10 Fun Places to Visit in Nairobi & Best Activities in Nairobi
What are the best activities in Nairobi? Which are the best places to visit in Nairobi with family? What are the best activities for couples in Nairobi? The name Nairobi is derived from the Maasai word “enkare Nairobi,” which means a place of cool water. As of the 2019 census, it had a population of 4,397,073.
Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, shouts its beauty in evident elegance. It was voted Africa’s leading city for business meetings and conferences during the 2016/2017 edition of the Africa World Travel Awards.
It is the only city in the world with a national park within its borders, Nairobi National Park. You will capture 4 of the big 5 (leopards, lions, buffalos, and rhinos) within Nairobi, in Nairobi National Park,
And don’t worry about missing the elephant since the fun places in Nairobi also offer these giants. Here we are talking of David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, located within the city.
Nairobi is also the ideal destination for business travelers who want to savor the magical beauty of Africa and still manage their business and work relationships. The city is packed with 5-star business hotels with all utilities a business traveler would need.
These include Hilton Hotel, Villa Rosa Kempinski, Ole Sereni, and the Tribe Hotel, which can provide you with things to do in Nairobi at night. But what are the most exciting things to do in Nairobi? Find out more from this best Activities in Nairobi piece by the AjKenyaSafaris.com Nairobi team.
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Our Most Booked Nairobi Day Tours and Other Safari Packages
|Our Most Booked Kenya Safari Packages 2023||Price Per Adult Sharing||The Detailed Itinerary|
|1-Day Nairobi National Park & Giraffe Center Tour||From USD 119||See the Itinerary|
|1-Day Nairobi National Park & Nairobi Animal Orphanage Tour||From USD 34||See the Itinerary|
|3-Day Masai Mara Camp Packages||From USD 1015||See the Itinerary|
|3-Day Masai Mara Christmas Packages||From USD 1010||See the Itinerary|
|3-Day Masai Mara Easter Packages||From USD 985||See the Itinerary|
|3-Day Masai Mara Festive Packages||From USD 1315||See the Itinerary|
|3-Day Masai Mara Lodge Safari||From USD 995||See the Itinerary|
|3-Day Masai Mara Packages||From USD 955||See the Itinerary|
|3-Day Masai Mara Packages from Nairobi||From USD 995||See the Itinerary|
|3-Day Ol Pejeta Easter Safari||From USD 1175||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day Africa Migration Masai Mara Packages||From USD 1360||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day L. Naivasha & Masai Mara Easter Safari||From USD 1249||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day L. Naivasha & Masai Mara Safari||From USD 1174||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day L. Nakuru & Masai Mara Safari||From USD 1162||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day Masai Mara Camp Packages||From USD 1195||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day Masai Mara Easter Packages||From USD 1235||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day Masai Mara Migration Packages||From USD 1360||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day Mombasa & Diani Safari||From USD 937||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day Mombasa & Diani Valentine Safari||From USD 1405||See the Itinerary|
|5-Day Flying Safari to Masai Mara & Ol Pejeta Conservancy||From USD 3777||See the Itinerary|
|6-Day Kenya Wildlife Safari from India||From USD 1730||See the Itinerary|
|7-Day Kenya Christmas Safari||From USD 3093||See the Itinerary|
|7-Day Kenya Wildlife Safari||From USD 1884||See the Itinerary|
|8-Day Kenya Wildlife Safari||From USD 4413||See the Itinerary|
|8-Day Wildlife & Beach Safari||From USD 1585||See the Itinerary|
|12-Day Kenya Wildlife & Beach Safari||From USD 4216||See the Itinerary|
|18-Day Kenya Family Safari||From USD 5849||See the Itinerary|
The Top 10 Best Activities in Nairobi Review
Nairobi has a lot to offer, and here is the countdown of the top 10 things to do in Nairobi. You can combine these activities and have the best Nairobi day tour.
Nairobi National Park – The Only National Park within a City
Nairobi National Park is a tourist hotspot of Kenya, located in Nairobi city, the capital of Kenya. The Park was established in 1946. It was the first national park in Kenya and a role model for wildlife conservation.
It is where Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi burned 12 tons of ivory in 1989, urging the world to halt the ivory trade. Locals also know the national park as “Kifaru Ark,” a name that cements the park’s legacy as a rhinoceros sanctuary.
The park boasts of having the world’s densest concentration of black rhinoceros. Nairobi National Park is today home to more than 400 bird species and 100 mammal species. The park’s uniqueness is its proximity to the urban center of Nairobi.
There are certain areas in the park where you can take striking photographs of wildlife against the iconic backdrop of the city skyline. The closeness of the national park to Nairobi makes it a perfect escapade for wildlife enthusiasts visiting Kenya.
This fact has also earned the park the moniker of being the “world’s only national park within a capital city.” Nairobi National Park is one of the most adventurous places in Nairobi, where you can partake in several outdoor activities of Kenya.
It is relatively small and can be covered within a day’s travel. The park is easily accessible from all sides, and the tourism infrastructure is also good.
How to Get to Nairobi National Park
Matatus (local mini-busses) Number 125 and 126 will take you straight to the main gate of Nairobi National Park for just USD 0.5, from the train station. If you wish for a more comfortable journey, you should consider booking your safari with a travel agency like AjKenyaSafaris.com.
The main gate of the Nairobi National Park is just 7 km from the city’s downtown. There are two other gates; one on Magadi Rd and the other near Athi River. The Athi River gate is convenient for tourists traveling from Mombasa, Amboseli, or Tanzania.
Entry Fees of Nairobi National Park
Entry Fees for the Park are as follows: Fin the latest update on the KWS website.
- Non-Resident Adult – USD 60
- Non-Resident Child – USD 20
- Resident Adult – USD 5
- Resident Child – USD 2.15
- Citizen Adult – USD 5
- Citizen Child – USD 2.15
Tips for Visiting Nairobi National Park
- The park can be covered within 6-9 hours.
- Do take your binoculars and camera.
- Carry snacks/lunch and drinking water.
- Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and an umbrella
Activities in Nairobi Kenya: Things to Do in Nairobi National Park
- Solo Camping
- Mini Safaris
- Wildlife Excursions
- Self-Drive Safari
- Hiking and Cycling
- Wildlife Photography
- Game Viewing
- Group Picnics
- Corporate Events and Business Retreats
Expert Tip: On a single-day trip, you can visit the game park, the Nairobi Safari Walk, and the Nairobi Animal Orphanage, all housed inside the park. This safari is suitable for family travelers, Kenya group holidays, or corporate events.
Feed and Pet the Tallest Land Animals at the Giraffe Centre Nairobi
When I visited Giraffe Centre for the first time, I had a uniquely ‘wild’ experience that was both terrifying (being so close to such giant beasts) and satisfying (yes, I was kissed by a giraffe). I discovered that giraffes are naturally friendly and meek animals despite their intimidating size.
The giraffes are gorgeous, and I loved feeding them. As you enter the Giraffe Centre, some volunteers may offer you a handful serving of giraffe treats that you can lure the animals with and get to pet with the other hand.
The staff at the center are primarily volunteers who will always answer visitor questions enthusiastically and have a lot of experience in interacting with the giraffes. The best part is that there are minimal restrictions, especially regarding taking pictures and touching the animals, which translates to more fun for the visitors.
Getting Giraffe Center
Visiting the Giraffe Centre is one of the most popular tourist activities in Nairobi, Kenya. It is a sanctuary for the endangered Rothschild giraffe in Karen, roughly 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) from Nairobi City center.
It was established in 1979 by Jock Leslie-Melville and his wife, Betty, and is currently managed by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW). The Giraffe center is easily accessible from the Nairobi CBD by private car, taxi, or public matatu (passenger van).
Most taxi service providers, including Uber and Taxify, take half an hour to get you to the center and charge anywhere between USD 5 and USD 10. The best way to get here would be through a licensed travel company like AjKenyaSafaris.com.
Main Attractions at the Giraffe Centre
Feeding and petting giraffes
The main attraction at the Nairobi Giraffe Centre is feeding the animals. The center has put up a raised observation platform where lucky visitors can get to feed and pet the giraffes. You will get to feel how thick and rough a giraffe’s skin is, how it rolls its tongue to grab and swallow a treat, and if you play your cards well, you may even get a kiss.
Bird-watching and nature trail
Giraffe Centre offers a lot more than just feeding and petting giraffes. The center has a conserved ancient forest with a nature trail that will take you through the homes of different varieties of giraffes, unique plants, and over 180 species of glamorous birds.
See herbivores in their natural habitat
Besides the giraffes, several warthogs, bushbucks, and other smaller herbivorous animals roam freely alongside the giraffes. Campers may also bring their gear and camp at the center’s six-hectare forest farm.
Buy unique gifts at the gift shop
Shop for unique African gifts and memorabilia at the gift shop located inside the Giraffe Centre. There is a wide variety of unique handmade crafts, including giraffe carvings and wearable ornaments.
Enjoy African delicacies at the giraffe sanctuary hotel
The Leslie-Melville house (the founders of Giraffe Centre) was converted into the exquisite Giraffe Manor Boutique Hotel. The management constantly strives to offer what they call a unique untouched wildlife experience to its visitors. The restaurant offers a wide variety of drinks, meals, and double or twin bedroom accommodation.
Giraffe Centre Opening Hours
The Giraffe Centre opens every day of the week at 9 AM and closes at 5 PM. Throughout this time, the center offers feeding and tours.
Giraffe Centre Prices
Visitors are charged entry fees at the center, which go towards conserving the animals in and outside the center. You can find the center entry fee here, but here is the breakdown:
- Non-Resident Adult – USD 15
- Non-Resident Child – USD 7.5
- Resident Adult – USD 4
- Resident child – USD 2
- School Group = Free When Booked One Week in Advance
The center can get crowded during weekends and holidays. It is suitable for sole travelers, family holidays, small group safaris, school, conservation, and corporate groups.
Connect with The Cultures of Ancient Kenyans at Bomas of Kenya
Bomas of Kenya was forged in 1971 by the Kenya Tourist Development Corporation. Its primary mandate is to preserve the culture and traditions of the Kenyan people through international advocacy.
I believe it stands true to its promise and is one of the best places to visit in Nairobi, Kenya. Bomas is coined from the Swahili word “boma,’ which means a homestead. At Bomas of Kenya, you get replicates of the traditional villages and houses (Bomas).
The bomas introduce you to enriching insights about the culture, music, craft, and communal structure of each of Kenya’s 43 tribes. They are built using the exact techniques used by the natives, so you get a truly authentic experience, just like you would get if you traveled to the remote parts of Kenya.
Bomas of Kenya Direction
Bomas of Kenya is rooted about 12 kilometers from the Nairobi City Centre and one kilometer from Nairobi National Park. If using public means of transport, choose to board the Karen matatus labeled 24 and alight at Magadi Road junction along Langata road.
Upon alighting, turn left and walk for 200km to the entrance gate. The best way to get here is to ensure you seek the services of a professional provider like AjKenyaSafaris.com, which offers the best activities in Nairobi.
Bomas of Kenya Activities
Bomas of Kenya is the purest embrace of Kenyan culture. It connects you with the ancient Kenyan communities’ living styles, crafts, music, and dances, in a way no other place can.
I am particularly fond of the world-famous Maasai community jumping dance. Dressed like warriors, each man jumps high into the air and stays for a couple of minutes with their head held up high. Maasai traditional songs accompany the jump, but if you are not keen, you will not notice that the melodies are purely vocal with no single instrument. Sounds interesting, right?
Maasai dances are not the only cultural dances performed at the Bomas of Kenya auditorium. Kenya’s 43 communities are well represented with their unique dancing steps and songs. In the case of the Luo culture, for instance, you will experience their famous and vibrant waist dance, which beats Shakira’s waist moves.
Let’s not explore the Luhya dances and the remaining communities, which are also performed at the Bomas of Kenya. You need to be there! How about enjoying this live? Touring the Bomas of Kenya is simple and lets the Harambee dancers take you through the rest.
I fully endorse Bomas of Kenya for cultural enthusiasts, family, and Kenya group tours. At Bomas of Kenya, your children will probably enjoy walking in and out of these huts and the dances and songs. Mainly, the children will love the playground full of painted tire-made swings and modern merry-go-rounds.
Filming and pictures would be fantastic in Bomas of Kenya, but doing this with traditional bracelets, shoes, and clothing would be more epic. There is a craft shop at Bomas of Kenya, where all these items are purchased at affordable prices.
Although some would beg to differ, most of the acrobats done today are modernized and use the assistance of modern equipment. While at Bomas of Kenya, you will enjoy the original acrobat moves and body balancing. Of course, this might be thrilling, but if excitement accompanies the thrill, it becomes worth watching.
Bomas of Kenya Events
Bomas of Kenya, influenced by its auditorium that can seat a population of 3500 people, hosts national events and business conferences. The attraction also has facilities that allow fashion shows, sports, music, school trips, seminars, literature readings, and acts to take Place.
One can also engage in filming at no cost. Its earthing, 7 miles from Nairobi city center, allows you to enjoy morning tours. You can combine this with an afternoon excursion at Nairobi National Park with AjKenyaSafaris.com.
Bomas of Kenya Restaurant
Inside the Bomas of Kenya is the Utamaduni Restaurant that serves finger-licking Kenyan cuisines from Ugali to African vegetables like Mrenda and Kenyan beverages like Mursik. You can choose to take the dishes from inside or outside the restaurant.
Influenced by the fresh breeze and Nairobi national park scenery, I would advise taking the dishes from outside on the fancy wooden seats.
Bomas of Kenya Operating Hours
Opening and closing hours at Bomas of Kenya depend on various activities and the day of the week. Typically, the opening and closing hours of Bomas of Kenya are 8 AM and 6 PM, with the village tours occurring from 10 AM.
Cultural dances are performed from 2:30–4:00 PM from Monday to Friday. The cultural dances during public holidays and weekends are open from 3:30 to 5:15 PM. That makes Bomas a great place if you are looking for activities in Nairobi this weekend.
Bomas of Kenya Charges
Here comes the exciting bit as you experience all the activities at Bomas of Kenya at low prices. Although affordable, the charges at Bomas of Kenya vary with nationality and age.
- Non-Resident Adult – USD 10
- Non-Resident Child – USD 5
- Resident Adult – USD 3
- Resident Child – USD 2
- Citizen Adult – USD 2
- Citizen Child – USD 0.5
Village Market – East Africa’s Largest Shopping, Entertainment, and Recreational Center
The Village Market is an extensive leisure facility and shopping center perched at the heart of the Gigiri area along Limuru Road, 10 kilometers away from Nairobi City. It stands on a site of 20,000 sq feet, and it is East Africa’s most extensive shopping, entertainment, and recreation center.
The market has more than 150 stores, including cafes, a 12-lane bowling alley, Nu-Metro Cinema hall, nine hi-tide waterslides, a water park, Maasai Market, restaurants, and bars. For shoppers, unique hand-made crafts such as Masaai spears, beaded masks, and earrings are offered to you in the Maasai curio market.
It is among the free places to visit in Nairobi, and be prepared to bargain (if you can speak a few Swahili words, it will work out great for you), or else you will be paying double the price for everything. Do not accept the first offer; it is usually double the price.
For westerners, besides the lovely outdoor area, a chance to buy Kenyan-themed souvenirs, and to shop for all your need under one roof, the Village market isn’t much of a tourist destination. The market is very reminiscent of the regular shopping malls in US and UK, but still, it’s magical to find something reminiscent of your home in Kenya, right?
If you want to plan a family day out with kids, do not plan a special day to explore the village market. If you are in the neighborhood, it’s a great stop for dinner or lunch. On my first visit to the village market, I had trouble finding my favorite restaurant (the Sushi Restaurant or Doman’s). There is no signboard, but eventually, I spotted it.
Village Market Nairobi Swimming Pool
The village market has a gorgeous swimming pool—one for kids and a separate one for adults. This, coupled with its alluring outdoor area, wins it a spot in our list of exciting activities to do in Nairobi, Kenya, for family travelers.
The pool includes a trampoline park, ignite lifestyle gym, waterpark, and bowling.
Village Market Events
The two significant events at the village market are the “Maasai market” and the “Urban Nite.” The Masai market borrows its name from the Masai – one of the 43 Kenyan tribes. They have retained their world-famous culture, identity, and pride.
The market moves to different malls in Nairobi, and it is usually open in the village market every Friday, from 8 AM to 6.30 PM at VM rooftop. Some items you can expect to find in the market include curios and artifacts from Kenya and East Africa.
The Village Market, Just like Bomas of Kenya, is one of the adventurous places in Nairobi that allows you to see the best talent in Kenya. Indeed, “Kenyans got talent.” It is held on varying days in the village market and showcases local artists in various genres such as poems and contemporary Jazz.
Sometimes, entrance to the Urban Nite is free, but you must pay other times.
Cycle at Karura Forest or Take a Nature Walk
If you want to escape the hustles and bustles of Nairobi city, Karura forest is the ultimate plan. It is perched on 1,041 hectares of land, making it one of Nairobi’s four gazetted urban forests.
The other gazette forests in Nairobi city are Nairobi Arboretum which is located inside Nairobi city, Ngong Forest, and Oloolua forest. Kenya Forest Services manage Karura forest. It is a 10-minute drive from the CBD.
It is accessible from Nairobi city using public transport for about USD 1.5 or a taxi for about USD 30. Besides being one of the most adventurous places in Nairobi, Karura is ideal for toning your muscles and getting your blood flowing right. It has walking trails of varying lengths, creatively made to satiate the fitness needs of all types.
The longest Karura Forest walking trail is 15 kilometers, the second-longest 10 kilometers, and the smallest 5 kilometers. If walking isn’t your favorite workout, Karura forest allows biking, and you can cycle into the thick forest for 12 kilometers. Bikes are available for hire at the entrance, but you are free to bring your own.
The hills are sharp at some point, but if you are the next Lance Armstrong, go ahead and have fun. If anything, this was my promise at the start of this article. I want to give you a comprehensive list of the best places to visit and things to do in Nairobi, Kenya.
Then, select the ones you want to include in your Nairobi safari itinerary. The Karura forest walking and biking trails will read you through a thick forest of indigenous trees, caves, streams, and waterfalls.
The trails are color-coded in line with their length, and birds will be chirping to motivate you to keep fit. Karura forest has nearly all the species of wildlife (605 to be exact) that inhabit Nairobi.
Also, on your lucky day, you will encounter two of the most beautiful butterflies, Desmond’s Green Banded Swallowtail and the African Queen. Karura forest is open every day from 6:00 AM and 5:00 PM.
For a great day, wear comfortable walking shoes and carry drinking water, a camera, and binoculars. If you are coming with kids, a wildlife book, especially for butterflies and birds.
Karura Forest Entrance Fee
The beauty of the Karura forest is that all the payments you make go towards conserving and preserving the woods. I suggest you convert your money into Kenya shillings before going to Karura because prices are in Kenya shillings. The forest entrance fees are as follows:
- Non-Resident Adult – KES 600 or USD 6
- Non-Resident Child – KES 300 or USD 3
- Resident Adult – KES 200 or USD 2
- Resident Child – KES 100 or USD 1
- Citizen Adult – KES 100
- Citizen Child – KES 50
Visit GP Karting for an Adrenaline Raising Experience
GP Karting was established in 1996 and is one of Kenya’s oldest go-karting places that offers unusual things to do in Nairobi. It is a short distance from Nairobi CBD, slightly off Langata Road. It is easily accessible by both private and public transport.
You can board a bus or a Matatu (public service vehicles as we call them in Nairobi), plying the Langata road, and alight at “Carnivore Stage.” You can walk a short distance or take a Boda Boda (motorbike) to GP Karting. The cost of traveling to GP Karting from Nairobi CBD using public transport is roughly USD 2.50
If you decide to take a Taxi, you are looking at about USD 10. I think GP Karting is one of the most adventurous places in Nairobi and the best go-karting destination for adults, teenagers, and kids. The excitement comes in when family members or friends race against each other.
Imagine your daughter or son beating you at the finish line; it would be a lifetime memory, right? Since GP Karting sits next to Splash Water world – which has a lot of fun activities for kids on a hot day – combining the two makes a great day out with kids.
The staffs are friendly and welcoming, and they will offer you a full driver’s briefing, a racing suit, and a helmet. Note that you don’t need to be a driver to participate in go-karting. The instructors (called Marshalls at GP Karting) will brief you on how to drive the kart.
Marshalls argue that car drivers get the most challenging time driving the kart. They say they tend to transfer their car driving skills to the kart, and the two don’t work the same. Your speed is timed as you navigate the tarmac tracks.
You are given the results at the end, showing everyone’s speeds so you can see who hit the finish line first. So, if you are looking for fun activities in Nairobi for a group, family, or corporate team building, GP Karting is your best bet!
We recommend visiting GP Karting during weekdays when it is less busy, especially if you want to practice and improve your lap time. During my first visit to GP Karting, I loved the weekday experience.
The Marshalls only allow a maximum of 10 karts on the track. This significantly lowers the risk of running into someone.
Finix Casino – Las Vegas in Nairobi, Kenya
Finix Casino stands right at the heart of Hurlingham. You will only take a 10-minute drive from Nairobi city. The casino is accessible through public or private means. Finix casino should be your next port of call if you consider yourself a casino lover.
The Place has lots of games and fun. An extension of slot machines and an electronic Roulette Table are available. Finix Casino is the ideal Place for you.
Rolfs Place – Adventure at Its Best
Rolf Place is a leopard cliff Mansion (a restaurant) that resembles a medieval fortress sitting on the top of a cliff, opposite a small stream valley. It is perched in the eastern part of Nairobi National Park in Ongata Rongai.
It is approximately a 25-minute drive from Nairobi city on the road that opens up at Nazarene University. The restaurant is a small, attractive building with the flagship touch of German Architecture completed by some classic East African designs.
Rolf’s Place is connected to the other end of the gorge using a suspension bridge that is supported using ropes. It is only by closing the bridge that you can access the restaurant. I assume you are already getting the drift that your visit to Rolf’s Place will be fun.
On a clear day, you will capture the panoramic view of the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro, the adjacent Ngong Hills, and Mount Kenya. Since Rolf’s Place overlooks a small section of Nairobi National Park, it treats animal lovers to rare opportunities to view wildlife across the gorge.
However, the real magic happens when you spend a night here. The roaring of the leopards and lions breaks the night silence as if to soothe you to quality night sleep. Rolfs Place is accessible using public transport from Nairobi CBD for about USD 1.5 or a taxi for about US 10.
The weekend is the best time for a Day tour to Rolf’s Place as the traffic is usually less. The drive to leopard cliff Manson is smooth until the last 2 minutes after branching off Magadi road. Rolf’s place owner – Rolfs Schmidt – was born in 1943 in German, and his life is nothing short of a fairytale.
He has traveled the world and acted in several Hollywood Movies, including the famous Tomb Raider, filmed in Kenya and starred by Angelina Jolie. He has won over 43 contracts to cater to different Hollywood crews filming in Kenya.
Besides his role in movies, Rolfs is famous for his never say die attitude that saw him overcome a mélange of challenges throughout his life. The most challenging diagnosis of throat cancer was in 1953, but Rolfs was not about to let cancer put him down.
Rolf’s place Rongai’s menu includes everything from exotic cuisines to local delicacies. The most popular local cuisine is Nyama Choma (charcoal-grilled meat) – prepared to the classic German standards.