Nairobi, a city of 4.4 million (2019) on the Nairobi River. It is the political, financial and media capital of Kenya, and a transit point that most travellers to Kenya will pass through. Nairobi is the largest and fastest growing city in Kenya, and one of the largest cities in Africa. It is worth taking a few days to experience this bustling metropolis.
The word Nairobi is derived from a water hole known in Maasai as Enkare Nyorobi, which means "cool waters". Nairobi, which had been a swamp area, was founded in 1899 as a railway camp for the Uganda Railway. By 1905, the city had become the capital of Kenya (then the British East Africa Protectorate), supplanting Mombasa and Machakos, the previous capitals. With the spread of plagues in the early 1900s, the town was burnt down and had to be rebuilt. Having a railway helped it to grow rapidly, becoming the second largest city in Kenya behind Mombasa. Nairobi also grew due to administration and tourism businesses (mostly big game hunting).