If you are looking for things to do in Nairobi, look no further. We have careful compiled a list of things to do when you are in this vibrant Kenyan city.
Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya. It is the largest city in the country. Nairobi originates from the Maasai phrase “Enkare Nyorobi” which means “place of cool waters”. This is about the Nairobi River which is at the center of the city. Nairobi city is commonly known as the green city in the sun.
Nairobi was originated in 1899 by the colonial administration in British East Africa. It was used as the main terminus for Kenya- Uganda Railway. This made it so popular and ousted Mombasa as the capital of Kenya in 1907. During the period of the colonial era, the city became the epitome of the colony’s coffee, tea and sisal industries. This city is located on the south-central side of Kenya, at an elevation of 1795 meters or 5889 ft.
Nairobi hosts the Kenyan Parliament Buildings. It is the home to many Kenyan businesses and more than one hundred major international companies and organizations such as the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP or the UN Environment), and the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON). Nairobi is an accredited business hub that is also very rich in culture. The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) is among the biggest in Africa and the second oldest exchange in Africa. It is number four concerning the trading volume, with the capability of producing ten million trades in a day. Nairobi also hosts Nairobi National Park which has a huge game reserve. Some of the most fascinating places to visit and have a memorable event in Nairobi are;
Our list of Things to do in Nairobi
Giraffes are one of the most endangered animals in the world. The Rothschild giraffe especially is a very rare subspecies in the whole universe. They are no longer in existence in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These giraffes are only present in Kenya and Uganda and their numbers are not many.
To try to fight this issue, the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife which was started as Giraffe Center in 1979 to breed Rothschild Giraffes on 140-acre land was established. Ever since they have been concentrating on training Kenyan youth on the need for conservation.
After, the founders constructed a brick mansion where they lived at the center of the breeding section. They lived there for a few years and decided to convert the mansion into a state-of-the-art 10-room hotel known as the Giraffe Manor. This hotel is one of the most iconic and distinct hotels in the universe. Each morning, the giraffes from the Giraffe Center walk from their natural dwelling to the windows of the hotel to eat breakfast with the visitors.
The Giraffes crane their long neck down to lower rooms or up the upper floors through the windows to slurp up everything on the plate. Their faces are right next to those of the hotel visitors. Their movement is not limited, therefore they access the rooms through the windows by choice. After, they navigate their heads out of the magnificent windows of the Giraffe Manor and go on with their usual lives. A visit to this place is worth remembering.
The Nairobi Animal Orphanage
The Nairobi Animal Orphanage is situated inside the Nairobi National Park which is only 20 minutes from the Central Business District.
The Nairobi Animal Orphanage was established in 1964. It accommodates and treats more than twenty animal and bird species that require rehabilitation after an injury or have been abandoned. Lions, cheetahs, jackals, hyenas, ostriches, and parrots live in this orphanage. It welcomes more than 200,000 guests every year. The facility is also for both animals and an educational asset for the public commonly school children who may have not gotten a chance to see these animals in the wild.
These animals have been taken by park rangers and are provided with medical care. After treatment, they are caged in an individual rehabilitation program. After they are well, they are then released into the African wild again. While inside the park, a tour guide is not necessary as each animal has an inscription of its details from the smallest animal to the biggest. The labels contain their stories, how they were rescued, their origin, who took care of them in the orphanage, and lastly if they were injured. The park houses the world’s big five of African wildlife. It is the home of the world’s most enormous black rhino. You can take a ride there with your car into a mass of highland greenery at a reasonable price.
The ivory burning monument is in the park where the late 2nd president of Kenya Daniel Arap Moi burned poached ivory in 1989.
Paradise Lost is situated just 10-minute drive from the central business district of Nairobi city. It is an oasis at the center of a coffee farm. It is an attractive tourist destination in Kenya’s capital. Paradise Lost was established in 1996 by coffee farmers. Here you can explore the stone age caves, fascinating waterfalls, picnics, and fishing. Boat ride at this magnificent park as you watch the tremendous coffee plantations. There is also horse riding or camel riding for the enthusiasts. Nature trails are on this very attractive site. You can also enjoy bird watching. Paradise Lost is a perfect place to visit with your family too.
Nairobi National Museum
It is situated just ten minutes from the city Centre. This museum is very rich in cultural artifacts that are as old as the prehistoric era. There are fascinating skeletal discoveries on the display of homo habilis that were discovered by famous archaeologists, Richard and Mary Leakey at Lake Turkana.
There is an extensive collection of indigenous bird species that amuses any lover of birds. For a guided bird walk, enjoy it every Wednesday by the Kenyan Museum Society. The museum re-opened its doors in 2008 after extensive renovation and expansion needs.
Karura Forest is situated in Nairobi the capital city of Kenya. It is an urban forest setup. This attractive forest was gazette in 1932 and is under the leadership of the Kenya Forest Service as well as the Friends of Karura Forest Community Forest Association. Karura Forest occupies a total land of 1,041 ha comprising three parts divided by Limuru and Kiambu roads.
This fascinating little amazing in the middle of the city, Karura Forest is a gem of Nairobi. It has more than 50 kilometers of walking, biking, and nature trails. It is one of the most welcoming places to have a taste of nature while still enjoying your stay in the city. View the orange waterfalls, picnic sections, walking and biking trails, and the most adorable, quaint café.
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is situated at Kenya Wildlife Service Central Workshop Gate, Magadi Road Nairobi. David Sheldrick was established in honor of David in 1977, by his wife Daphne Sheldrick. It is one of Africa’s most popular and proficient Pioneer National Park Wardens of the time. It was later renamed Sheldrick in honor of both David and his wife Daphne.
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust practices all requirements that aggregate the conservation, preservation, and protection of wildlife. These are anti-poaching, safeguarding the natural environment, enhancing community awareness, dealing with animal welfare issues, offering veterinary help to animals in need, and rescuing and hand rearing elephant and rhino orphans.
One of the major achievements of the Sheldrick Trust is the raising of orphaned baby elephants and integrating them back into the wild. The trust is at the forefront of saving the remaining African populations in grave danger from the illegal trade of ivory.
The wildlife trust is the most pioneering animal rehabilitation center in the universe. Young, orphaned elephants and rhinos, the fatalities of poaching and human-wildlife squabble, are nurtured back to perfect health. Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to date has an occupancy of 150 elephant calves. Guests are allowed to visit between 11 am and midday daily. Visitors can view the slurps and gurgles of young orphans being fed as their caregivers skillfully give them their supersize feeding bottles. Anyone who is touched by this humble feat is allowed to adopt a young orphan elephant and follow its inspiring journey forthwith.
Nairobi Arboretum Picnic
Nairobi Arboretum Picnic is not very well known by visitors. Even though, it is a perfect site to spend a day. While going for the picnic, carry with you a book, and picnic blanket, and then you will be set for the day. This site has shades thanks to the trees and flowers. There are also some monkeys in the area.
One of the most magnificent places to have a good view of Nairobi city is the Kenyatta Tower. You will enjoy a glimpse of the city. Nairobi is known as the hub for East Africa and has a skyline to boast of. If you visit the Central Business District of Nairobi, which is situated close to most of the government offices, you will find Kenyatta Towers. With an elevator ride and a short climb after, you will be watching with a bird’s eye view of Nairobi.
K1 Market is situated along Ojijo Road Parklands. It is at the K1 Klub House in Nairobi Kenya. It is an upscale flea market. It is one of the hips and popping places to sit and have a drink or a delicious lunch. Here you will enjoy a great feel for the vibe of Nairobi. This flea market characterizes traditional Masai goods, handmade craft items, and second-hand goodies. The market is open the whole week but Sunday marks the tip of the activities.
At K1 Market, there are famous entertainment hotspots. K1 provides one of the most attractive Nairobi nightlife experiences. There is affordable accommodation, a restaurant, a café, and a sports bar. The sports bar is well known for its weekly events such as Jazz Night Tuesdays and One Love Thursdays.
Village Market and Two Rivers are situated along Limuru Road. They are just a few minutes past the UNEP and the UN center.
Nairobi has very fancier sites than you could think. Village Market is a place to visit. It is a Semi-outdoor shopping area situated close to many city’s embassies and the United Nations. It is a stunning place to visit. It is extremely safe and secure. Here you will see many expatriates and visitors roaming the fountain-lined paths. It is full of Caffe and shopping areas. It is a good place to take a breather, especially after a busy week. You can also enjoy a fancy night’s dinner.
Two Rivers Mall
Two Rivers Mall is the biggest in East Africa. It is a few minutes drives away from the Village Market. It consists of many shopping opportunities in Kenya especially if you are interested in western goods and it is a great place to explore all this. There is a small amusement park that is joined to the mall.
Relaxing on a rooftop by a pool is sometimes all that you need. Most of Nairobi’s natural streams or waterfalls are not very clean to swim in. You can enjoy this rooftop swimming at Trademark Hotel. It has clear water that is very comfortable. Trademark Hotel is just Next to the Village Market on Limuru Road. It provides a stunning pool with lovely views of the city and mouth-watering dining alternatives.
There are more than 40 tribes in Kenya. But the Masai community is unique. If you want to experience the local and indigenous cultures as the most important feature of travel, visit a Masai Market. This is because Masai is a unique and well-kept culture in Kenya. Masai is the most famous as they have kept their warrior tribe with many of their traditional themes. At their markets, there are bright, colorful clothing, unique handmade products, and endless bangles and jewelry. Nairobi provides Masai Markets in various places throughout the city. One of the best places where the Masai Market is situated in Nairobi is the Village Market on Fridays or the central Business district on Sunday.
Karen Blixen Museum
The Karen Blixen Museum is featured in a book or the film Out of Africa. Karen Blixen lived in Kenya between 1914 to 1931. She wrote her famous autobiographical book concerning time in colonial Kenya. This museum has a whole suburb in Nairobi, known as Karen that was named after her. The museum is located on her native farmland at the foothills of Ngong. This is because she was known to write in her native home. The Museum is situated in the Karen suburb just 10 kilometers outside the Nairobi city at Karen Road, Nairobi.
Tigoni Tea Farms
Tigoni Tea Farms are situated on the highland Northern side of Nairobi city. There are well-manicured tea farms. You will enjoy a little excursion away from the city but not very far from the city itself. It has an endless field of green tea farms. Tea is Kenya’s second-largest export. It is certainly a fascinating place to visit. Here, you can enjoy horseback riding, picnic spots, and some hidden waterfalls adorn this very attractive area. You can also enjoy zip-lining at the Kereita Forest which is situated nearby.
The Ngong Hills are peaked in a ridge on the Great Rift Valley. They are situated on the southwestern side of Nairobi. The word Ngong is an Anglicizing of a Maasai of “enkong’u wmuny” meaning rhinoceros’ spring. The name is derived from a spring that is situated near Ngong Town.
This is a perfect place to hike. A guide is usually recommended as there is no path. The route is across the Masai land. The hills are a great sight even if you are not planning to hike. There is also back horse riding through the red and fertile hills.
Kibera Slum Tour
Kibera slum is the largest slum and the poorest in Africa. It is among the biggest slum in the world. It is the biggest urban slum dwelling in Africa. It houses over 1 million Nairobi city dwellers who are not able to afford decent housing in Nairobi City. It is situated in the Langata area in Nairobi close to 5 kilometers from Nairobi City Center in Kenya. The slum has been separated into other parts such as Soweto, Kisumu Ndogo Kianda, and Gatwekera.
Most of the residents here lack basic social amenities like electricity, water, and latrines. The land is owned by the government but 10% of people dwelling here are shack owners while the rest are here on a rental basis. The houses are made of mud walls, screened with concrete, and roofed with tin and iron for the lucky few. The rental fee for the shanty ranges between Ksh.700 and Ksh.1000 per month.
Kibera slum is a humbling experience to take a tour through the area and get to know the people who dwell there and hear their narratives. A family of 8 will occupy a one-room house of 12 X 12 using a bucket of water per day from the communal center.
Bomas of Kenya
Bomas of Kenya is a tourist village in Langata, Nairobi. At Bomas of Kenya, you will enjoy a watch of traditional villages that belongs to various Kenyan tribes. Bomas of Kenya houses one of the biggest auditoriums in Africa. It is situated approximately 10 kilometers from the Central Business District. Bomas of Kenya began its operations in 1971 and so far, has hosted more than 10 million visitors.
The word Boma means homestead and Bomas is the plural form. It is among the subsidiary company of Kenya Tourist Development Corporation as a tourist center. Its main aim was to preserve and promote the rich and diverse cultures of different Kenyan tribal groups.
You can tour the Bomas of Kenya all year round. Even though, the best period to visit is during the dry season from July to October and in January and February.
Enjoy the traditional cuisines at the Utamaduni Restaurant. At the Bomas of Kenya, you will know the lifestyle, music, art, and culture of each tribe in the village that depicts the Kenyan tribes. Enjoy the Kenyan traditional music and dance where there are daily cultural performances
Railway Museum is located near the central business district of Nairobi, just near the old Railway station.
At Railway Museum there is a collection of housed old railway structures that comprises relics from the East African Railway. Enjoy many train and ship models, pictures, tables, and oddities from the history of the railway like the engine seat that permitted tourists dignitaries like Theodore Roosevelt.
There are many fading locomotives in different states of despair, that date back from steam to independence. At the back of the museum, there is a steam train that is used in the movie Out of Africa. It is a fascinating glimpse of colonial history.
Uhuru Park owes its existence to the Nobel Peace Prize Winner, the late Wangari Maathai. It is a manicured green on the fringe of the central city of Nairobi. It is a famous park that respite from downtown noise and bustle. The Late Wangari fought to spare the park from the bulldozers of the former Moi government. Her death in 2011 brought many mourners to the park where her funeral was held.
At day time this park attracts families coming for picnics. The working class from the city also visit the park during their lunchtime break to have a small communion with nature. There are big trees where they can rest in the shade. Hawkers are also allowed in there but with licenses. There is also boat riding at the small lake for a fee.