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Nairobi Carnival, Kenya

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Ouro Preto Carnival, Brazil

 

What is Nairobi Carnival?

Nairobi Carnival or Nairobi Mardi Gras is a wonderful carnival-style initiative that started in 2019. The first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Kenya is not necessarily carnivals, but yes, the Kenya Carnival is a reality and has been the result of a recent project by Sphere Modeling Group, a modeling agency led by the Sammy and Nhia Muriuki.

The aim of the Mardi Gras in Nairobi is toennoble African culture, involving a fun, but glamorous theme of carnivals. This has been one of the biggest creative initiatives with respect to carnival festivities, as the African country is not particularly famous for holding carnivals. Due to the nature of the organization that carried out the project, the ec Carnival aesthetic is impeccable in terms of design, featuring innovative and highly eye-catching garments.

 

 

Nairobi Carnival is a revolution of color and freedom of expression, but it can’t all be beauty and style. The organization also offers some wonderful shows with live music to close the party with a flourish. During the days of celebration there are theme parties that will keep you entertained all night long.

This celebration is definitely one of the best ways to exalt and commemorate African culture in a modern and glamorous way. The celebration plans to consolidate in the future so that theMardi Gras celebration will be a point of tourist reference for the capital of the country to the east of the African continent..

 

Nairobi's Mardi Gras is an innovative new project that blends fashion and culture

Nairobi’s Mardi Gras is an innovative new project that blends fashion and culture

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When is the Nairobi Carnival?

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Nairobi African Carnival is held during Mashujaa Day, also known as Heroes’ Day. National Heroes’ Day is a commemoration of national heroes in different countries. Generally, these are held on the birthday of a national hero. Individuals can be recognized as heroes if they have contributed significantly to the country’s history and culture.

In Kenya, this day is called Mashujaa Day and is a national day celebrated on October 20 as a public holiday to collectively honor all those who contributed to the struggle forKenya’s independence.

TheKenya African Mardi Gras is held for two days, the last day being August 20, as it is considered a public holiday and no activities take place.

 

 

History of the Nairobi Carnivals

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Carnivals are an originally European celebration that managed to spread across the continent quickly. At first, the festivities were an exhaust valve for the population, an escape from everyday life. Moreover, it was the season for fun, sin and unbridled debauchery, so some authorities, especially the religious, did not agree with the practice, banning and censoring it with great determination.

Despite this, the church ended up absorbing the festival, integrating it into their religious calendars, which is why it is usually celebrated just before the celebration of Lent. When the colonization of the various continents by Europeans began, religious festivals were imposed on the native populations, a process that led to a syncretism of cultures and traditions between the Europeans, natives and African slaves..



Today, most predominantly Catholic countries celebrate carnivals before Lent, boasting incredibly colorful celebrations, full of costumes, masks and food. Some countries acquired carnivals as a vehicle to generateeconomic and tourist activity within their country, city or region, not as a religious imposition implemented during the process of colonization centuries ago. That is why some nations celebratecarnival festivals or carnival-type celebrations during periods of the year, whether spring, summer, winter or autumn. In addition, it has functioned as a vehicle for the expression of identity and culture.

Nairobi African Carnival or Nairobi African Mardi Gras emerged as an alternative carnival held in late October. These celebrations are held to extol the identity, traditions, art and culture of Africa through carnival festivities. This project is extremely recent, so it is still taking its first steps to consolidate itself as a national tourist attraction. The first edition of the event was held in 2019 and they hope to prolong the event and keep it as a tourist attraction.

 

Where is the Nairobi Carnival

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The African Carnival celebration is held in the capital of Kenya, Nairobi. Thecity of Nairobi has a total area of 696 square kilometers where some 4,397,000 people live.

You may not know it, but Kenya is one of the most innovative countries in Africa in several areas. Kenya was one of the first countries in Africa to ban the use of plastic bags, including Ziploc and duty free bags. In addition, the country is recognized for being the home country of several world record-holding athletes, such as David Lekuta Rudisha.

 

Nairobi Mardi Gras is a celebration that commemorates African beauty and culture

Nairobi Mardi Gras is a celebration that commemorates African beauty and culture

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How Nairobi Carnival is celebrated

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The Nairobi African Carnival is a very recent celebration, but with clear objectives. The organization seeks to providespaces of expression to the various people who want to make known all the wonderful culture that the African continent wishes to express. The Nairobi African Mardi Gras celebrates the identity of the African people through art and fashion. In addition, it features good entertainment to keep everyone in a state of joy throughout the celebration.

As one of the themes of the carnival is the use of fashion and the various glamorous elements, the carnival has also incorporated various elements that are related to thefashion industry. In addition, the essence of the festivities cannot be left aside, so it also features celebrations and activities of the carnival festivities such as the parades and the entertainment characteristic of the carnival.

 

Tips for going to the Nairobi Carnivals

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The Nairobi African Carnival is a very recent celebration, but with clear objectives. The organization seeks to provide spaces of expression to the various people who want to make known all the wonderful culture that the African continent wants to express. The Nairobi African Mardi Gras celebrates the identity of the African people through art and fashion. It also has good entertainment to keep everyone in a state of joy throughout the celebration.

 

 

As one of the themes of the carnival is the use of fashion and various glamorous elements, the carnival has also incorporated various elements that are related to the fashion industry. In addition, the essence of the festivities cannot be left aside, so it also has celebrations and activities of the carnival festivities such as parades and entertainment characteristic of the carnival.

 

Events at Nairobi Carnival

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Nairobi’s African Mardi Gras features major events happening from start to finish. The events that take place are of various genres and range from parade or red carpet themed events, parades and live music concerts with great musical personalities throughout the region.

 

Carnival Parade

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The parade is the opening ceremony of the carnivals and takes place at 12 noon.

 

Parade Opening and Red Carpet Parade

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Once it is 6 pm, the organization allows access to the festival grounds for a smallred carpet style parade where the various designs will be unveiled. These dresses have a carnival theme, but the haute couture and modern elements that seek to publicize the African cultural elements are maintained.

 

Show

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From 8 pm, the shows and musical performances begin to take place. Previously, the carnival has had the presence of Masautiy Khaligraph Jones, artists from Kenya. In this way, the organization provides spaces for the different characters of the artistic world, not only fashion, but also musical.

 

Prices

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The entrance to the event has a modest price per admission ticket; however, the organization has arranged various packages and promotions with which it allows the population to be part of the event. In addition, it encourages the participation of people so that the event becomes much better known at national level.

 

Student ticket

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Students pay 300 Kenyan shillings, which is equivalent to just over US$2.

 

Package for 10 or more students

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The entry promotion for groups of 10 students or more isKenyan Shillings 2,800, which is equivalent to US$26.

 

 

Advance Price Admission

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For people who can’t stand the excitement and want to purchase their tickets days before the event, admission is available for 1Kenyan shillings, just over US$9.

 

Day-of-event ticket

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If you wish to purchase the ticket on the day of the event, it costs 1,500 Kenyan shillings, the equivalent of US$14.

 

Couples Ticket Package

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For couples who want to attend the event together, the organization is offering the two-ticket combo for 3,500 Kenyan shillings, which would come to just over US$32.

 

VIP ticket

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For those who wish to enjoy all the exclusive services the organization has to offer, the price is Kenyan Shillings 2,000, which translates to just over US$18 per ticket.

 

Venue of the event

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The event takes place at Diamon Plaza 2.

 

People wear colorful garments for Nairobi Mardi Gras

People wear colorful garments for Nairobi Mardi Gras

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Nairobi Carnival Parades

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The parade starts at noon and sees a good number of participants wearing different garments. Some of these garments have feathers of various colors or unique themed designs. The revelers take to the streets with great fanfare, dancing and blowing whistles to let everyone know they have arrived. In addition, a fewmusic trucks are available for the participants to celebrate and dance.

The parade is still very small and they count on the participation of a few dozen people; however, they take the streets with great joy and excitement. Some walk carrying the Kenyan flag, while others put their ingenuity to use and cross the streets on roller skates.

 

Parade route

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Nairobi Carnival Parade starts at City Park and ends at Diamond Plaza 2

Nairobi Carnival Parade starts at City Park and ends at Diamond Plaza 2

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The parade starts at City Park to make its way along City Park Road. It continues until it reaches Limuru Road, crosses to the right and then to the left for entrance to Fifth Parklands Avenue. The parade continues uphill until it reaches the seventh intersection on the left. Then go down Pramukh Swami Avenue, continuing for 3 blocks until you reach Diamond Plaza II.

City Park in a 91-acre zoological garden and has been formally declared a public park in 1925. Some areas of the park had been encroached upon, but the government was able to reclaim the spaces and made it a protected area.

The park has a large amount of green areas that serve as a refuge for all people seeking a moment of peace in the hectic city of Nairobi. In addition, the park offers space for citizens to have picnics or use the areas for collective recreation.

 

The Mandazi are small traditional Kenyan donuts

The Mandazi are small traditional Kenyan donuts

 

What to eat at the Nairobi Carnival

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Nairobi African Carnivals are also the perfect opportunity for you to sample the country’s traditional food. The capital of Kenya offers a wide variety of dishes that have deeply rooted in the identity of the nation. In addition, they have also managed to integrate some neighboring dishes including their personal touch, turning them into fusion food dishes.

One of the dishes you can get in Nairobi is the Mandazi. The Mandazi is a small traditional doughnut made with flour, coconut milk, sugar, eggs, water and spices such as cardamom and cinnamon. Once a homogeneous mixture is obtained, it is fried in abundant oil and covered with powdered sugar.

Despite not being traditional food of the country, it is quite common to come across Samosas, either in street food in every corner of the city or in a restaurant. Samosas are a spice of small triangular buns of crunchy and delicious dough filled with a mixture of spices, vegetables, tubers, chilies and fresh herbs.

In addition, the city offers a wide variety of places to visit to expand your knowledge of national dishes. Some of the best-known places are: The Lord Erroll, Tamarind Restaurant, Hashmi Barbeque, CJ’s, Honey & Dough Gourmet Café, Harvest Restaurant, The Talisman Restaurant, Mercado – Mexican Kitchen and Bar, Tamambo Karen Blixen and Fogo Gaucho..

 

Samosas have become a street food alternative in Nairobi

Samosas have become a street food alternative in Nairobi

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Travel Insurance

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From Carnavalesdelmundo.org we recommend hiring a good insurance to visit this carnival and know the rest of the country. For being our readers we offer a 5% discount on all IATI insurances. Read more information about all insurance offers here:

 

 

What to see and do inside the Nairobi Carnival

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Once you’re at the carnivals, you can participate in the small parade that takes place at 12 noon in City Park. Once the parade is over, you can enter the grounds at 6 p.m. to attend the red carpet ceremony in the various costumes and garments. Finally, you can attend the musical events that begin at 8 p.m. and end in the early morning of the following day.

If you don’t want to complicate things, here you can book interesting excursions in Spanish in this city:.

Guided tours in Spanish around the world

 

What to see and do outside the Nairobi Carnivals

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Some of the attractions you can find in the city of Nairobi and its adjacencies are:

 

Nairobi National Park

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It is a national park established in 1946. The park is located about 7 kilometers south of the country’s capital. The entire park has a total area of 117 square kilometers and in its jurisdiction you can find baboons, zebras, cheetahs, lions, vultures, giraffes, ostriches, gazelles and hippos. In addition, you can find a lot of national flora in the enclosure.

 

Karura Forest

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This is one of the most important forests in the city and the country. It is currently managed by the Kenya Forest Service. The entire forest is about 2,570 acres in size. It is currently under a preservation program, but tourists are still welcome as it has attractions especially for tourists consisting basically of walking and hiking trails.

 

Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

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It is an organization founded in 1977 that has implemented a program of rehabilitation and rescue of orphaned elephants to integrate them back into the wild. The elephants under the organization’s care are the result of poaching and human conflicts with their natural habitat.

The institution allows people to adopt an elephant, which they will monitor and keep the adopter constantly updated. This adoption is a symbolic action; the animal does not leave the country or the facilities while it is still undergoing rehabilitation.

In addition, visits to the enclosure, which is located in the Nairobi National Park, are available for a small fee of US$7. There is also a gift store on the premises and during your visit you can also “adopt” the elephant of your choice. You can also adopt a giraffe or rhinos that are also part of the rehabilitation program.

 

Giraffe Centre

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This is a shelter to protect giraffes, which are in danger of extinction. The enclosure was founded in 1970 and is located 20 kilometers from the center of Nairobi, capital of Kenya. When you enter the enclosure, you have the opportunity to bond with the animals, so you can feed them during your visit. In addition, they also have wild boars that walk freely around the enclosure.

Also if you want to visit museums and important buildings in this city we recommend that you book your ticket in advance through Tiquets: .

Book tickets in the city you are visiting

 

Safety at Nairobi Carnivals

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The city of Nairobi is relatively safe during the day. However, we recommend that you stay safe at night, as there have been reports of robberies, muggings and pickpocketing, especially in the more touristy areas of the city. Also, avoid going out to places if you are alone, it is better to be accompanied by a friend, family member or local.

Remember to be aware of what is going on around you, keep your personal belongings in a safe place or in your hotel room or simply leave them at home if possible. Also, if you manage to identify any kind of suspicious activity, do not hesitate to contact the police or the security regulatory body in the capital.

Also, we recommend the following products to store your items safely:

 

 

Weather at Nairobi Carnival

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During the African Mardi Gras celebration, the weather in the city of Nairobi is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 15 to 26 degrees Celsius.

 

At the African Carnival in Nairobi, men also wear designer clothes

At the African Carnival in Nairobi, men also wear designer clothes

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How to get to the Nairobi Carnivals

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How to get there by plane

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The closest airport with the best connectivity to the city of Nairobi is the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, which receives a good amount from neighboring countries, Europe and Asia. Once here, you can use the various means of transport to reach the city center.

You also have the Wilson Airport, which is much smaller and receives domestic flights, but is a few kilometers closer than Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

We recommend buying airline tickets through Kiwi.com or Skyscanner where they are usually cheaper. More information on this link to review Kiwi.com..

 

How to get there by train

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You can access the city of Nairobi through the train station if you are coming from Mombasa, another of the cities in Kenyan territory.

 

How to get there by bus

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From Jomo Kenyatta International Airport you can take a bus to the city center. The journey takes 30 minutes.

 

How to get there by car

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From the airport you can take Mombasa Street to the city center. The journey takes 25 minutes.

If you take a cab, the taxi fare ranges from US$40 to US$50.

 

Where to stay at Nairobi Carnival

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Booking.com

 

ibis Styles – Nairobi, Westlands

3 star hotel 3.9 km from Nairobi city center. Rooms feature TV, sitting area, desk and private bathroom. The hotel offers airport transfers, fitness center, bar, restaurant, parking and free wifi.

 

Ole Sereni

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4-star hotel 4.7 km from Nairobi city center. Rooms feature TV and private bathroom with toiletries. The hotel has a swimming pool, gym, airport transfers, bar and free wifi.

 

The Concord Hotel & Suites

5-star hotel 4.3 km from Nairobi city center. Rooms feature air-conditioning, satellite TV, desk and private bathroom with basic toiletries. The hotel has a bar, fitness center, airport transfers, swimming pool, parking and free wifi.

We recommend you use Booking.com to book hotels at a good price, check more information here:.



 

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