The Top 10 Best Tourist Attractions in Nairobi, Kenya

Updated on July 16, 2018
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Januaris is a tour and travel enthusiast. He runs an online travel platform that specializes in Africa tours, trips, vacations, and safaris.

Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, is home to some of the best tourist attractions in the country. It is visited by hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers every year, making it a popular tourist destination.

From attending musical concerts or comedy shows to visiting national parks, there is a lot you can do in this booming city. Read on to learn about the best places to visit in Nairobi.

The Top 10 Must-See Places in Nairobi

  1. Nairobi National Park
  2. Nairobi National Museum
  3. Giraffe Center
  4. Dame Sheldrick’s Elephant and Rhino Orphanage
  5. Karen Blixen Museum
  6. Nairobi Arboretum Park
  7. Carnivore Restaurant
  8. Kazuri Bead Factory and Pottery Center
  9. Ngong Hills
  10. Bomas of Kenya

10. Bomas of Kenya

This is a living museum located 10 kilometers west of the CBD. The museum complex boasts art and crafts from all Kenyan tribes.

Tourists visit the museum to learn the history, culture, and lifestyle of Kenyans. It features a large theater that regularly hosts traditional dancers and singers.

According to my own experience, the Bomas of Kenya is pretty vibrant when there is a function going on in the theater. You get entertained by hilarious performers, interact with other attendees, and tour the art and crafts center.

Performers at Bomas of Kenya
Performers at Bomas of Kenya | Source

9. Ngong Hills

The Ngong Hills are located southwest of Nairobi, overlooking the Great Rift Valley. The hills are formed by an 8,070-foot-high ridge and are covered by beautiful green vegetation. The slopes of the hills provide excellent walking trails, camping points, and sightseeing scenery.

The area is always filled with people, most of whom are holding meetings on the open places or hiking on the trails. There are a lot of things you can do in this mountainous location.

When I felt like walking during my visit to Nairobi, I would head to the Ngong Hills. It is pretty enjoyable getting a cool breeze while walking around on the beautiful trails and interacting with other visitors.

Ngong Hills
Ngong Hills | Source

8. Kazuri Bead Factory and Pottery Center

Established in 1975, the Kazuri Bead Factory and Pottery Center is a great place to see and buy local art and crafts. When visiting the factory, you will have an opportunity to see how ceramic beads, pots, and some leather goods are created. You can also buy some of the manufactured products to wear or to improve your home décor.

I have visited this place two or three times, and I can say that it doesn’t disappoint. It feels awesome sampling and buying artifacts and seeing how the items are crafted.

An Item of Kazuri Bead Factory and Pottery Center
An Item of Kazuri Bead Factory and Pottery Center | Source

7. Carnivore Restaurant

Located just 4 kilometers west of the CBD, Carnivore Restaurant is a good place to enjoy entertainment and taste the most delicious meat in the city. The spacious restaurant holds live music, comedy shows, and cultural celebration events weekly.

Generally, the restaurant is a great place to sample local dishes and meet new people on a beautiful night out.

Like the Bomas of Kenya, this restaurant is more lively and vibrant when it is hosting a show. During my visit there, I was entertained by the best comedians and bands in the country and dined in a magnificent eatery.

Carnivore Restaurant
Carnivore Restaurant | Source

6. Nairobi Arboretum Park

Founded in 1907 by a conservator of forests, Nairobi Arboretum is a public-owned reserve. The 30-hectare park is located along the State House Road, Kilimani, 3 kilometers from the CBD.

The picnic destination supports over 350 tree species and is home to small-sized mammals and birds. The attraction is managed by the Friends of Nairobi Arboretum and the Kenya Forest Service. The greenery is an excellent venue for a variety of events and activities such as weddings, concerts, corporate parties, and sightseeing adventures.

Tip: I have found this place to be similar to the Ngong Hills. If you are not good at hiking or climbing, you might consider this place instead. It is flat, so you will not get too tired on your trip, but you can be sure to enjoy every corner of the area.

Arboretum Park
Arboretum Park | Source

5. Karen Blixen Museum

Located at the foot of the Ngong Hills, Karen Blixen Museum is a farmhouse that was established by Karen Blixen in 1917.

It showcases books, movies, and furniture owned by the Blixen family, and it is a great place to learn the story of the famous family and Kenya’s colonial era. It includes a shop that sells souvenirs and handcrafts.

According to my own experience, this place is great for the lovers of history. It offers a lot of reading materials, and there are good places to relax when perusing the books.

Karen Blixen Museum
Karen Blixen Museum | Source

4. Dame Sheldrick’s Elephant and Rhino Orphanage

Located inside the Nairobi National Park, Dame Sheldrick’s Elephant and Rhino Orphanage is a game nursery that takes care of orphaned elephants and rhinos. It was established in 1970 by Dame Sheldrick in honor of her husband, who was a pioneer conservationist.

You can visit the orphanage and adopt an orphaned animal as a way of supporting the conservation of elephants and rhinos. When visiting this animal rehabilitation center, you will be able to see some of the world’s biggest animals up close.

I have visited this orphanage a number of times and I have found it unimaginably fascinating when it comes to wildlife. It is within the capital and has plenty of tour guides and rangers.

Dame Sheldrick’s Elephant and Rhino Orphanage
Dame Sheldrick’s Elephant and Rhino Orphanage | Source

3. Giraffe Center

Established by Jock Leslie-Melville in the 1970s, Giraffe Center is a breeding ground for the rare Rothschild Giraffe. An incredible number of giraffes have been successfully raised in the center and reintroduced into the wild.

The center includes the Giraffe Manor where you can enjoy breakfast as you watch the giraffes. It also includes an education center that teaches pupils and students about wildlife conservation.

I could not get enough of this place. Where else can you feed giraffes as you eat snacks in a restaurant?

Giraffe Being Fed at the Center
Giraffe Being Fed at the Center | Source

2. Nairobi National Museum

Founded in 1920, Nairobi National Museum is a large building that houses a collection of traditional art and craft items, the remains of the early man, and taxidermied animals. It offers visitors a chance to learn more about Kenya’s history, culture, art, and paleontology.

Most of the Leakey family’s anthropological discoveries are found in the building. The compound also features botanical gardens and restaurants, making it one of the best places to visit in Nairobi.

This is also a great place for lovers of history and culture. I visited the art and craft zone, and it was an experience of a lifetime. I also loved the gardens and authentic dishes offered in the restaurants.

Nairobi National Museum
Nairobi National Museum | Source

1. Nairobi National Park

Located 7 kilometers west of the CBD, the national park makes Nairobi the only capital city in the world with a game park. The 117-square-kilometer park was established in 1946 and is home to a wide range of animal and bird species.

Some animals found in the park include lions, leopards, cheetahs, black rhinos, buffaloes, hippos, hyenas, zebras, giraffes, elands, and wildebeests.

This is a place you shouldn’t miss when visiting the Kenyan capital. One thing I like about it is that you don’t consume a lot of time when accessing it. Another good thing about it is that you get a chance to see a wide variety of animals.

Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park | Source

As you can see, there are a lot of things to see and do in Nairobi. All these tourist attractions can be accessed from the CBD in a matter of minutes, which means that people with tight schedules or limited time can easily visit them.

How many of these top tourist attractions in Nairobi have you visited?

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    © 2015 Januaris Saint Fores

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