Nairobi day trips
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Known as the ‘Safari Capital of the World’, Nairobi is well worth including in your holiday itinerary. For a little retail therapy, visit the city’s vibrant Maasai markets. For a taste of Kenya’s tribal culture, spend a day at the wonderful Bomas of Kenya. And for a gourmet safari – just hit the streets. Here are some day trip ideas to inspire you during your stay in Africa’s most dynamic city.
Nairobi National Park
No other city in the world can boast a natural wilderness, teeming with wildlife just a few kilometres from the city centre. And nowhere else on earth do rhinos roam and lions hunt so close to shopping malls, or skyscrapers fight for skyline space with the giraffe. Nairobi National Park is unique in many ways and offers the perfect city break: ideal for a bush breakfast, evening sundowners or just a leisurely game drive.
Immediately adjacent to the park lies the magnificent Safari Walk, a rolling boardwalk that skims over a series of wilderness enclosures. There’s also the charming Animal Orphanage, which shelters a shifting population of orphaned, abandoned, or wounded animals.
Out of Africa
No visit to Nairobi would be complete without a visit to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT) in the suburb of Karen. SWT is the most successful orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and visitors can get up close and personal with the gorgeous baby elephants as they go about their daily routine.
Close by is the equally famous Giraffe Centre, where you can pet and feed the endangered Rothchild’s giraffe. If you stay a night at the adjoining Giraffe Manor, a giraffe will probably join you for breakfast.
Whilst you are in Karen, you can also visit the farmhouse of Karen Blixen, author of Out of Africa, now preserved as a museum.
Culture & heritage
The best way to get a flavour of Nairobi is on a city tour. Gain a unique insight into Kenya’s past and present by seeing the Parliament Building, Jomo Kenyatta’s mausoleum and the Railway Museum (background to the ‘Lunatic Line’ and man-eaters of Tsavo). Some tours include stops at open craft markets and a traditional Kenyan lunch.
Visit your distant relations
A visit to the newly (and wonderfully) modernized Nairobi National Museum offers an unrivalled introduction to Kenya’s culture and natural history. It also allows you to catch up with your earliest relatives in the single most important collection of early human fossils in the world. The line-up includes ‘Proconsul’ which is 18-million years-old; and ‘Turkana boy’, a mere 1.6 million-years-old.
Nairobi day trip features
Legend has it that Nairobi National Park was founded because the colonial settlers grew increasingly exasperated by lions. It wasn’t just that they wandered the streets by night or that the graveyard with filled with headstones reading ‘killed by lions’. It was that they trampled the flowerbeds. The lions, the settlers said, would have to…
A freshwater lake, the highest of the string of lakes that glitter down the vast trench of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha is infamous for its rapidly shifting moods. One minute serene and calm, the next it will be whipped by swirling winds and shadowed by storm clouds. Hence its name, which means ‘the…
The Bomas of Kenya offers an unprecedented insight into the authentic cultural heritage of Kenya. Something of a time machine, it has captured an ethnic snapshot of a fascinating range of cultures, many of which are fast disappearing under the onslaught of the technological age. The Bomas of Kenya is a highly popular day trip…
Whether you begin or end your trip in Nairobi, there’s plenty to do and see: for an hour, a morning, or a full day. Below are just some of Nairobi’s most popular day trips. Nairobi City Tour The best way to discover the vibrant diversity of this historic city, which is the uncontested ‘Safari Capital…
Karura Forest is full of surprises. It welcomes 16,000 walkers, runners, horse-riders and dog walkers a month. It also occupies fourth-place on the TripAdvisor hit list of ‘what to do in Nairobi.’ Furthermore, it provides a living classroom for thousands of Kenyan school children. And it hosts a selection of events from team building events to…
A visit to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage is one of Nairobi’s most enchanting experiences. It’s also one that has to be planned in advance as the opening times are limited. Here’s a taste of a visit to one of Africa’s oldest and most pioneering conservation projects. Elephant playtime It’s one of the highlights…
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