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Festive mood hits city spots

Arts and Culture
 Safari Cat Dancers and acrobats. (Courtesy)

It’s Christmas, and the destination of choice for 2024, Nairobi, the ‘green city in the sun’, is in a festive mood. There is feverish activity, and shopping malls hotels, entertainment spots and streets are alive with the energy and joy of the holiday season.

The shopping spree, holiday bookings rush, dinner party celebrations and the aura of joy are electrifying. Christmas tree lighting is the biggest event to attend and Christmas carols have turned the city into one big cathedral.

But here is even better news. Nairobi not only beat Paris for the ‘Best in Travel 2024’ slot in the world, but also other globally acclaimed cities such as Montreal in Canada, Philadelphia and Kansas, both in the US and Jakarta, Indonesia for this prestigious honours.

And what timing the verdict by Lonely Planet is when institutions and the government have staged celebrations for over two weeks as the world faces Kenya.

The Safari Park Hotel, known worldwide not only for culinary delights, but also for the internationally celebrated Safari Cat Dancers and acrobats has taken the cue with a bang.

“Prepare to be carried away by the enchantment of music, dance, and comedy. We have invited renowned artistes to grace our stage on Christmas eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s eve. Embrace the spirit of the Africa Paradise and indulge in our extraordinary festive packages, expertly designed to ensure your stay is booming with joy and unforgettable memories,” said Japhlet Kimathi, an official during the unveil.

The establishment has gone all out to offer the best Nairobi can in terms of artistes’ performances with a list comprising celebrated stars and groups like Sammy Irungu, Alice Kimanzi, Safari Voices International Choir, Safari Cats Dancers and Acrobats.

The hotel’s biggest attraction has been its blend of stylish elegant African architecture, sparkling water gardens and an inland beach.

At the Sarova Stanley Hotel, an elaborate celebration to kick off the festivity season took place last week as guests bid farewell to the third generation of the ‘Thorn Tree’, ready to usher in the fourth generation that stands tall at the bistros pavement of the establishment.

The thorn tree has been the highlight of the Sarova Stanley Hotel and a tourist attraction at the hotel that was established in 1902.  

“We are excited that you could join us today for this auspicious occasion as we prepare to usher in the fourth generation of the hotel’s ‘Thorn Tree’. The first towering acacia tree was planted into the hotel’s design in 1958.

There stood a majestic thorny tree making the spot a landmark in the young growing city. It was on this tree’s trunk that residents and tourists alike would post small messages for each other,” said Duncan Mwangi, Operations Manager Sarova Stanley.

“It was a connecting point where travellers from near and far would leave notes found by lovers, family or friends hours, days, months or even years later. We are glad to be lighting it up this Christmas in celebration fashion. Legend purports that the ‘Thorn Tree Café’ became a makeshift post box for travellers who left mail pinned onto its trunk,” he said.

Ole Sereni, the city hotel by the park, last week hosted a special cake sampling for guests and media as it kicked off its festivities campaign. 

The Carnivore Restaurant, which is traditionally known for its meat, has also reported big numbers as the season gets to its peak.

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