Nairobi Kenya has the most unique places you can visit in the world. Most of these places are located outside the city where you can have the experience of a cool and serene environment. Nairobi is a busy city, the largest in East Africa, and very unique such that it integrates the vast wildlife with the various cultures in the area. I was surprised how my 3-days holiday the city came to an end. Based on my experience, am happy to share with you a guide on the best places to visit in Nairobi.
Nairobi National Park
Start your exploration at Nairobi national park. You will need to wake up early since most animals are active at dawn. The park is very first national park in Kenya. It was established in 1948 and covers an area of 1172 square meters. The park is located in Lang’ata, about 10 km from the city. The environment has diverse features of flora and fauna with exciting rocky valleys. The park is a home of various bird species, lions, zebra, hippos, white rhinos, hyena, cheetah, and buffalo. Since it is near the city, it is appropriate for a half-a-day trip, especially when you do not have time to travel long distances. An early morning visit is the most convenient as you will witness lions hunting. This is the only place in the city where you will see all the big five.
The animal orphanage was established in 1964. It is located 10 Kilometers from the City Centre. The animal orphanage is at the main entrance of the National Park making it convenient for you to visit both the National Park and the animal orphanage. While at the orphanage, you can also learn from the Wildlife Conservation Education Centre. From the education center, you learn more on wildlife and environment conservation. The key animals in the orphanage are the cheetah, lion, leopard, jackal, hyena, buffalo, monkeys, and warthog. Birds such as ostriches, parrots, crown crane and guinea fowls can also be viewed.
David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage
Again, this is for animal lovers. It is located in Karen, 10 Km from the city center, and it will take you one to two hours to tour the place but it depends on your points of interest. The orphanage is near Nairobi Nation Park; therefore, it is convenient to visit the places on the same day. It is a rehabilitation center for elephant calves orphaned through poaching all over the country. The calves are adopted by the orphanage and receive specialized care for 24 hours a day. Once they are of age and can feed themselves, they are introduced again into the wild herds.
The orphanage is open for visiting each morning 11.0am to 12.00 pm. This is the time when the calves are bathed and exercised, and visitors are allowed to watch. If you need some general information on elephants and their conservation, this is the best place to visit.
For more nature walks and picnics, Karura Forest is an ideal place. The forest is a home of over 200 types of bids and 605 species of wildlife. The place also has plummeting waterfalls and mysterious caves that sheltered Kenyan freedom fighters during the colonial period. Moreover, the forest has a reserve where you can see monkeys swing and lots of butterflies.
The Nairobi National Museum
One of the best places to visit in Nairobi is The National Museum. If you are looking for an educational site, then the museum is the best place to visit. The museum is within the city at Museum Hill. You will learn a lot about Kenya's history and its current affairs. The ticket to the museum includes the access to Snake Park where you will learn about different types of snakes. The museum represents Kenya's culture, history, nature and contemporary art. In the museum compound, you will also enjoy the Botanical Gardens and State of Art Auditorium that sometimes host film shows, concerts, and many other events.
The giraffe center is located in Karen, 5KM from the CBD. It was established as a breeding ground of the most endangered giraffe species- the Rothschild Giraffe. The giraffe was named by Lord Walter Rothschild when following an expedition in the early 1900’s. Giraffe Center is open all days of the week from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm including public holidays. There is an elevated feeding platform where you can feed the giraffes and have a close look at how the giraffe uses its long tongue to strip leaves. The raised ground provides a good view best for photography as well.
It is located in Karen, approximately 13Km from the city center, only a few meters from Galleria Shopping Mall. It has an estimate of 70 Nile crocodiles and four Maasai ostriches, giraffes, and rabbits. This is the perfect place for visitors who want to enjoy boat rides, horse and camel rides, or feeding ostriches. The resort has many restaurants, barbeque, bar, art gallery, amphitheater, conferencing facilities, and a garden where you can hold weddings, photo shots, team building activities, or graduation parties.
The arboretum is located in Kileleshwa, 3 km from the CBD. It occupies 30 hectares with around 350 trees species. The arboretum provides home for more than 100 resident and migrant birds. It is one of the remaining green places in Nairobi. Therefore, if you are interested to go jogging, picnic, or a walk, this is the best place to visit.
Away from the Wild and Nature
Since you have already interacted with nature, the third day you can decide to visit the Bomas of Kenya in Lang’ata, 10 Km from the town center. Bomas of Kenya is a living museum started by the government in 1971. Here, you can learn about Kenyan art culture, music, and lifestyle. You can also visit the Kenya National Archives located in the CBD along Moi Avenue. It has a collection of African artifacts and heritage. Since your holiday is coming to an end, it is always good to buy a souvenir. The Maasai Market is the best for this. It is an open-air market for clothes, paintings, curios, wooden carvings, jewelry, and East African prints, and it is held on different locations every day. Friday- Village Market Gigiri Saturday and Sunday- Nairobi City Center Wednesday- Capital Center Thursday- Junction Mall Tuesday- Prestige Plaza