Top 10 Best Things to Do in Nairobi in 2020

Previously, Nairobi was famous for all the wrong things. But as times changed, so did the capital of Kenya. Now it’s a hip and happening metropolis bursting with activities and attractions. You’ll never run out of things to do in Nairobi! Consequently, Nairobi is among the top places to visit in Kenya. Let us have a look at the top tourist activities in Nairobi.

BookOnBoard’s Nairobi Travel Guide

Surrounded by wildlife and national parks, Nairobi is a modern city. It is the most important city in all of Kenya, politically and economically. Full of rich culture and fantastic social activities, it can be a little daunting to plan your Nairobi visit. 

Don’t worry, though! Here at BookOBoard, we have prepared a Travel Guide to Nairobi for you. Continue reading to find about Things to do in Nairobi, Best Places to visit in Nairobi, the Cheapest places to stay in Nairobi, Most popular places to eat in Nairobi, Fun things to do in Nairobi, Affordable hotels in Nairobi, Low-cost flights to Nairobi, Nairobi Holiday Packages, and more!

List of Top 10 Things To Do In Nairobi

  1. Safari at Nairobi National Park
  2. Kissing Giraffes at Giraffe Center
  3. Shop till you drop at Maasai Market
  4. Picnic in Karura Forest
  5. Take a hike on Nairobi Safari Walk
  6. Enjoy tribal life in the Bomas of Kenya
  7. Have unforgettable nightlife in Nairobi
  8. Eat sumptuous meals at the Carnivore
  9. Learn Kenya’s history at the Nairobi National Museum
  10. Touch crocs at the Mamba Village

Note that we have ordered this list according to the public preference data. However, everyone is different. Therefore, you can choose to experience them in any order. Now let’s see these top things to do in Nairobi in detail.

1. Nairobi National Park

What’s Africa without safaris? And Nairobi National Park delivers! If your visit to Kenya is short and limited to Nairobi. Then taking a safari in this Park is definitely one of the top things to do. You have plenty of package tours in the area. These range from a few-hours to day-trips. You can also explore your own track with a guide. The entry fee to the Nairobi National Park is only $20. 

Nairobi National Park
Image by Jorge Láscar from Flickr

The Park is packed bursting with diverse wildlife. The population of animals is pretty high here. So, your chances of seeing them are also great! You can find cape buffalo, black rhino, baboon, gazelle, zebra, hartebeest, hippos, eland, impala, giraffe, ostrich, and much more. But not only that! You can also find cheetahs and lions here in abundance. 

2. The Giraffe Center

Have a unique experience with the tallest creatures on earth! In the Giraffe Center Nairobi, giraffes of many kinds wander freely through lush gardens. At first, it was set up as a conservation and breeding center for endangered giraffes. Nowadays, it is one of the most popular places in Nairobi, and an educational excursion for children.

You can hand-feed the giraffes here. First-hand, you have the opportunity to learn how these majestic animals live and use their bodies. You can meet them on the ground or from the elevated platform. But not only that! You can stay at the beautiful Giraffe Manor located in the park. It is a beautifully maintained colonial home. The giraffes will poke their heads through the french windows to share your breakfast. 

3. Maasai Market

Experience authentic Kenyan culture at the Maasai Market! Kenya is the home of Maasai and many other tribal groups. Each has their own rich cultural heritage. This lovely day market is great for buying real African souvenirs. Local vendors fill the market to bursting with handmade authentic African goods, like the following:

  • Maasai sandals and other footwear
  • Kiondos, which are baskets made of reed
  • Tribal, modern, and fusion artwork
  • Handmade clay, stone, bone, wood and other sculptures
  • Carvings on local life and art
  • Jewelry, belts, bands, headwear, etc. made of beads
  • …and many more!
maasai market nairobi kenya
Image from Shibuya246 from Flickr

Local artisans from various communities sell their hard work here. Moreover, the goods in this market are a lot cheaper than in large stores. The rich and complex market will easily take half your day just exploring. Additionally, you can find local cultural shows, called Shukas, in the market. Consequently, a visit to the Maasai Market should be near the top of you things to do in Nairobi list.

4. Karura Forest

As the largest gazetted urban forest in Kenya, Karura holds a lot for your trip to Nairobi. If you are feeling put-off by the hustle and bustle of city life, it is the perfect getaway for you. It has no dangerous animals – unless you count pestering monkeys stealing your food. Also, it has many birds for your viewing and hearing pleasure. There are many camping and picnic spots in this tamed forest, with amenities. 

Karura forest also boasts of many places to visit. You can enjoy the following in Karura Forest:

  • Visit Mau Mau Caves
  • See beautiful rivers and waterfalls
  • Hike on many marked trails
  • Birdwatching in the wetlands
  • Visit the Incinerator

It is also one of the cheapest places to visit in Nairobi.

5. Nairobi Safari Walk

This raised boardwalk is a great opportunity to view animals up close in their natural habitat. Lots of wildlife and birds crowd near the boardwalk. This makes the Nairobi Safari Walk especially exciting to the kids. The boardwalk winds through three main ecosystems – savannah, wetlands, and forestry. So, you will get to watch diverse life here.

The Nairobi Safari Walk lets you enjoy many species of birds and animals, including pygmy hippo, bongo, albino zebra, white rhino, cheetah, and lions. You can see many reptiles in the wetlands section of the walk as well. Also, there is a children’s museum at one end of the walk. Accordingly, the Nairobi Safari Walk offers a nice sampling of the nation’s great wildlife for the city dwellers.

6. Bomas of Kenya

The Bomas of Kenya is a live museum featuring the colorful tribal life of Kenya. The facility includes a recreated tribal village consisting of many Bomas (homesteads). Here, you can see how the tribal people live their lives in the wilds. Each Boma depicts a different major ethnic group.

Africa has many tribal people. The Bomas of Kenya is the best place to learn about the life and lifestyle of these tribes. You can learn about the art, culture, history, and crafts of each major tribe here. The facility also has an auditorium where tribal shows and dances take place each evening.

7. Nairobi Nightlife

The capital of Kenya sizzles with activities every night! The city is full of bars, clubs, fine dining, and theatres. Live music is playing everywhere – everything from African, western or fusion genres. The nightlife in Nairobi is especially active in the Westlands Nightlife District. A word of warning, though. Prostitutes and their pimps frequent most of the streets, clubs, and bars in Nairobi at night, even in the creamy places. So, be on your guard who you are making friends with.

The most notable bars in Nairobi are Casablanca, Champagne & Fishbowls, Gipsy Bar, Lord Delamere Terrace, etc. You can find clubbing at K1 Club House and similar other places. If you are looking for cultural activities, there is the Kenya National Theatre and others like it. You can also visit the GoDown and Mzizi art centers for a very refined evening out. 

8. The Carnivore

Looking delicious and hellish at once, The Carnivore hands down the best restaurant in all Kenya. That is if you love meat. Carnivore is famous for its variety of meat preparations. You can eat many exotic kinds of meat here like zebra, ostrich, and wildebeest. Even Ox balls and crocodile, if you can stomach it! These are prepared in a gigantic barbecue pit over traditional maasai swords! To top it off, they will curve it right at your table as well. 

The Carnivore Kenya
Image by Linda De Volder from Flickr

The scary thing here is the all-you-can-eat meat feast. You will be brought various kinds of meats on swords, and you can literally eat unendingly. That is until you give up for good. They call this A Beast of A Feast. Boy, is that accurate! They also make the Dawa – a traditional Kenyan drink – right on your tableside. They will keep bringing you various types of meat as long as you are sitting at the table. When you start sweating from the excessive meat, you can pull out a white flag – literally, you are supplied with one – to indicate that you surrender at last. Sometimes, diners are so tired at the end of the feast, they do have to carry the guests out physically!

9. Nairobi National Museum

The National Museum at Nairobi presents Kenya’s Natural and Political history, culture, geography and wildlife, culture and art at their full glory and splendor. There is no entry fee for the museum. Which makes it one of the cheapest places to visit in Nairobi. You can visit here with family and kids for a day of wonder and learning.

But exhibits are not all that the Nairobi National Museum offers you. Within the museum grounds, there is also the famous Snake Park and Botanical Gardens. You can also take a walk on the Nature Trail here. The latest attraction in the museum is the Peace Path. Which is a labyrinth of stones placed on the lawn to form a walk along a specific route? According to many local tribal cultures, the path has a lot of significance for meditation, healing, and prayer.

10. The Mamba Village

The word ‘Mamba’ means crocodile in the local language. Thus, the Mamba Village is a huge crocodile farm in Nairobi. In fact, it is the largest of its kind in Africa! The crocodile breeding pens have above 70 fearsome Nile crocodiles. In addition, there are snakes, tortoises, other reptiles and ostriches here for watching. 

However, there is a lot more than Mamba Village has to offer. It has a local cultural community zone, accommodating up to 500 visitors at a time. You can have camel and horse riding, camping, and many rides. The village has a 4-star lounge and many restaurants as well. Not only that, but you can also choose to stay in the Mokoyeti luxury tented camps. Or you can take one of the Bandas. 

Wrapping up

Nairobi is not only a beautiful city with endless fun things to do! But also, there are a lot of cheap places to stay in Nairobi, for the budget travelers. Accordingly, the most affordable hotels in Nairobi include Cloud Hotel & Suites, La Maison Royale, The Heron Portico, etc. Also, Nairobi has most of the popular places to eat in all Kenya (with a few great competitors in other parts of the country, like the Trout Tree Restaurant). For example, the Talisman, Haandi, and the aforementioned Carnivore!

Nairobi is greatly connected to the rest of the world via its international airport. As such, there are many low-cost flights to Nairobi from all over the world. Kenya Airlines operates many of them. Additionally, local travel operators run many great Nairobi holiday packages. For example Rejuvenating Kenya, Adventurous Kenya, Magical Kenya Honeymoon packages, etc. 

In this article, we have tried to explain the top ten places to visit in Nairobi. We here in BookOnBoard hope that you have enjoyed our Nairobi Travel Guide! If you have anything to tell us, then please use the comments section below. Please let us know your thoughts and suggestions!

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