Nairobi National museum
Nairobi national museum is an incredible destination located at the museum hill off Waiyaki way towards Westlands about 10 to 15 minutes’ drive from Nairobi City Centre. The museum was officially opened in 1930 mainly to collect, preserve, document and showcase the countries culture, history, contemporary art and was named Coryndon museum in honor of Sir Robert Coryndon who was one time the governor of Kenya.
Background of Nairobi national museum
The museum was started in 1910 by a group of enthusiastic naturalists under the East African and Uganda national history society and it was started to preserve and protect the collections of various specimens. When it started it was situated in Nyayo house and later put in a larger building in 1922 where the Nairobi Serena hotel is situated today. In 1929 the colonial government set aside a piece of land on the museum hill for the construction of the museum which was later opened on 22nd September 1930. And later and in 1963 after independence the museum was re-named the national museum of Kenya. The national museum then closed its doors to the public in 2005 for an extensive modernization and expansion project to bring an impressive piece of the architecture and expansion so as to become a world class museum by targeting more visitors and was later re-opened in 2008 as Nairobi national museum.
The materials that were used in the fabrication of the outdoor sculptures, landscaping and the botanic garden of the Nairobi national museum were the link to the four pillars which include nature, culture, history and contemporary art which offers visitors with Kenya’s rich heritage. thw museum has a small shop with African artifacts, books, early man gallery which has photographs, exhibition of fossil remains of early man which were excavated by the Leakey family in Turkana, Magadi and others in Kenya.
Nairobi national ,museum also has a restaurant with great view over the jungle style grounds down below, tourist shops where they sell African jewelry, artifacts, souvenirs, a collection of stuffed birds which consist humming birds to eagles indigenous to Kenya, stuffed mammals down, cultural stairs in an attractive room with a balcony around with displays of a giraffe, zebra, elephant, rock art exhibition, displays of Kenyan tribes, a dinosaur statue at the entrance, the snake park which started in 1960 and harbors vertebrates like fish, reptiles and amphibians.
Attractions at Nairobi national museum
The botanical gardens are situated at the national museum ground and it displays the theme of Kenya’s natural historical and cultural heritage with plants and habitats. The botanical garden is a home of about 100 exotic plant species, 600 indigenous which makes it a haven of Kenya’s biodiversity.
Nairobi botanical garden hosts special international and national exhibitions where you will learn about plants, names, adaptations, habitats, their uses and interaction with the animals or environment.
The botanical garden also offers guided tours for schools, groups among others with demonstration classes and also promotes environmental education by supporting plant sciences which includes plant adaptation, ecology, breeding, taxonomy, biodiversity conservation through cultivation among others. Botanical garden supports research where by it collaborates with other educational and research institutions to support various programs like medicinal herbs, wild food plants to propagate and sell seedlings at the nursery, maintain species on display and also provide relevant information about the plants.
Nairobi botanical garden also has an open space which can be hired for private parties, events, theatre, photo sessions, leisure activities among others therefore visitors who visit Nairobi botanical gardens can either participate in education, leisure, guided tour among others.
Another attraction at Nairobi national museum is the Art gallery, the museum has artworks of the Kenyan artists and their works are found upstairs, downstairs and outside. Artworks at the museum include the glass sculptures, stained glass windows, labyrinthine peace path, a cement sculpture of a mother and child, sculpture of Dr Louis Leakey which is found in front of the auditorium, the dinosaur monument among others which attract visitors.
Nairobi national museum also has dinning and shopping facilities in the commercial wing where you can go for shopping after you tour.
When to visit Nairobi national museum
The national museum can be visited anytime throughout the year though because it opens daily from 8:30am to 17:30pm. visitors to access the museum are require to pay Ksh 800 adults for foreign non-residents, Ksh 400 for foreign non- resident children under 18 years, Ksh 400 East African adults, Ksh 200 East African children who are under 18 years, Ksh 100 adult citizens and Ksh 50 children.
Nairobi national museum is a one stop destination for visitors to have a feeling of the countries rich heritage which can be acquired through leisure or education.