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Famous city sites for domestic tourists

Visits to the city still elicit excitement in people from other counties.

From school children on educational tours to adults attending workshops, retreats or just visiting relatives, excitement remains palpable in these groups as they move around Nairobi.

There would be loud chatter of where to visit first, or as happens all the time with children, arms will be outstretched through the window pointing at one site or something they view out of the ordinary.

Taking photos

Uhuru Park somehow still tops the list of recreational areas many such groups find worthy of visiting.

“There are no such places in Western so when I visit my family in the city, we all come here and spend the day passing time. What I enjoy most are the boat rides,” said Nerima Wekesa.

A photographer at Uhuru Park said these out-of-town visitors sometimes come with unusual requests.

“One asked me if I could help him and his family up the monument with the arm. They were to all hold onto it at the same time for the picture. It was very difficult to explain to them that their request was impossible. What will the county askaris say if they find us in such a situation? In the end, I advised them to sit on the steps in a certain formation and everyone went away happy,” said Michael Owino.

You will find some taking photos of each other squatting against the short bushes or beside trees holding bougainvillea flowers, taking boat rides and at the children’s fanfare then ending the day with a picnic at the park.

Photographers offer opportunities to create illusions of one leaning against or sitting on top of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) skycrapper.

For Nairobi residents, it is not unusual to be stuck in traffic alongside buses or matatus filled with children from upcountry or some walking in the CBD following a guide while tripping over themselves as they stare at something.

“I was fortunate enough to be walking behind a big group last August. You would hear loud wonders as they stared at the tall buildings and the countless cars. There was one boy who was drawing as they went by, probably not to forget what he had seen,” said Cecilia who works at Kimathi House on Kimathi Street.

She added that it was refreshing to listen to the children’s accounts of the city despite her everyday trips to work in the CBD.

Village barazas

There are other areas that are always on the list. Groups usually pass by Nation Center, then head on to KICC and Parliament, head to Uhuru Park, take a bus ride to Kenyatta National Hospital then head to the National Park on Lang’ata Road. Some go to the Bomas of Kenya and the Museum.

For those blessed with built in camera phones, this is usually the perfect first step in creating their image and portfolio as an intellect with all the knowledge and information about the city.

In his mind, he already sees himself at a baraza narrating to fellow villagers of mystical reasons why the colour cream was used on the walls outside Parliament and the National flags flying Mzeee Jomo Kenyatta’s mausoleum.