Places to visit while on a Nairobi city tour
Places to visit while on a Nairobi city tour : Kenya’s capital – Nairobi city is the second largest city in East Africa and it is known a raising romance and adventure city with interesting colonial days. Nairobi city evolved from a humble camp for railway workers in 1899 to the capital of British East Africa by 1907 and today Nairobi has become the richest historical and tribal culture brought to life in its excellent museums. This multicultural capital is one of the only cities in the world with a safari wildlife experience within its borders, a 15-minute drive from the skyscrapers of the city centre and other interesting attractions in Nairobi capital city. Below are some of the most visited and fascinating attractions in Nairobi city
Nairobi National park
Nairobi national park is Kenya’s first national park. It is located just about 7 kilometres from the skyscrapers of Nairobi’s city centre. The park is a haven for wildlife and also a rhino sanctuary which protects more than 50 of these critically endangered creatures. In addition to the rhinos, you can see lions, gazelles, buffaloes, warthogs, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, and ostriches, and more than 400 species of birds have been recorded in the wetlands. The game drive in Nairobi national park takes about 2-3 hours depending on the availability of the animals. Nairobi National Park is also as a famous ivory burning site whereby in 1989 President Moi burnt 12 tons of elephant tusks and rhino horns boosting the country’s conservation image on the world stage. Today, a monument marks this historic site. Other activities in Nairobi national park is the Nairobi safari walk which offers animal lovers the chance to spot wildlife on foot and walking trails weave around the area known as the hippo pools. While at the park’s main gate, you can bond with orphaned baby elephants and rhinos at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
The Elephant orphanage is located along Mbagathi road close to the main gates of Nairobi National Park. This orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program is a must see for wildlife lovers. Daphne Sheldrick was the founder of this projects in 1977 in memory of her late husband David Sheldrick who was a former warden at Tsavo East National Park hence the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The centre cares for young abandoned elephants and rhinos for chances to release them back into the wild. You can watch these lovable creatures up close as they frolic in the mud and drink from giant baby bottles. The entrance fee paid by visitors to enter the site helps to support the project’s conservation efforts. If you want to help even more, consider adopting an orphaned elephant, rhino or giraffe, you will receive regular updates on their progress long after you leave.
The Giraffe centre is located along Langata road at the edge of Nairobi national park with a mission is to provide conservation education for children. While at Giraffe centre visitors come face to face with endangered Rothschild’s Giraffes. This is a non-profit centre that lies on the grounds of the amazing luxurious accommodation called the Giraffe Manor. The visitor centre displays information about these graceful creatures, and a raised platform allowing visitors to feed them at eye level with specially prepared pellets. This is one of the most unusual things to do around Nairobi especially with children who take photo with wet, grey Giraffe tongues slurping little faces are priceless. After communing with these long-lashed beauties, you can enjoy a 1 kilometer self-guided forest walk in the adjacent nature reserve.
Karura Forest Reserve
Karura forest reserve is a beautiful, cool, shady oasis just a few kilometres from the city centre. This lush green space forest is actually one of the largest urban forests in the world and you will discover all kinds of things to see and do here such as hiking multi-tiered 15 meter waterfall, enjoy a picnic in the gardens, watch monkeys climbing through the trees or just sit quietly by Lily Lake and soak up the tranquillity, bike riding is also popular along the well-marked red-clay trails. Wildlife also thrives here. Besides monkeys, you might also see duiker (small antelope), butterflies, and many species of birds. After all your forest adventures, sit back and relax with a snack and a drink at the open-sided river café.
Karen Blixen museum is one of Nairobi’s top tourist attractions located at the foot of the Ngong Hills which is the former home of the famous Karen Blixen namesake as “Out of Africa author”. Karen Blixen is located on Karen road and also known by her pen name “Isak Dinesen” who lived in the house from 1917 to 1931 where she ran a coffee plantation. Today, you can tour the well preserved colonial farmhouse with a kitchen in a separate building, a coffee-drying plant in the woodland, and an agricultural college on the grounds. 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.
Nairobi National Museum
The National Museum in Nairobi is an educational way to spend a few hours on a city stopover. The museum displays diverse 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 exhibits 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, which include entrance to the adjacent snake park with live specimens of Kenya’s most common reptiles. The Nairobi national museum is located on the museum Hill Road.
The Bomas of Kenya
The Bomas of Kenya is located about 10 kilometres off Nairobi on Forest Edge Road, off Langata Road, Mageso Chember from Nairobi. The Bomas of Kenya is a living museum celebrating the colorful tribes of Kenya. This is a great place to learn about the lifestyle, Art, music, crafts, and culture of each tribe. The complex encompasses a recreated traditional village with homesteads or bomas, each one reflecting the culture of a major ethnic group. Every afternoon, a team performs traditional dances and songs in the large theatre. Audience participation makes the performances even more enjoyable.
Kazuri Beads Factory
The Kazuri Beads Factory is a great place to shop especially for visitors who want unique souvenirs and gifts for family and friends back home. However, visiting the Kazuri beads factors is a way of supporting the disadvantaged local women at the same time. Kazuri means “small and beautiful” in Swahili and these shiny, brightly coloured beads surely fit the bill. Visitors join a free factory tour and see how local women including many single mothers, make the beads and other pottery items from scratch. After the tour, you can purchase some to take with you, knowing you are purchasing from a World Fair Trade Organization member. Prices are relatively reasonable. This is a great tour to combine with a visit to the Karen Blixen Museum as the factory lies right nearby. It’s also one of the top free things to do in Nairobi, although it’s hard to leave here without buying some of these beautiful beads.
Kenyatta International Conference Centre
Kenyatta international conference centre is named after the first President of the republic of Kenya – Jomo Kenyatta. The distinctive cylindrical Kenya International Conference Centre located on Harambee Avenue offers breath-taking 360-degree views from its rooftop viewing deck. The building is an internationally acclaimed venue for conferences, meetings, and exhibitions, and it’s an eye-catching landmark in the city. Although it is not the tallest building in Kenya, it dominates the skyline with a 28-story tower overlooking a large amphitheatre. Its pale terra-cotta façade recalls the colour of traditional African huts, and the central plenary hall resembles the ancient Roman Senate. Zoom up to the rooftop viewing platform to take photos of the sprawling city below, and you can also enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants.
“Ngong” means “knuckles” in Masai language, fitting name for beautiful pointed green hills 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 city heat. The Ngong Hills are the peaks of a ridge overlooking the Great Rift Valley and many white settlers established their farms here in the early colonial days. Half-timbered houses and flowering gardens remain, but seem more suited to southern England than Africa. Several walking trails traverse the hills, offering beautiful views of the valleys below. Wildlife is also visible in the area. Buffalo, gazelles, giraffes, bushbuck, the occasional klipspringer, and troupes of baboons are often glimpsed grazing along the roadside. If you are an Out of Africa fan and you’re looking for other places to visit in the Ngong Hills, stop by the grave of Denys Finch Hatton, the lover of famous Danish author, Karen Blixen. It lies on the eastern slopes, graced by an obelisk and garden. The Ngong hill is located in the Great Rift Valley, Mageso Chember Nairobi
The Railway Museum in Nairobi celebrates the rich history of the railroad in Kenya and its impact on the nation’s development. Among the museum’s fascinating collections are train and ship models, photographs from the original construction of the Uganda Railway, railway magazines, maps and drawings, and a silver service set used on 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 favourite exhibit is the carriage used during the hunt for the Man-eater of Kima in 1900. Captain Charles Ryall, a colonial officer, positioned himself in the carriage to shoot a man-eating lion; unfortunately he fell asleep and was dragged out the window by the lion.
The National Archives is simply a building where you will find a little bit of everything about Kenya at this museum located on Moi Avenue, housed in the old Bank of India building. The National Archives spotlights Kenyan tribal culture, as well as the country’s art, history, and politics. Paintings and art-facts from the collection of Joseph Murumbi, one of Africa’s most famous collectors, dominate the exhibits. The main floor gallery displays historical documents and a collection of photographs. The second floor houses more art, a display of postage stamps, and the National Archives reading room, which is used for personal and professional projects. Along with the Nairobi National Museum, this is one of the top places to visit in Nairobi on a budget, and it will broaden your understanding of Kenya’s rich history and culture.