Are you planning on taking a dream trip to Kenya? Perhaps you’re looking to soak up some culture or take a safari in a national park? If so, Nairobi, the nation’s capital city, has plenty to offer a vegan traveler. From elephant orphanages to giraffe hotels, life in, and just outside, the city, is teeming with opportunities to see animals in their natural habitat. Furthermore, vegan-friendly and vegetarian restaurants are located across the city.
See below for our list of vegan-friendly activities you can get up to during your stay in Nairobi.
7 Vegan and Animal-Friendly Activities for Your Trip to Nairobi
1. Hike Across Nairobi National Park
Buffalos, lions, giraffes, cheetahs, zebras, and the endangered black rhino, are just a few of the wild animals that roam Nairobi National Park, just outside the city. Looked after by the Kenya Wildlife Service, the park proves that animal tourism doesn’t have to be done inside a zoo. There are many picnic sites and hiking trails for visitors to enjoy whilst observing wild animals in their natural habitat.
2. Observe Baby Elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
The David Sheldrick Trust looks after orphaned, baby elephants and rhinos and works to reintroduce them to the wild. According to the trust’s website, it is “the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organizations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa.” The nursery, partnered with British Airways and Nat Geo Wild amongst other companies, is located in Nairobi National Park and is open to visitors every day but Christmas day.
3. Take a Trip to the Giraffe Center
The Giraffe Centre, just 40 minutes from Nairobi, is famous the world-over for its reputation as a nature education facility. Established in the 1970s, the purpose of the centre was to save the Rothschild giraffe, whose numbers were dwindling. There were 130 Rothschild giraffes when the centre first opened, now there are 300 across Kenya. When they are ready, and independent enough to survive on their own, the centre’s giraffes are released into the wild. The centre offers a cafe, gift shop, as well as educational lectures to its guests.
4. Stay at the Giraffe Manor
Giraffe Manor, associated with the Giraffe Centre, is a boutique hotel in Nairobi offering a wildly unique experience to its guests. According to The Safari Collection, the manor is frequented by giraffe visitors, morning, noon and night. The animals occasionally “[poke] their long necks into the windows in the hope of a treat, before retreating to their forest sanctuary.” The manor can be booked just for a night or two, or as part of a safari package.
5. Visit Nairobi Animal Orphanage
The Nairobi Animal Orphanage, located in Nairobi National Park, is a treatment and rehabilitation centre for orphaned animals. Lions, cheetahs, baboons, and buffalo are some of the animals that are looked after here. The orphanage is open all year round to visitors and located around 7km away from Nairobi city centre.
6. Eat Indian Cuisine at one of the Chowpaty Vegetarian Restaurants
Chowpaty is one of the oldest restaurants in the whole of Kenya. It began at Diamond Plaza in Nairobi with a 60 seater restaurant. Today it has a 150 seater restaurant at Shimmer Plaza, a 200 seater restaurant at Highridge Centre at Parklands Avenue and another veggie fast food outlet in Diamond Plaza. The restaurant serves a range of Southern Indian curries and traditional dishes, as well as Chinese and Italian style options.
7. Indulge in a Vegan Kenyan Style Breakfast
Feast on a vegan breakfast at one of Artcaffe‘s many locations across the city. Originally opened in 2008, the Artcaffe is a popular choice for many Kenyans and visitors alike. “We are firm believers that dining is about so much more than food,” Artcaffe states on its website. “We feed the Kenyan story.” A plate of roasted eggplant & zucchini awaits you here, washed down with Kenyan coffee, ready to prep you for a day of sightseeing.
Image Credit: Kenya Wildlife Service | The Safari Collection | Artcaffe