Top 10 Favorite Travel Tips in Nairobi.
There are many things to do in Nairobi, even a safari by the airport
Nairobi is one of the most beautiful cities in Africa to visit. While for many tourists Nairobi acts as a transit point for visitors embarking on Kenyan and Tanzanian safaris there is so much to see, do and experience in Nairobi. Although it is overshadowed by the famous Kenyan attractions such as the Maasai Mara, Tsavo and Diani, Nairobi have some of the most interesting places to visit in Kenya. Whether you are into culture, history, nature or adventure, Kenya’s capital has it all. The good thing about the best attractions in Nairobi is that most are based around Karen, making it easy to combine activities and beat the crazy Nairobi traffic jam. Their proximity to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport [JKIA] is ideal for visitors spending a few days in Nairobi. Here are the top ten things to do in Nairobi.
1. Get a Taste of Kenya’s Rich Cultural Diversity at the Bomas of Kenya.
This is a unique place to learn more about Kenyan cultural diversity. Derived from Swahili word ‘boma’ means homestead. Inside the facility are various traditional houses depicting different homestead from different Kenyan communities, including Kikuyu and Luos. While you’re wandering around Bomas of Kenya, stop by the auditorium to catch cultural performances starring talented traditional dancers from different Kenyan communities such as Maasai, Swahili, and Mbeere.
2. Enjoy an Up-close Encounter with Adorable Baby Elephants at David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
This is a home for rescued baby elephants and young orphaned black rhinos mainly as a result of massive poaching. This conservation center offers you an up-close view of these animals. Opened to public from 11.00 am to 12.00pm each day visitors are given a chance to see baby elephants being fed, taking mud baths as well as adopt the elephants. This one hour encounter with this young African wildlife is both rewarding and fulfilling. These adorable giants are treated, bottle-fed and taken care of and then slowly reintroduced to the wilderness.
3. Walk the Scenic Trails of Karura Forest
Dotted with amazing views of waterfalls, lush green scenery and birds this is the perfect place to unwind and relax from the busy city. Karura Nature Trail is great for jogging, walking, wildlife viewing and birding. Bushbuck, monkeys, and butterflies greet visitors along Karura Forest Nature Walk. For avid cyclists, Karura Forest offers bike rentals. Picnicking and photography are some other activities that visitors can engage in at Karura Forest.
4. Explore the Nairobi National Museum
Just 10 minutes’ drive from Nairobi CBD, the Nairobi National Museum houses an art gallery, temporary exhibitions, historical artifacts, botanical gardens and nature trails. This facility showcases Kenyan history, geography, and culture. On display are tribal portraits, the cradle of mankind fossils, African wildlife, and historical artifacts. The on-site Nairobi Snake Park has plenty of reptiles, including alligators, turtles, and a myriad of snake species. The neighboring Botanical Gardens are great for an afternoon nature walk.
5. Experience the Real the ‘Out of Africa Movie’ at Karen Blixen Museum
Nestled in the coffee farms Karen Blixen Museum features the Danish author farmhouse. Overlooking the scenic Ngong Hills, this museum provides a pretty setting for history and nature lovers. Inside the museum are Karen Blixen Victorian style furniture, tools, and instruments. A stroll through the museum gives visitors a glimpse of how life looked like in Kenya back in the colonial era and Karen Blixen life.
6. Get a Giraffe Kiss at Giraffe Centre
Located in Karen, the Giraffe Center is an unmissable attractionin Nairobi. Here you can learn about the world’s tallest mammals, the different species, and feed them with pellets. You can also pose for a selfie with these gentle giants. For luxury travelers, Giraffe Manor lies a few steps away from the Giraffe Center and offers a similar experience.
7. Grab a Souvenir at Maasai Market
For many visitors, getting a local souvenir for their loved ones is one of the best things to do while visiting Kenya. This open-air market is mobile, and its schedule rotates in major tourist hubs during different days of the weeks. Some of the things you can purchase here include curios, paintings, drawings, jewelry, sandals, and wood carvings. Being one of the most popular places to get locally made African crafts near Nairobi be ready to bargain. For those who love calm shopping experience without the aggressive middlemen and haggling consider visiting Kazuri Beads Factory.
Started with an aim of bettering the lives of needy women this facility has beads of varying in shape, size, and color. If you want to learn and witness, the clay bead making process this is the place to visit. Some of the finished products you can purchase at the Kazuri Bead Factory Shop include handcrafted bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and wallets.
8. Hike the Ngong Hills
Approximately 30 minutes’ drive from the city center Ngong Hills is a series of seven hills with beautiful views of the Rift Valley and Nairobi City. Some popular activities you can engage in Ngong Hills include hiking, zip lining, mountain biking, archery, and picnicking. Be armed with good hiking boots because the terrain is quite rugged and rocky.
9. Sample Some of Nairobi’s Finest Nature Trails
On the outskirts of Nairobi are many scenic trails graced with wildlife, flora, and fauna. Hugging the Nairobi National Park is Silole Sanctuary. Framed with riverine forests and grassland plains, visitors can enjoy game viewing. Being close to national park lions, giraffes and gazelles are often spotted. Rock climbing and birding are popular. To enjoy nature trails near Nairobi head to Oloolua Nature Trail. About 20 km from the city this 5 km nature trail gives gorgeous views of the caves, waterfalls, bamboo forest and the beautiful papyrus along Mbagathi River that cuts through the Oloolua forest.
10. Appreciate Africa Wildlife at Nairobi National Park
See the world closest National Park to a capital city. While here you’ll enjoy convenient access to both scenic wilderness and modern amenities. Here you can see four of the big five with the exception of the elephants. Featuring vast plains and wetlands, this is an abode for giraffes, zebras and birdlife. Visitors can engage in either full day or half-day game drive or a self drive through Nairobi National Park. Mornings and evenings are the best time to visit the park. While in the park, consider taking part in the Nairobi Safari Walk. The raised wooden boardwalk offers an up-close view of the park’s flora and fauna.
Though underrated, Nairobi has some of the best attractions, hiking trails, accommodation options and outdoor activities. Whether you are a solo traveler or traveling with your family, there is a good deal of fun and family-friendly places to visit in Nairobi. And make some local friends to show you around! Kenyans are super friendly.