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Demographics - Nairobi
Nairobi Town
Sites to See | Where to Stay | Map
 
This is a surprising province, especially to anyone whose ideas of Africa revolve around the tropical jungle. Nairobi's skyscrapers soar white and dazzling as a mirage out of the surrounding Athi Plains. Its avenues are adorned with statues and lined with great stretches of riotously coloured bougainvilleas. The suburbs, are alive with Hibiscus, Oleanders and glorious blue flowering Jacaranda trees. The pleasant climate has had a lot to do with Nairobi's booming success. Being 5,000 ft up, the nights are cool, while during the day the sun is warm, but the humidity is low.

The headquarters of the province are known by the same name - Nairobi - which is the largest capital city of Kenya and the seat of the government. The city has grown from a settlement which started in June 1899, when the then railway line which the British had started to build from Mombasa, in 1896 reached its present site. The site formed a naturally convenient railhead from whence to start the arduous ascent into the Rift Valley enroute to Port Florence (Kisumu) from where a steamer connection would reach Uganda, the destination.

In July 1899, the small village became not only the railway headquarters for the IBEA Co. but also the government administrative headquarters for the British administration of the vast area between Mombasa and Uganda. From this humble beginning as a railway administrative centre, it has grown to be the commercial, financial, industrial, medical, collecting, distributive and political hub for Kenya. It lies 139 km (87 miles) south of the Equator and 480 km (300 miles) west of the Indian Ocean.

Like New York, the city centre is constantly renewing itself. Side by side you can see all the stages of its hustling growth since it was a railway construction camp, a pioneers' town. In 1902 the famous wildlife authority, Colonel Meinertzhagen recorded in his diary - 'The only shop is a small tin hut which sells everything ... The only hotel here is a wood and tin shanty. It stands in the only "street".' Today Nairobi is a metropolis of modern architecture with many internationally recognised hotels. The tallest building is the Times Tower soaring to 300 m high, seconded by the Kenyatta International Conference Centre rising to 270 m high.

Apart from visitors, hardly anyone lives in central Nairobi, though almost everyone works there. They live in the suburbs, thus giving the city at least two rush-hours a day - in the morning and the evening. A majority of Nairobians prefer to have lunch in the centre.

Being the main city, some of the major infrastructural facilities are found here with the largest airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, being found here. Most of the foreign embassies are also to be found here. See Diplomatic Representation for more details. Again most of the tour operating companies you might use on your tours of the country will very likely have their bases here.
Quick Facts
Land Area Of The Province
696 Sq. km.
Sites to Visit
Nairobi Landscapes
Rating by Popularity
Road Network Situation:
Being the capital city, Nairobi has a relatively good road network
Cultural Diversity:
Varied
Total Population (1999 census):
2,143,254 people
Climatic condition:
February and March are the warmest (46oC mean maximum temperature) but the relative humidity of 75% makes one think April and November are the hottest. July to mid-December is the coolest.
Consuls:
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Britain, Greece, India, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. See more at Diplomatic Representation
Main Staple Food:
Diverse

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