Top 10 Best Tourist Attractions in Nairobi
Are you looking for exciting places to visit in Nairobi? Don’t worry I got you. Nairobi is one of the cities in Africa with the most beautiful and exciting sceneries. In this article, you’ll learn about the top 10 best tourist attractions in Nairobi.
Nairobi, the capital and largest city of Kenya, has traditionally served as the entry point to some of Africa’s finest adventures. However, this dynamic urban center offers numerous thrilling activities to enjoy before embarking on your safari journey.
1. Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park, Kenya’s inaugural national park, is situated a mere seven kilometers away from Nairobi’s urban skyline. This wildlife haven serves as a safeguard for over 50 critically endangered rhinos and houses an array of captivating creatures including lions, gazelles, buffaloes, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, and ostriches. Moreover, the park’s wetlands host an impressive assortment of more than 400 bird species.
The park holds historical significance as the site where 12 tons of elephant tusks and rhino horns were ceremoniously burned in 1989 by President Moi, an act that elevated the country’s conservation reputation globally. A monument now stands to commemorate this pivotal event.
Nature enthusiasts can explore the Nairobi Safari Walk, an enticing opportunity to spot wildlife on foot. The park also features walking trails that meander through the area known as Hippo Pools. At the main entrance, visitors can engage with orphaned baby elephants and rhinos at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, fostering a deep connection with these magnificent creatures.
For more details on this, you can visit their official site.
2. David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Located at the main entrance of Nairobi National Park, this orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation initiative is a must-visit for animal enthusiasts. Initiated by Daphne Sheldrick in 1977 to honor her late husband David, a former warden at Tsavo East National Park. The program is dedicated to nurturing abandoned young elephants and rhinos and facilitating their return to the wild.
Visitors have the opportunity to observe these endearing creatures closely as they play in the mud and drink from large baby bottles. Importantly, the entrance fee contributes to the project’s conservation endeavors. For those seeking a deeper involvement, the option of adopting an orphaned elephant, rhino, or giraffe exists, ensuring that you remain updated on their progress long after your visit.
3. Giraffe Centre
Located on the outskirts of Nairobi National Park, the Giraffe Centre offers a unique opportunity to encounter endangered Rothschild’s giraffes up close. Situated within the premises of Giraffe Manor, a luxurious guesthouse, the center’s primary focus is to provide conservation education for kids.
Visitors can explore the informative displays about these elegant animals and use a raised platform to feed them specially prepared pellets at eye level. This experience, particularly appealing to families with children, presents an extraordinary photo opportunity as giraffes playfully interact and slurp pellets from visitors’ hands.
Following this captivating encounter with the giraffes, you can embark on a 1.5-kilometer self-guided forest walk in the nearby nature reserve, adding to the overall experience.
4. Nairobi National Museum
The National Museum in Nairobi offers an enriching experience during a city stopover. It presents a wide range of cultural and natural history exhibits, featuring over 900 taxidermied birds and mammals, Lake Turkana fossils, cultural showcases of different Kenyan tribes, and local art displays.
In the Geology Gallery, visitors can explore an impressive array of rocks and minerals, while also learning about tectonic plates and volcanic life cycles. The Hominid Vault houses a collection of ancient bones and fossils, including a preserved elephant fossil.
For a comprehensive experience, visitors can purchase combination tickets that grant access to the adjacent Snake Park, home to live examples of Kenya’s common reptiles.
After your museum visit, take a leisurely stroll through the peaceful botanical gardens for a touch of nature during your time in Nairobi.
5. Bomas of Kenya
Situated approximately 10 kilometers away from Nairobi, the Bomas of Kenya functions as a dynamic living museum dedicated to the vibrant tribes of the country. It provides an excellent opportunity to delve into the distinct lifestyles, artistic expressions, musical traditions, handicrafts, and overall cultures of Kenya’s diverse tribes.
Within the premises, meticulously crafted traditional village stands, consisting of distinct homesteads or bomas, each meticulously representing a prominent ethnic group’s heritage. On a daily basis, a skilled team presents traditional dances and songs in a spacious theater, where the audience is encouraged to actively partake, enhancing the enjoyment of the performances.
6. Karura Forest Reserve
Experience the tranquility of Karura Forest, a sprawling urban oasis just a short distance from the city center. This expansive green haven, among the world’s largest urban forests, offers a variety of activities.
Immerse yourself in nature as you hike to a stunning 15-meter waterfall, indulge in a serene picnic amidst lush gardens, observe playful monkeys and diverse bird species, or find solace by the serene Lily Lake.
Well-defined red-clay trails invite biking enthusiasts, while the open-sided river café provides a perfect spot to unwind, savor refreshments, and reflect on your forest escapades.
7. Kazuri Beads Factory Tour
Discover a unique shopping experience at the Kazuri Beads Factory, where you can find distinctive souvenirs and gifts for your loved ones. This exceptional destination not only offers shiny, colorful beads that embody the Swahili concept of “small and beautiful,” but also supports disadvantaged local women.
Embark on a complimentary factory tour to witness the creative process behind these beads and pottery pieces, skillfully crafted by local women, many of whom are single mothers. By purchasing these items, you’re supporting a member of the World Fair Trade Organization. The prices are reasonable, making it a worthwhile shopping excursion.
Enhance your visit by combining the factory tour with a trip to the nearby Karen Blixen Museum. Ranked among the top free attractions in Nairobi, this experience is bound to leave you captivated by the allure of these exquisite beads, making it difficult to resist taking some home with you.
8. Ngong Hills
The term “Ngong” translates to “knuckles” in Maasai. These striking pointed green hills resemble a fist reaching towards the sky, making the name quite fitting. Situated near Nairobi, they offer a refreshing escape from the urban heat. Overlooking the Great Rift Valley, the Ngong Hills were once settled by white colonialists who built houses and gardens reminiscent of southern England.
Numerous walking paths wind through the hills, providing stunning vistas of the valleys below. The area also boasts diverse wildlife, including buffalo, gazelles, giraffes, bushbuck, occasional klipspringers, and baboon groups often seen grazing along the roadside.
For fans of “Out of Africa,” a visit to Ngong Hills is incomplete without stopping at the grave of Denys Finch Hatton, the lover of the renowned Danish author Karen Blixen. Located on the hills’ eastern slopes, the grave is adorned with an obelisk and garden, adding to the area’s allure.
9. Railway Museum
The Nairobi Railway Museum commemorates Kenya’s railroad history and its role in national development. The museum showcases an array of captivating items, including models of trains and ships, historical photos of the Uganda Railway’s construction, railway magazines, maps, drawings, and a silver service set from Mombasa-bound overnight trains.
Visitors can explore a diverse collection of steam locomotives and rolling stock, highlighted by a German-built MV Liemba model still active on Lake Tanganyika. Notably, the museum features a popular display – the very carriage used in the hunt for the Maneater of Kima in 1900. In this incident, Colonial Officer Captain Charles Ryall, aiming to eliminate a man-eating lion, unintentionally fell asleep in the carriage and was subsequently dragged out of the window by the lion.
10. National Archives
Situated in the former Bank of India building, the National Archives provides a comprehensive overview of Kenya’s diverse facets. Focusing on tribal culture, art, history, and politics, the museum showcases an array of exhibits.
Notably, the renowned collector Joseph Murumbi’s collection takes center stage, featuring paintings and artifacts. The ground floor gallery houses historical documents and photographs, while the upper floor presents additional artworks, postage stamps, and the National Archives reading room, serving personal and professional pursuits.
A cost-effective option for exploring Nairobi, it, along with the Nairobi National Museum, offers an enriching perspective on Kenya’s extensive history and cultural heritage.
There are more places you can visit in Nairobi and in the country. If you want more places to visit, here are some of the best tourist attractions in Kenya.