Friday, 22 April 2016

The Nairobi National Museum

If you love a story behind everything you come across like me, the Nairobi National Museum is your place to go. I have gone to this place severally and I always look forward to visiting. It is not what I see but more of the experience I get and the people I meet every time I visit that makes each visit a unique one. Nairobi National Museum is located near Nairobi CBD, I would say the only one within the city of Nairobi. It is not very big so you do not have to worry about spending too much time exploring , but it sure is interesting, if you want to learn more about the culture and history of the Kenyan people, this is one place that should be on your list when visiting Kenya. It is easily accessible by public transport, you can also hire a taxi if you prefer.

What to expect at the museum:

Preserved animals and birds
The museum has a collection of preserved animals and birds of Kenya some of them extinct or endangered species. You can easily go through the history accompanying the displays or you can make use of the guides who are readily available, I prefer having a guide, they make each display come alive in their explanation plus you get to learn more on the sides. There is also more information on what the government is doing to preserve the endangered species, all you have to do is ask .

An elaborate history of Kenya and its people.

This is my best part, yes I am Kenyan by birth I have lived in Kenya as long as I can remember, but I never tire of hearing about the history of my people, it is always interesting. Kenya is a nation of over 42 indigenous groups (tribes) each very distinct in their own cultures but closely related with each other in one way or another. I am proud to be associated with this diversity in culture that is so united in harmony. The arts and crafts from these cultures portray the ancient talent passed over from one generation to the other occasionally marked with a spark of modernization here and there. You will find some of these displayed in the shops nearby, a good souvenir not to miss. I always find something to carry home as the artists surprise me with their creativity every time I visit. 

A snake park
The snake park is an extension of the museum. It does have a few variety of snakes,you will also find a display of different kind of fish, tortoise, snails and crocodiles. I find this quite amazing considering it is within a big city like Nairobi. I am not a fan of snakes so you will understand why I skip this part of excitement, if you love snakes and reptiles them I would recommend that you do not miss out on this one, you will love it.

Artwork
The artwork here is amazing.You will find most of it displayed outside the Nairobi National Museum, some of it for sale so grap one if you love it, the rest is within the museum for display only. Occasionally the museum is used as a expo center to show case various artists and their artwork, you may be lucky to visit on one of these rare exciting occasions. The artwork ranges from functional to aesthetic, you may find a nice piece of cloth or  a perfect shoe mostly sandals which are lovingly handmade. You never go back home without one of these, the Maasai Shukas are also available, they range in prices according to density. I have like four or five of them myself and I find them very useful on long haul flights to keep away the cold. They are easily portable and warm, they also come in a variety of colors, you will be spoiled for color.

Guides
What I like best about the Nairobi National Museum is the presence of museum guides who are very friendly, informative and eager to answer all the questions that you may have. If you get to visit the museum,take advantage of the guides and learn as much as you can. Do not be afraid to ask for any information you need to know about the city of Nairobi, how to get around, the convenient mode of transport and where you can get nice relatively cheap food in town. These guides seem to know almost every corner of the city on top of their work at the museum, it is expected, after all they live here.

Archaeological exhibits
Nairobi National Museum has some archaeological exhibits from around the area that you may find very interesting, each of the exhibits has a history behind it. Take your time to learn more about them, they will give you an insight to the history of Kenya and what the Kenyan people treasure and hold close to their hearts. You will also get to learn the history of mankind, remember the evidence of history of mankind and evolution was discovered in Kenya dating back to 7 million years ago.  The museum guides will be more than ready to answer any of your questions about the cradle of mankind 
which provides a great wealth of information regarding early human physiology than anywhere in the world.

School children
It is expected, the Nairobi National Museum being a custodian of the Kenyan History, many schools bring students here to learn about their culture, history as well as the animal and bird species of Kenya. They are numerous in their numbers during weekdays, I highly recommend weekends for visits, the students are minimal and of course you will have the full attention of the guides and you can take all the time you want in each station without feeling hurried along.

If you are in Nairobi, do not feel bored out, get yourself around the Nairobi National Museum and have the best that this place can offer.Works  for those on transit for long hours at Jomo Kenyatta International airport too, all you need to do is organize for your transit visa if you need one. You have no excuse to miss out on this one, get exploring!



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