Nairobi is a leading African city, a cosmopolitan hub with a mix of races and cultures, providing the visitor with amazing attractions and things to do, ranging from visiting museums, national park, animal sanctuaries, local African souvenir markets or enjoying a variety of sports such as Golf or just enjoying Nairobi's excellent cuisine offered in some of the best restaurants in East Africa.
So if travelers have a day or even just over 4 hours layover before their flight, which are the best places in Nairobi you should visit ? Well the list below includes the best sightseeing and tourist spots in Nairobi and these can be combined or visited separately in case you do not have enough time to include all these places in your day trip or itinerary.
One of the leading tourist attractions in Nairobi, located just 7 kilometers from the city center is the Nairobi National Park, world famous for being the only National Park in the world that is located within a capital city. Scenic grassy plains against the backdrop of urban sky scrapers, this national park offers a wide variety of wildlife ranging from Lions and endangered black rhino to Leopards, Hyenas, Buffaloes and Giraffe. There is also a diverse collection of birdlife with over 400 species recorded. Visitors can enjoy a safari game drive. The park also has picnic sites and three campsites.
Click here for more information on Nairobi National Park Entry Fees.
One of the most fun things to do in Nairobi, visiting the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage is an amazing experience that also gives one truly touching memories while also supporting a good cause. The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust runs the orphanage bordering Nairobi National Park offers safe haven to orphaned baby elephants rescued from various parks and reserves in Kenya.
The Entry Fee is USD 15 per person [ adult or child] or approximately Ksh 1,500 per person in Kenya shillings. Visiting timings are 11 am to 12pm daily (1 hour) and an advance booking is necessary.
Giraffe Center is located in Lang'ata, approximately 20 kilometres from the centre of Nairobi. The center was first opened to protect the highly endangered Rothschild’s giraffe, the population of which has declined, reaching a low of 1600 animals in the wild as a result of agricultural practices in their native habitat. The center is also home to several warthogs which freely roam the area along with the giraffes. The main attraction for visitors is the chance of seeing these animals up close and even feeding them ! You can observe, hand-feed or even kiss one of the giraffes from a raised wooden structure, which is quite a memorable experience. The center is open daily from 9am to 5pm and the entry fee is USD 15 per person.
With its raised wooden boardwalk that allows for uninterrupted views of the animals, the Safari Walk is a show case for Kenya’s Parks and Reserves, allowing visitors to discover what they can expect to see across the country. Visitors can see a sample of the country’s rich animal life including the rare bongo, white rhino and albino zebra as well as big cats, antelopes and primates. It is also home to some 150 species of local trees.
The National Museum is located within Nairobi City and is an excellent place to visit while in the city. The museum is famous for the Leakey prehistoric artefacts plus some of Kenya's best preserved tribal artefacts that date back hundreds of years. Other sights within the museum include well preserved birds, butterflies and animals and host of information about the country's rich past and culture.
Karen Blixen Museum is a colonial-era house, where Baroness Karen Blixen lived with her husband. The Oscar winning movie “Out of Africa” was based on Karen Blixen's life in Kenya, based on her autobiographical book. The house was built in 1912 and bought by the couple in 1917, and it became the farm house for their 4500 acre farm, of which 600 acres was used for coffee farming. A visit to this museum provides an opportunity to step back in time and gain an insight into this remarkable woman's life. Views of the Ngong Hills can be admired from the beautifully landscaped gardens of the museum.
Just a short drive from the heart of Nairobi, Kiambethu Farm at Limuru provides a tranquil insight into life on a settler farm. Situated at 7,200 ft., Kiambethu was bought and farmed by AB McDonell in 1910. He was a pioneer in the tea industry being one of the first to make and sell tea commercially in Kenya - now one of Kenya’s largest exports. The farm house is set within beautiful gardens surrounded by acres of tea and indigenous forest - home to the Colobus monkey. The Tea Farm is open from Thursday to Sunday every week starting 11 am.
Nairobi is home to a vibrant restaurant industry with interesting culinary choices. In Nairobi you can get quality Indian, Chinese, Japanese,Italian,French, Lebanese, Brazilian and of course African cuisine restaurants. Most hotels offer continental and international menus as well. The most well known restaurants include: Carnivore Restaurnt, Talisman Restaurant, Karen Blixen Coffee Graden among others.
Karura Forest is an urban forest in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. The forest was gazetted in 1932 and is managed by the Kenya Forest Service in conjunction with the Friends of Karura Forest Community Forest Association. The forest is open to all visitors who share a love for nature and common respect for Kenya’s unspoilt natural beauty. Visitors get to enjoy nature walks, jogging, bird watching, mountain biking, tennis, picnic sites, tree planting among other activities.