11 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Nairobi

Tourist Attractions in Nairobi

11 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Nairobi

Kenya’s capital and largest city, Nairobi still evokes all the romance and adventure of colorful colonial days. The city evolved from a humble camp for railway workers in 1899 to the capital of British East Africa by 1907. Today, Nairobi’s rich history and tribal culture are brought to life in its excellent museums. The Karen Blixen Museum is a big hit – especially with fans of the Out of Africa book and film, who come to see where the renowned Danish writer trades on her coffee farm in the beautiful Ngong Hills.

But even in such a bustling city, wildlife is a huge draw. This cosmopolitan capital is one of the few cities in the world with a safari park on its borders. Just a 15-minute drive from the skyscrapers of the city center, enjoy a classic African wildlife experience at Nairobi National Park . Lion, cheetah, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, rhinoceros and buffalo roam the sun-drenched savannah here, and animal lovers can cuddle baby elephants and interact with giraffes at the excellent zoos nearby. Nairobi is also the gateway to Kenya’s world-famous safari parks, which have captivated adventure seekers for over a century.

Read also: 12 Best game reserves in Africa

1 Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park

Kenya’s first national park, Nairobi National Park is a haven for wildlife and just seven kilometers from the skyscrapers of central Nairobi. The park is also a rhino sanctuary, protecting more than 50 of these endangered creatures. In addition to the rhinoceroses, you can see lions, gazelles, buffaloes, warthogs, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes and ostriches, and over 400 bird species have been recorded in the wetlands.

Nairobi National Park is also a famous ivory burning site. In 1989, President Moi ignited 12 tons of elephant and rhinoceros tusks here, enhancing the country’s image on the world stage. Today, a monument marks this historic site. The Nairobi Safari Walk is a popular attraction that offers animal lovers the opportunity to spot wildlife on foot, and walking trails weave around the area known as Hippo Pools . At the park’s main entrance, you can cling to orphaned baby elephants and rhinoceroses at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust .

Address: Langata Road, Nairobi

Official site: https://www.kws.go.ke/parks/nairobi-national-park

2 David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

At the main gate of Nairobi National Park , this orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program is a must for animal lovers. Daphne Sheldrick founded the project in 1977 in memory of her late husband David, a former warden of Tsavo East National Park. The center cares for young abandoned elephants and rhinoceroses and tries to release the animals back into the wild. You can interact with these sweet creatures as they frolic in the mud and drink from giant baby bottles. Best of all, your admission fee contributes to the conservation of the project.

Address: Mbagathi Road, Nairobi

Official Site: https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/

3 Giraffe Center

Giraffe Center Maria Hgglf / photo modified
Giraffe Center Maria Hgglf / photo modified

At the Giraffe Center on the edge of Nairobi National Park visitors can come face to face with Rothschild’s giraffes in danger. This non-profit center is located on the grounds of the luxury guest house, Giraffe Manor, and its main mission is to provide educational education for children. The visitor center displays information about these graceful creatures and a raised platform allows you to feed them at eye level with specially prepared pellets. This is one of the most popular things to do from Nairobi, especially with kids – photo ops with wet, gray giraffe tongues slurping little faces are priceless. After interacting with these elongated beauties, enjoy a 1.5-kilometer self-guided woodland walk in the adjoining conservation area.

Address: Langata Road, Nairobi

Official Site: https://giraffecenter.org/

4 Karen Blixen Museum

Karen Blixen Museum
Karen Blixen Museum

One of Nairobi’s top attractions, the Karen Blixen Museum, at the foot of the Ngong Hills, is the former home of the famed namesake From Africa author. Karen Blixen, also known by her pseudonym Isak Dinesen, lived in the house from 1917 to 1931, where she ran a coffee plantation. Today you can visit the well-preserved colonial farmhouse, a kitchen in a separate building, a coffee drying plant in the forest and an agricultural school on site. Furniture that belonged to Karen Blixen and her husband is on display, as well as photographs and books owned by Karen and her lover, Denys Finch Hatton. Enthusiastic guides bring the story of Karen Blixen and colonial Kenya to life.

Address: Karen Road, Nairobi

Official site: https://www.museums.or.ke/karen-blixen/

5 Nairobi National Museum

Nairobi National Museum meaduva / photo modified
Nairobi National Museum meaduva / photo modified

The National Museum in Nairobi is an educational way to spend a few hours on a layover in the city. The museum displays various cultural and natural history exhibits, including more than 900 stuffed birds and mammals, fossils from Lake Turkana, ethnic displays from various Kenyan tribal groups, and displays of local art. In the Geology Gallery, you can explore an impressive collection of rocks and minerals and learn about tectonic plates and the life cycle of a volcano. The Hominid Vault contains a collection of prehistoric bones and fossils, including the preserved fossil of an elephant. At the museum, visitors can purchase combination tickets that include entry to the adjacent Snake Parkfeaturing live specimens of Kenya’s most common reptiles.

Adres: Museum Hill Road, Nairobi

6 Bomas of Kenya

Bomas of Kenya fetchstix / photo modified
Bomas of Kenya fetchstix / photo modified

About 10 kilometers from Nairobi, Bomas of Kenya is a living museum that celebrates Kenya’s colorful tribes. This is a great place to learn about each tribe’s lifestyle, arts, music, crafts, and culture. The complex includes a recreated traditional village with houses or bomas, each reflecting the culture of a major ethnic group. Every afternoon a team performs traditional dances and songs in the main theatre.

Locatie: Forest Edge Road, off Langata Road, Mageso Chamber

Official Site: https://www.bomasofkenya.co.ke/

7 Kazuri Beads Factory Tour

Kazuri Beads Factory Tour advencap / photo modified
Kazuri Beads Factory Tour advencap / photo modified

If you are looking for some unique souvenirs and gifts for family and friends, the Kazuri Beads Factory is a great place to shop and help disadvantaged local women at the same time. Kazuri means “small and beautiful” in Swahili, and these shiny, brightly colored beads certainly fit the bill. Take a free factory tour and see how local women, many of whom are single mothers, make the beads and other pottery items from scratch. After the tour, you can purchase a pair to take with you, knowing that you are purchasing from a member of the World Fair Trade Organization. Prices are relatively reasonable. This is a great tour to combine with a visit to the Karen Blixen Museum , as the factory is nearby.

Address: Mbagathi Ridge, Karen, Nairobi

Official site: https://www.kazuri.com/#!/pageGallery

8 Kenyatta International Conference Centre

Kenyatta International Conference Center Jorge Lscar / photo modified
Kenyatta International Conference Center Jorge Lscar / photo modified

The distinctive cylindrical Kenya International Conference Center (KICC), named after the Republic’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, is an internationally acclaimed venue for conferences, meetings and exhibitions. Although not the tallest building in Kenya, it dominates the skyline with a 28-storey tower overlooking a large amphitheatre. The pale terracotta facade recalls the color of traditional African huts and the central plenary hall resembles the ancient Roman Senate. You can zoom up to the roof platform and enjoy a panoramic view of Nairobi, or enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants.

Address: Harambee Avenue, Nairobi

9 Railway Museum

Shankar s Railway Museum.  / photo modified
Shankar s Railway Museum. / photo modified

The Railway Museum in Nairobi celebrates the rich history of the railway in Kenya and its impact on the development of the country. The museum’s fascinating collections include train and ship models, photographs of the original construction of the Ugandan railway, railway magazines, maps and drawings, and a silver set used for overnight trains to Mombasa. A collection of steam locomotives and rolling stock are also on display, including a model of the MV Liemba, built by the Germans and still in use along Lake Tanganyika. A favorite exhibit is the carriage used in the hunt for Kima’s Maneater in 1900. Captain Charles Ryall, a colonial officer, placed himself in the carriage to shoot a man-eating lion; unfortunately he fell asleep and was dragged out by the lion.

Address: Uhuru Road, Nairobi

Official Site: https://www.greywall.demon.co.uk/rail/Kenya/nrm.html

10 Ngong Hills

Ngong Hills Ninara View / photo modified
Ngong Hills Ninara View / photo modified

“Ngong” means “knuckles” in Maasai, a fitting name as these beautiful pointed green mounds resemble the back of a fist facing the sky. They are a popular place to visit close to Nairobi and provide a welcome respite from the heat of the city. The hills are the tops of a ridge overlooking the Great Rift Valley , and many white settlers established their farms here in early colonial times. Half-timbered houses and flower gardens persist, but seem more suited to southern England than Africa.

Several hiking trails criss-cross the hills, offering beautiful views of the valleys below. Wildlife is also visible in the area. Buffaloes, gazelles, giraffes, bushbucks, the occasional klipspringer and troop of baboons have often been spotted along the roadside. For From Africa fans, the grave of Denys Finch Hatton, the lover of the famous Danish author Karen Blixen, lies on the eastern slopes, adorned by an obelisk and a garden.

Address: Great Rift Valley, Mageso Chamber, Nairobi

11 National Archives

National Archives Jorge Lscar / photo modified
National Archives Jorge Lscar / photo modified

Housed in the old Bank of India building, the National Archives sheds light on Kenyan tribal culture and the country’s art, history and politics. The gallery on the ground floor displays historical documents and a collection of photographs. Paintings and artifacts from the collection of Joseph Murumbi, one of Africa’s most famous collectors, dominate the exhibitions. The second floor houses more art, a display of stamps, and the National Archives Reading Room, which is used for personal and professional projects.

Address: Moi Avenue, Nairobi

Where to Stay in Nairobi for Sightseeing

First-time travelers to Nairobi have two main areas where they can base themselves for excellent sightseeing: To feel the pulse of this vibrant city and have easy access to the restaurants, shops and museums, the city center makes a great base. Those who prefer a more peaceful rural experience should consider staying in the affluent suburb of Karen, home to some of Nairobi’s most luxurious hotels, as well as the Karen Blixen Museum. Here are a few highly rated hotels in these areas:

  • Luxury Hotels: Overlooking the Ngong Hills in the suburb of Karen, the plantation-style Hemingways Nairobi exudes colonial elegance, with four-poster beds, personalized butler service, and a pampering day spa. Located in the heart of the city, Fairmont The Norfolk is a more affordable luxury option that feels like an elegant oasis, with its lush gardens, heated pool and spa. It is within walking distance of the National Museums of Kenya, as well as many restaurants and shops. Behind well-guarded gates, ten minutes by car to Wilson Airport and 16 minutes to the International Airport, The Boma Nairobi is a great base before or after a safari, close to the city centre, with a spa and health club.
  • Mid-Range Hotels: Within walking distance of the National Museums of Kenya, the elegant Villa Rosa Kempinski Nairobi is at the top end of the mid-range, while the Sarova Stanley, in the heart of the city, is Nairobi’s oldest luxury hotel, with relatively affordable rates .. Also in the city centre, the InterContinental Nairobi is a popular base for those who prefer a large hotel chain.
  • Budget Hotels: In the bustling core of Nairobi, Hotel Central Park scores top marks for its convenient location. A little further away from the city center but within walking distance of popular shopping centres, Progressive Park Hotel offers excellent value for money for longer stays, with its studio rooms and apartments, while the Kenya Comfort Hotel has basic budget rooms in a convenient location close to the city . downtown sights.

Tips and Tours: How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Nairobi

  • Wildlife Day Trip Adventures:Feed giraffes and get up close with baby elephants on the full David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and Giraffe Center Tour. Animal lovers can learn more about these lovable creatures and the center’s valiant efforts to protect this fragile species. The tour also includes a visit to the Karen Blixen Museum and Kazuri Beads factory. If you want to add a safari experience to the Wildlife Sanctuary visits, the Giraffe Centre, Elephant Orphanage and Nairobi National Park Day Tour adds a three hour game drive through the Nairobi National Park where you can see animals such as lions, rhinos to see. zebras and buffaloes. Both tours include transportation, guides, hotel pickup and drop-off, and admission to all parks. If you prefer a more active nature experience, the Hells Gate and Lake Naivasha Day Trip is a good choice. This full-day tour includes a two-hour bike ride through the park to spot wildlife such as zebras, elands and gazelles and a one-hour hike through the park’s rugged gorges, with a stop at aMaasai village . For an additional fee, enjoy a cruise on Lake Naivasha to spot hippos and birds.
  • 3-Day Safari: Explore one of the world’s most famous game reserves and the site of the Great Migration on the 3-Day Maasai Mara Guided Safari from Nairobi. Expert guides will take you on game drives to see some of the park’s varied wildlife, including lion, leopard, cheetah and buffalo. At night you sleep in semi-luxury tents in the wilderness. An optional Lake Nakuru National Park add-on is also available.

More Must See Sights Near Nairobi

In addition to Nairobi’s wildlife adventures and colonial history, Kenya is also home to beautiful beaches and coral reefs. Southeast of Nairobi, you can snorkel, swim and sunbathe along the coast of Mombasa or take day trips to nearby islands. Further south, Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s largest city and is a short boat ride from the beautiful tropical islands of Bongoyo and Mbudya, and you can even fly to the sublime Seychelles from Kenya. Both Kenya and Tanzania are also home to some of the best game reserves in Africa and the best all-inclusive luxury resorts in the world. For more wilderness adventures, head to South Africa, where you can stay in luxury safari lodges of the highest standard.

Read also:

10 best beaches in Aruba

10 most beautiful railway stations in India

Leave a Reply