Nairobi is one of the most popular tourist destinations in East and Central Africa. It caters to all the major tourist categories, from Leisure, Adventure, Cultural and Business tourism to Health tourism. This popularity is due to Nairobi’s unique tourist attractions. Nairobi is the only city in the world located next to a National Park and it is the only city with a natural forest contained entirely within its borders. The contrast between nature and urbanization presents a unique backdrop that can only be found within Nairobi. In my blog, we will focus mainly on Adventure, Leisure and Cultural tourist attractions. Here is my ‘Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Nairobi’ list.
1. Nairobi National Park
Christened the world’s only wildlife capital due to its proximity to the Nairobi Central Business District, this 117Km2 park plays host to a wide variety of fauna and flora. The wildlife here includes the endangered black rhino, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, buffaloes, giraffes and a diverse birdlife with over 400 species recorded. The contrast created by wildlife roaming the grasslands on a backdrop of city skyscrapers is a unique perspective that can only be observed in the Nairobi National Park.
2. Giraffe Manor
Made popular by visiting celebrities from around the world, this historic manor lying within 140 acres of indigenous forest is the most Instagrammed property in the world. This boutique hotel allows you the unique opportunity to feed the gentle Rothschild’s giraffes as they poke their heads into the dining room during breakfast and dinner. The Rothschild’s giraffe is an endangered species and money made from the hotel goes towards its conservation. That is why it makes it into my ‘Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Nairobi’ list.
3. Giraffe Centre
From this list, it’s pretty obvious that my favourite animal is the giraffe. But you can’t blame me, who wouldn’t love such a tall and gentle soul? Located inside Langata, this is another establishment that is also aimed towards the conservation efforts of the Rothschild’s giraffe. However, unlike Giraffe Manor this establishment’s main goal is educating Kenyans about endangered animals. The centre is currently home to 7 female and 3 male Rothschild’s giraffes. Every guest gets to meet and feed them.
4. Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Best known for its adorable elephant calves, Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is the most successful orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world. Here you get a chance to bottle-feed milk to the calves and play with them. They are truly adorable creatures and the experience is unforgettable. When here you can help in the conservation efforts by adopting a calf. The money obtained through adoptions has gone a long way in the conservation of elephants which are usually porched for ivory. That is why it makes it into my ‘Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Nairobi’ list.
5. The Nairobi Safari Walk
The Nairobi Safari Walk has developed one of the most interesting, unique and innovative ways to explore the wild. The facility contains a 2.5Km boardwalk elevated some meters above the ground. From the boardwalk, you get to safely observe the big cats, rhinos, primates and various other animals. The boardwalk winds through three major ecosystems: Wetlands, Savannah and Forestry.
6. Karura Forest
Karura Forest is the largest gazetted forest in the world that is fully located within a city’s limits. It is a must-visit whenever you are in Nairobi. Three trails wind through the forest, passing by caves, rivers, swamps and a waterfall. It’s intriguing how a natural forest can survive within a city. But accomplishing this feat wasn’t an easy task, it took years of hard work for Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai to achieve this. Karura Forest is filled with history and I highly recommend you visit it.
7. The Forest
If you are in Nairobi for Adventure Tourism, then you need to check out The Forest, located in Kimende on the outskirts of Nairobi. The forest offers I wide range of activities from Zip-lining, Horse riding, mountain biking, archery, and paintballing. Their Zipline is one of the longest and highest in Africa. You get to fly over the Aberdare forests, with a view of the elephants and waterfalls down below. It’s hard to explain how exhilarating the experience is. That is why it makes it into my ‘Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Nairobi’ list.
8. Rapids Camp Sagana
Located 10 Kilometers from Nairobi, Rapids camp was built for adrenaline junkies and thrill seekers. From water rafting on grade 5 rapids to bungee jumping and ziplining there are so many activities to get your adrenaline kick.
9. Nairobi National Museum
The Nairobi National Museum is the flagship museum in Kenya. It hosts a wide range of prehistoric artefacts, artworks and historical objects. The museum hosts both temporary and permanent galleries that attract learners, tourists and the curious. The permanent galleries are The Cradle of humankind gallery; The Story of mammals; The History of Kenya; Cycles of life gallery; Numismatic exhibition and the Asian African Heritage exhibition gallery.
10. Bomas of Kenya
For Cultural Tourists interested to learn about the traditions of various communities around Kenya, there isn’t a better place to do this than Bomas of Kenya. At Bomas of Kenya, you get to Experience the rich diversity of Kenyan traditional music and dance in the daily cultural performances. Bomas of Kenya’s repertoire consists of over 50 dances from different ethnic communities. With live percussion, string and wind instruments, and diverse, authentic and energetic dancing, BomasHarambee Dancers will take you on a journey through Kenya’s past and present.
This winds up my ‘Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Nairobi’ list. Visit them and leave a comment on your experience down below.