Today you can learn so much more about Kenyan and East African culture and history, beginning at the Nairobi National Museum. The museum’s permanent collection is entered via the Hall of Kenya, with some ethnological exhibits, such as the extraordinary Kalenjin cloak made from the skins of Sykes monkeys, and a mosaic map of Kenya made from the country’s butterflies. Beyond this hall is the spectacular Birds of East Africa exhibit, the Great Hall of Mammals, the Cradle of Humankind exhibition, and the Hominid Skull Room. Upstairs, the History of Kenya display is an engaging journey through Kenyan and East African history. Well presented and well documented, it offers a refreshingly Kenyan counterpoint to colonial historiographies. From the museum, it’s a short walk to Snake Park, where you’ll take a tour with one of the local volunteer guides.
If you didn’t visit it on your day of arrival, after lunch you’ll head out to the Karen Blixen Museum. The house was built in 1912 by Swedish Engineer Ake Sjogren, and was bought by Karen and her husband in 1917. Their marriage failed, but Karen lived in this house until 1931, when she returned to Denmark. Learn more about her life and work at this museum.