi and ERCN. Both are incredible initiatives that create opportunity and support for those who are living in these slums, and are without access to basic necessities. For more information on what we do, how you can help or to connect directly with the organisations, please see our Donating and Volunteering in Kenya Page.

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