Nairobi is a bustling unique city as it’s the only city in the world where you find a game park, the Nairobi National park in a town. You can drive to a part of Nairobi where you’ll see an abundance of wildlife and drive to another part of Nairobi and see a fast-paced city with skyscraper buildings. I think that’s pretty cool if you ask me. As Tanzania is a neighbouring country to Kenya and instead of flying, I took an affordable road trip from Arusha to Nairobi which was quite a comfortable journey. When people ask me what my experience in Kenya was like, I can only describe it as a ‘Nollywood movie’. Let’s just say I had some fantastic and problematic experiences. Nairobi had a national curfew from 10 pm to 4 am at the time, so I had to plan my day effectively to avoid getting stuck in traffic. Travelling during pandemics is no joke, but I am grateful to have gotten to experience some nice things in Kenya that I recommend in this post.
1. Feeding Rothschild Giraffes At The Giraffe Centre
I have to say that spending the morning with the gentle giants is one of my top ten travel experiences. It was so much fun feeding the giraffes that I forgot about time and spent almost three hours. It is an affordable activity to do when visiting the city for a non-resident adult for only 1500 kes (£10 / approx $15). I recommend booking your visit to the Giraffe centre in advance, as it is quite a popular activity to do in Nairobi and gets crowded.
Read more about the Giraffe Centre: What To Expect When Visiting The Giraffe Centre In Nairobi? (2023)
2. The Kitengela Hot Glass Experience
If you’re more on the adventurous side, I would recommend this experience. This was definitely a three-in-one experience and we got to experience a safari walk, walk on the suspension bridge decorated with beautiful Kitengela Glass pieces and watch the art of glass blowing at Anselm’s Kitengela Hot Glass.
Anselm’s Kitengela Hot Glass offers a cafe. However, if you’re looking for a more scenic lunch spot or would like to cool off in an outdoor pool when it’s hot in Nairobi, visit the Maasi Lodge. You can hire a guide at the Maasi Lodge for 700 Kes (£4.65) to take you on a safari walk to the Kitengela Hot Glass for an entrance fee of 200 Kes (£1.33).
3. Visit The Many Shopping Malls And markets
One thing about Nairobi is that this city has an abundance of shopping malls and plenty of markets and you are really spoilt for choice. My favourite shopping malls are Westgate Shopping Mall, and Two Rivers Mall (the largest shopping mall in Kenya). City Market and the Maasai market offer a more local experience, where you can find vendors selling handmade jewellery, bags, textiles, art, and plenty of other souvenirs.
4. Go On A Free Walking Tour Of The City
When I visit a new city, I always take a walking tour to get a feel for the surroundings and usually the guide will be willing to give great recommendations for food and other places to see. The Nairobi city centre free walking tour gives you an insight into the history, culture and popular landmarks such as the Uhuru Park Viewpoint, Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC), National Museum and Snake Park. Although the tour is free, it’s courteous to give a tip to the tour guide. If you’re unsure of how much to tip, I recommend about £10. This walking tour is a group tour, which can also give you the chance to meet other travellers, which can be a plus as a solo traveller. Alternatively, a private city tour of Nairobi is perfect for you if you want a personalised experience and appreciate flexibility. With a private guide, you can tailor your tour to your interests and preferences. You can ask as many questions as you want and take your time exploring each site.
Travel Smart Tip: It’s important to note some attractions such as government buildings do not allow photography so please be cautious. It’s also a good idea to carry water and some snacks to munch on during the tour. Bring some Kenyan shillings with you since you may have to pay entrance fees depending on the site you visit.
5. See Baby Elephants At The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Every day between 11 a.m. and 12 a.m., visitors can interact with baby elephants at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and also listen to an educational presentation by one of the keepers. Being able to get quite close to these playful elephants is an unforgettable experience. You’ll get the chance to learn about the conservation work to rescue, protect rescue and rehabilitate orphan elephants. Perhaps you will consider adopting an elephant after a visit. I recommend pre-booking this experience online as they have limited daily capacity. Bookings may be made up to three months in advance of the booking date. It is not possible to make day-of bookings. The entry fee is Kshs 1,500 (US$15 / £10) and can be paid in cash or via Mpesa, on the day of your visit.
6. Experience Nairobi’s Lit Nightlife & Day Parties
Before I came to Nairobi, many friends told me I had to experience the vibrant nightlife. One thing about Kenyans for sure is that they know how to have a good time. For a nightlife experience, I would recommend B club, Milan or Alchemist. For a local day party experience, check out 1824 Whiskey Bar & Lounge on Saturday. For a more upscale experience with stellar views of the City and National Park visit the Sky lounge at Emara Hotel Ole Sereni. The sky lounge is perfect for sundowners or hanging out with friends, as it has a sophisticated ambience creating a chilled vibe.
7. Enjoy A Game Drive At Nairobi National Park
Located just a few kilometres from the city centre, Nairobi National Park is one of the best places to see wildlife in their natural habitat. You can enjoy a game drive, see different species of animals, and take in the beautiful landscape of the park. The park is relatively affordable, and you can enter for a fee of just under £50.
8. Experience a Nairobi Coffee Farm and Factory Tour
If you’re a coffee lover, then you’ll enjoy this immersive Nairobi Coffee Farm and Factory Tour as Kenya makes some of the best coffee in the world. You’ll experience the ultimate farm-to-cup adventure just outside of Nairobi with Nairobi Coffee Tours. Explore the picturesque Fairview Coffee Estate and discover the secrets behind the production of Kenyan coffee. The four-hour guided tour takes you journey through every step of the process, from the coffee bean to the brewing of a delicious cup of Kenyan coffee. Breathe in the fresh country air and admire the stunning views of the lush green countryside, located just 20 minutes away from Nairobi’s city centre. This tour includes private transportation, hotel pickup and drop-off, bottled water, coffee, and snacks.
Nairobi Coffee Farm and Factory Tour
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