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7 top locations in Nairobi to get your knowledge fix

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Finding Knowledge does not have to be a repeat of mundane routines and hours of sitting down and gazing at white volumes laden with ink.

While Nairobi holds a plethora of fun locations for revelers to enjoy a perfect night out, the city also provides a surfeit of alternatives for those looking to find a fun spot to soak in loads of information while enjoying serenity and beauty all as they marinade on the city’s rich historic culture.

Sounds pretty chic, right? Yeah, we are pretty soaked about it!

That’s why, to make sure you are making the most of your time, we’ve compiled some of the top five most exciting opportunities and spots to go out there and enjoy all the fun and knowledge the City has to offer.

1. Let’s dig the archives first

National Archives

Situated in a majestic building located right at the heart of the city and housing the Murumbi Gallery, that comprises momentous age old African artifacts, The National Archives is just the ideal place to get your knowledge fix. Equipped with about 40,000 volumes all organized in proper records. You will be afforded a library for research while you get to enjoy the services of the ever so friendly staff to help you find your way around the huge establishment.

2. For the love of history and arts

The National Museum is one of the most treasured spot for knowledge hunting. Whether you are in for the wonderful art exhibitions, or a knowledge enthusiast who would love to know everything about anything, The National Museum of Kenya offers not only historic relics and treasures but is also known to occasionally bring together art galleries featuring works from prominent, contemporary international and local artists. Be sure to check out the Louis Leakey auditorium known to host matchless concerts and a barrage of classical and jazz music every so often.

3. Let’s get tech

iHub

Situated along Ngong road, approximately 8km from the city center, iHub is renowned as a nexus for the tech savvy. This open space on the fourth floor of the Bishop Magua Center provides a platform for technologists, investors, tech companies, IT students and hackers in Nairobi. Take advantage of the great opportunities to meet impressive mentors and nature your entrepreneurial ideas with plenty of the possibility to receive funding for your ideas.

Okay, maybe you are just looking for a quiet elegant place to finish up those assignments and maybe do some deep research, worry not, as this tech center lets you enjoy fast internet connectivity, a coffee bar and some sleek sitting areas. iHub offers a variety of great deals for the modern student. So now you can finish up on those overdue term papers while you sip on some coffee cupped with a quaint view of the city.

4. Shopping and knowledge

Though very few would expect to gain any knowledge or learn any fascinating fact from a shopping mall, to the artsy-minded and the fashion aficionados, shopping malls are almost akin to a modern library.

Nairobi boasts several excellent shopping malls. For those wanting to luxuriate in a spend spree or those studying the Arts, fashion and designs, shopping Malls provide not only a cathartic getaway but a serious avenue to build on your expertise and know-how. Having transformed from the days when the biggest shopping mall was three  supermarkets in the neighborhoods now we have four storied mall complexes complete with elevators and escalators some operating on a 24-hour basis and mega malls that occupy huge spaces. You can devour your current read over a cup of coffee in one of the many cafés as the background buzz of the shopping mall provides the perfect environment.

5. Picnic and a notebook

Tucked away in the Kileleshwa area of Nairobi the arboretum is only 10 minutes away from the city center. Providing just the ideal place to soak in the beauty of nature while you enjoy a picnic lunch or, for the nerdy ones,  make a personal challenge to identify the over 350 indigenous and exotic species of trees found in the park.

Though famed as a picnic paradise and widely known for the number of picnic spots it harbors, the Nairobi Arboretum also holds a rich historic value. This magnificent haven was initially planned to provide trees to help fuel the voracious appetites of the steam-powered engine but now the park has grown into a huge national tree reserve. Founded in 1907 as an experiment by the then Kenya-Uganda Railway to see if faster growing foreign soft woods could flourish there.

6. A pen in hand and a trail to explore

Located only 20km from the city center and concealed in the quiet serene Karen area is the Oloolua Nature trail. Whether you are out for a gentle rumble, feeling fit and ready for a mountain bike ride or maybe just looking for a hide away to finish R.R. Martin’s sequel in a sitting, you will definitely love this hidden gem. The trail is well hidden within an indigenous dry tropical forest, trailed by Mbagathi River which marks the boundary between two provinces (Nairobi and Rift Valley) it is pretty cool that a boundary is marked on the river so that you can set one foot on Nairobi and the other in Rift Valley.

Besides hosting a mini bamboo forest, waterfalls, and caves, this serene setting is the home of the Institute of Primate Research (IPR) providing loads of opportunity to get you facts down for your research. Be sure to carry your flash light as the caves have a myriad of underground 33 meters caverns rumored to have housed the Mau Mau during the colonial period. There are guides around for those in need of a detailed show of the exquisite environment and history.

7. A creative’s paradise

pawa space

For the extremely creative journo and arts junkies, the Pawa 254 is the place to be. This open space provides room to explore visual and graphic arts, independent and citizen journalism, documentary film and photography, digital and social media.  In addition to these offing, there are occasional music workshops and local book launches. Maybe you can even get to engage in activities for social change.

By Charles Okinyo

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