Fancy hugging an elephant orphan, getting licked by a giraffe or satisfying your carnivorous cravings in a place where vegetables are almost forbidden then spend some time in Kenya's capital Nairobi as part of a Kenya safari vacation package.
In the days of the great white hunters and Hollywood-style safaris Nairobi was the prologue of all safaris, but the advice to travellers today is to head out into the game parks and spend as little time as possible in the city. Unflattering names have been coined to add to the uncertainty and need for rapid movement out of the city limits.
But is it necessary to hit the ground running out of the city as soon as the flight touches down in Nairobi and what attractions are there in the city to tempt visitors to spend a night of their precious safari vacation time?
Kenya is the birthplace of the African safari and as such plays a leading role in cinema and literature with classics such as Out of Africa playing out on the landscapes of the country - and Nairobi is the beginning and end of most adventures to Kenya with hotel names that echo the legend.
There are several hotels, some modern chic and some traditional, that grace the city and provide a wide range of options to choose from when selecting a Kenya safari vacation package:
The Nairobi National Park on the outskirts of the city provides for an introduction into the wildlife of Kenya. Small in comparison to other game parks in Kenya, Nairobi National Park nevertheless compares favourably in the wildlife experience with buffalo, rhino and even lions to be seen in the park.
Read more about Nairobi National Park
The Daphne Sheldrick Wildlife Orphanage is located on the edge of the park. It is here where orphaned elephants and rhinos are rehabilitated to be returned to the wild. The animals are orphans of poaching, drought and other natural disasters. Each animal has a handler who fosters them as a mother, even sleeping with them at night where necessary.
The Giraffe Centre is another place where animals are cared for in order to reintroduce into the wild. Here the Rothschild giraffe, a rare and beautifully marked sub-species of giraffe, is bred for the parks of Kenya. Lake Nakuru National Park is the main custodian of these endangered animals.
Karen Blixen is a name widely associated with Kenya and Nairobi and the Karen Blixen Museum is a big attraction for visitors wanting to learn more of the history of the country and the times of the early settlers in Kenya.
No place can truthfully market itself as a safari vacation destination without providing for the palates of the people it is trying to entice, and Nairobi exceeds expectations in this regard. Whatever it is a palate craves Nairobi has, from chic to traditional, with a dash of traditional chic thrown in.
One of the world's most famous restaurants is found in downtown Nairobi: "The Carnivore". Here a person's craving to dine only on meat, as our distant ancestors did, is more than catered for. In fact the only vegetables to be seen are in miniscule portions that are brought to the tables and left to recoil and wither at the medieval scenes of skewers of meat carried around the restaurant.
There are a number of other fine establishments in the city. Each hotel boasts a culinary experience but there are a number of great places to dine that are independent of the hotels. The choice is varied and almost any taste is catered for.
Forget the advice to get out of Nairobi as quickly as possible when choosing a Kenya safari vacation package, rather look to spending a little time in getting to know the city and all its attractions. It is truly one of the African continents most intriguing capitals.