Top Things to do in Nairobi Kenya
So, what will be your top things to pick and do if you are in Nairobi, Kenya’s Capital? As most of the people take it a transit stay while going to other touristic points of Kenya. Yet it is an important tourist attraction too and offers abundant things to tourists to do while staying in Nairobi.
Obviously, Nairobi is Keya’s beating heart. Also, it is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. While most of the people speak English which is one of Kenya’s official languages too. The city originated in the late years of the eighteenth-century as a colonial railway settlement. While it gets its name from the Masai word “Enkare Nairobi” which means “Cold Water”. Whereas, just after a few years of its establishment, it became the capital of British East Africa Protectorate in 1905. Moreover, you can find every modern facility here and on top of that, it’s safe in most of the city areas. Although I stayed four nights in Nairobi but as per your preference you can visit it in 1,2, or 3 days.
How to Get To Nairobi?
Nairobi is the main departure and arrival point of the city. It has Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. JKIA is about 15km from the south of the city center. It has two international terminals and one domestic terminal. While you can go to the city center by taxi that costs you from 2000/3000 KES($20~30). On the other hand, you can take Uber to do this tour for 1000-1200 KES($10~12). You can also take Bus34 to reach to city.
Wilson Airport. Nairobi has another airport which is 6 km from the south of the city. It has served a few international flights to Kenya along with many chartered and domestic flights. Many matatus can take you to the airport, like 15, 125 &126.
By Land Borders
You can take a direct bus from Uganda to reach Nairobi. A couple of companies like Easy Coach Bus and Mash Poa Bus Service are operational on this route. Mash Poa is providing online booking too. From Tanzania, one can cross from Arusha or Mombassa. Out of many bus companies, Tehmeed is famous and well known.
How to Get Around NAirobi?
Kenya hasn’t any government-owned public transport system. So, here you can find privately-owned transport options. While these options are limited to matatus ( minibusses, vans), Buses, motorcycles (Boda Bodas), Taxis, and bicycles. Whereas, in some areas, you can find tricycles too.
Matatus are used within cities as well as to intercity transportations. Nairobi is a huge city, and driving across town can take over two/three hours. To get the right Mutatu is a tough thing to search for. Most of the Mutatus leave from the CBD area near and around Acacia Road. For intercity traveling, I entirely used this option to go for Naivasha and Masai Mara.
Taxi is a convenient way but it comes at a cost. However, Uber is fully operational within Nairobi and you can get a ride at an economical rate. Furthermore, you have to pay the same amount which appears on your mobile screen while booking your ride.
Boda Bodas in Kenya
It is the most economical and convenient way to go around in Kenya. You can get a Boda Boda for 200 to 400KES within the city. Boda Bodas can also be booked by Uber too. You can even find a Boda Bodas on your way to Airport too.
Sim card is an important tool while traveling into Kenya. You have need data while getting to your destinations. In Kenya, you have a choice to select from Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom. After comparing these three I opt for Safaricom which has the highest share in the Kenyan market. So, as per my requirement, I purchased a sim for 1100KES with 5GB of data, 400 minutes, and 1000 text messages. You can get the booths of all three telecom companies near Terminal IA in JKIA.
Where to Stay in NAirobi?
There are very few hostels with dormitory beds with them. However, wherever applicable the bed starts from 15~25$. Alternatively, you can get a budget hostel in the range of 20~30$ and midrange from 40~80$.
I have stayed at different properties throughout my stay in Kenya. While booking, I always make a combination of cost, location, and review scores.
In Nairobi, I stayed in Mercy-Philips Apartments. It was a nice clean and tidy apartment run by a lady. In addition, I stayed a couple of nights in Wildebeest Eco Camp. Although it was slightly outside of the city center even though its location was the matter that I booked it.
Most of my bookings were from Booking.com or directly booked at the property. However, When you’re looking for a stay, do your research first. Finally, read the reviews to get a feel for the place and then book somewhere that suits you.
Where to Eat in NAirobi?
During my stay in Nairobi, I used the hostel dining facility most of the time. Especially the Wildebeest Eco Camp has a well-established poolside restaurant and as per your order can provide you food in the restaurant. However, as per my personal experience and a few friends’ recommendations, I can advise about a couple of restaurants. That includes the Talisman which is located on the west of the city center on Ngong road. Alternatively, you can visit the Carnivore if you are a meat lover. For this purpose, you have to go to the southern Bypass toward Nairobi National Park.
Things to Do in NAirobi Kenya
As per your time frame, you can visit Nairobi in one day, Two Days, Three Days, or more than three days tour.
- Day 1: Nairobi CBD area, National Museum or Railway Museum
- 2nd Day. In the morning Elephat Orphange and Giraffe center. In the evening Bomas Of Kenya.
- Day 3: a full day/Half Day game drive to Nairobi National Park.
Downtown NAirobi(CBD Area)
The downtown area of Nairobi is known as CBD(Central Business District). It is the busiest area of Nairobi and in the afternoon, you even can’t find a way to walk on. Here you find a lot of important buildings of Kenyan Heritage. A couple of few among them are
Kenyata International Convention Center
It is the 6th tallest building in Kenya, located in the Central Business District. You can take a panorama view of the city from its rooftop. It takes a nominal entrance fee from every visitor.
Parliament Building is located at Parliament Road, Nairobi. You can visit it on the way to Kenyata International Convention Center. It is adjacent to Uhuru Park too. Anyone who wants to visit this government building can book a tour from their WEBSITE.
It is an important hangout point in Nairobi that lies in the CBD area. In the Swahili language, it means Freedom Park. So it has a historical association with Kenyan independence. Besides, it is a popular spot for political rallies and speeches. To its eastern side, you can see the prestigious Kenyan Parliament building. On weekends, you can find a bit of rush here as local families come to make it a picnic place. next to Uhuru Park and on the other side of Kenyata Avenue you can see and visit central Park too. The central park includes a memorial of Jomo Kenyatta.
Now a day’s this park is closed for the public as renovation work is being operated on the site of Uhuru Park and the Kenyan Parliament Building.
Jamia Mosque is one of Kenya’s most prominent religious structures and the most important mosque in the country. As a landmark and heritage site at the heart of Nairobi’s CBD, Jamia Mosque-Nairobi displays an iconic image and an architectural masterpiece. It is located on Banda Street, Nairobi, Kenya in the CBD area. It is about 120 Years old mosque.
Nairobi NAtional Museum
While visiting this Museum, you can learn about Kenya’s rich heritage including culture, nature, history, and art. Besides, you can visit the Other attractions within the same grounds. That includes the Nairobi Snake Park, a botanical garden, and a nature trail. The small Botanical Garden adjacent to National Museum and beside the Nairobi River is a relaxed bonus in this combo. It might be a small leisurely walk and a bit relaxed place after visiting the Museum.
Nairobi Railway Museum
Nairobi was simply a Railway depot in the colonial era that runs from Mombasa to Uganda. Now a museum is located beside the Nairobi Railway station that provides a history of rail travel in East Africa. So, here you find a chance to see old locomotives and even some functioning models.
Giraffe Center is a breeding, research, and conservation center where you can learn about Rothschild giraffes. The Giraffe Centre is the creation of the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (A.F.E.W. Kenya), a Kenyan non-profit organization. You can visit this center for an entrance fee of 1500KSH. Here you can visit and feed 12 Girrafs. Out of these 12 Giraffes, one is dominating male, five females, and six baby giraffes. Giraffe center also has a gift and souvenir shop too.
Beside the Girraf center, you can visit a dense botanical Garden which is in front of Giraffe center but on the other side of the road. Here you can visit different marked trails along with many species of Birds.
Elephant orphanage is a rehabilitation center for abandoned or orphaned baby elephants that are kept here due to their infancy. So, the elephants are cared for during their childhood. After that, they are released back into the wild when they are old enough.
Bomas Of Kenya
Bomas of Kenya is a must-visit place in Nairobi. This top-of-the-list place will introduce you to the real Kenya. So, if you want to experience the rich diversity of Kenyan traditional music and dance then you definitely visit these daily cultural performances. It offers different cultural programs in Auditorium. Furthermore, you can visit the model houses of different Kenyan tribes. Finally, you can sit and relax within many parks in the company of Warthogs too. In my opinion, you need a full day to visit Bomas of Kenya.
I went to this place after visiting Girraf center. So, in my half-day tour, first I have purchased the ticket. After that, I visited the village with a guide. The ticket price was 1000Kes that including the services of a guide and a Kenyan Dancing show. I spent about one and a half-hour in Village. The daily Kenyan Dance show time was 14:30 to 16:00. The show was amazing and it includes the famous dance performances of the tribes of Kenya.
Nairobi National PArk
Nairobi national park is probably Africa’s smallest national park that lies just outside Nairobi city. If you’re in Nairobi for a short time, then this is an awesome way to go on a safari in Nairobi National Park. As the all other options are far away from the Capital and you have to travel too far.
Is Nairobi is a Transit Place
Sadly it considers as a transit place. Most of the people take Nairobi as their entry and exit point in Kenya. it is a busy place and capital of Kenya, so people plan their logistics and get resources for their next endeavors. I haven’t any exceptions. I came to Nairobi and after spending a couple of nights here, I went to Lake Naivasha and Hells Gate. Then After Masai Mara Safari, I again spent two nights in the capital of Kenya.