Nairobi is the capital of Kenya, and often used as the jumping-off point for safari trips. With a population of over 3 million, Nairobi is one of Africa’s most prominent cities financially and politically. It is home to thousands of Kenyan businesses and over 100 major international companies and organisations, including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON), Nairobi is an established hub for business and culture. The 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 has a subtropical highland climate, meaning that it has relatively warm temperatures in summer from December to March, with temperatures averaging about 24 °C (75 °F). During June/July, the temperature can drop to 9 °C (48 °F). There are also two rainy seasons in a year, although rainfall is usually moderate. As Nairobi is situated near the equator, there is little temperature differences between the seasons. The currency used is the Kenyan Shilling (HK$1 = 13.24 KSh).
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is the main international airport in Nairobi. It is located about 15km from the city centre and has scheduled flights to destinations in over 50 countries. Named after the Kenya’s first President and Prime Minister, the airport is the 9th-busiest airport in Africa in terms of total passengers served, and is also the hub for flag carrier Kenya Airways. There are various international flights serving Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. These include British Airways, China Southern Airlines, Emirates, KLM, Lufthansa, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. There are no direct flights from Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific passengers can fly to Bangkok, before boarding a connecting flight on Kenya Airways. Hong Kong airlines also flies to Taipei, where passengers will then board the connecting China Southern Airlines flight to Nairobi. Travelling time depends on the length of the layover, and ranges from 13 to 18 hours. Once at the airport, travellers can either take a bus, shuttle services, taxis or rental cars to get to the city centre. Bus services between the airport and the city centre depart from the bus stops outside Units 1 and 2 frequently throughout the day. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes and bus fare is 40 KSh (HK$3). Official taxis are operated by Kenatco and are available outside the arrival halls. These take travellers to the city for a fixed fare, which ranges from 1200-1700 KSh (HK$90-128). Agreement on the price should be established in advance. The journey time to central Nairobi is 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic conditions and the time of day. Visitors are advised to avoid the many private taxi touts. Green and Yellow Citi Hoppa shuttle services are a low-cost alternative to taxis, with fares to the city starting at around 50 KSh (HK$3.80). Travelling within the city can be done via taxis, matatus (public minibuses/commuter buses) or by rental car. Traffic conditions in Nairobi can get rather bad, and the roads are often jammed. Due to relatively high crime rates, it is recommended that visitors minimise travelling at night, and to refrain from displaying valuables.
Nairobi is known as the safari capital of Africa and tourists can have their pick from numerous safaris (wildlife, cultural, sport, adventure, scenic and specialist), ecotourism tours, restaurants, culture, shopping and entertainment. It is also famous for the Nairobi National Park, which is the world’s only game reserve found within a major city. While in Nairobi, tourists can also engage in numerous sports from golf, rugby, athletics, polo, horse-racing, cricket and football (soccer). Some of the more famous wildlife parks include the Nairobi National Park, Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and Giraffe Centre. Other activities of interest include rafting down the Tana River, visiting the Westlands which is the nightlife centre of Nairobi and visiting the 14 Falls waterfall. Lake Naivasha, which is about 1.5 hours outside of central Nairobi, is a haven for those wishing to escape from the chaos of the city. It also allows visitors to walk on the grounds alongside giraffes, zebras and wildebeests. For local curios and souvenirs, the most easily accessible and tourist-friendly is the Maasai Market, held on Fridays at the Village Market, an upscale, open concept shopping centre near the United Nations and American Embassy complexes. Bargaining is necessary, and one should probably not spend more than 1000KSh (HK$75) on any item, except in extraordinary circumstances. The Maasai Market is also held on Thursdays at the parking lot of the Junction Shopping Centre and Tuesdays at the parking lot of the Westgate shopping centre.
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