Language: Swahili, English
Currency: Kenyan shilling
Visas: Click here to see if you need a visa to enter Kenya.
Dialing Code: +254
Time Zone: GMT+3
From quick breaks to epic journeys, Contiki exists to connect young travellers with the time of their lives.See more about Contiki
If you love to eat, you’ll want to experience Nairobi Restaurant Week. Running across 10 days from late January to early February, this city-wide food festival is a celebration of Nairobi’s culinary scene. Restaurants around the city plan special menus for the festival, which often come with free cocktails. Good food and free drinks; what’s not to love?
Born out of the former Blankets and Wine Festival that focused on African music, the Africa Nouveau Festival is bigger and better than its predecessor. Aiming to build on the celebration of African art, this new festival includes visual arts, fashion and food, as well as its original musical line ups. Held over a weekend in February, check out this celebration of Afro-art in Nairobi.
When it comes to local cuisine, nothing is more quintessentially Kenyan than ugali. Made using maize flour that is boiled until it forms a dough-like consistency, ugali is somewhat similar to polenta. Eaten as a bread substitute and served with everything from bean soup to curry, pick up some ugali at Mama Oliech’s Restaurant in Nairobi.
The ultimate in Kenyan comfort food, nyama choma is one of the most-celebrated dishes in Kenya. This roasted meat dish is typically made using goat, which is marinated and slow-roasted until tender. Typically served during festivals and celebrations, you can try this tasty dish at Njuguna’s Place in Nairobi.
If you love street food, you can’t go past chips mayai. This fried omelette is made using only two ingredients: eggs and French fries. One of the most popular snacks in Kenya, you’ll find street vendors selling this all over Nairobi. But be warned: it’s impossible to just stop at one.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll fall in love with mandazi. These rich, East African doughnuts have a coconut milk base, and are flavoured with cardamom and coconut flakes. A favourite with all Kenyans, you’ll find street vendors selling mandazi all over across Nairobi, but we like how they make them at Mama Oliech’s.