20 awesome things to do in Nairobi, Kenya
When most people think Nairobi, Kenya, they think African safari, but there is so much more to this magical land outside the game reserves. Travelling to your safari will most likely bring you through the Capital of Kenya, Nairobi. Instead of just passing through, you should consider making it a more extended stop during your travels. There are so many things to do in Nairobi and here are a few that will get you excited about your time in the big city of Kenya! And let us know below in the comments what is getting you excited about travelling to Nairobi, Kenya.
If you visit Kenya for the first time read our Kenya Travel Guide. And when you want to learn more about the most famous Kenyan tribe, make sure to read The 13 mindblowing things you need to know about the Masaai.
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#1 Giraffe Manor, Nairobi
Looking for a unique place to stay in Nairobi, Kenya? The perfect place to fit the bill is the Giraffe Manor. The boutique hotel is located in the Langata suburb of Nairobi, Kenya. This is not only a great place to rest your head, but it offers a truly magical experience throughout your stay. Here you will get to see, feed and interact with giraffes throughout your stay. Not only will they be on the property for you to play with, but they will join you through the windows at breakfast time. And your hotel room will have a terrace where the giraffes will come to visit as well, making it one the top things to do in Nairobi, Kenya. Yes, it is expensive, but this is a once in a lifetime experience. So it’s really up to your budget.
Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to visit Giraffe Manor by day or just have breakfast, lunch or dinner. They reserve that for the overnight guests and only open on rare occasions for extern visitors. And the only time you can interact with the giraffes is during breakfast time. They don’t come over to the Manor for lunch or dinner. So the only way to have this experience is to book a night at the Giraffe Manor.
There is another way to interact with the giraffes. Visit the nearby Giraffe Center where you will be able to feed and learn more about the Rothschild Giraffe and how this centre is helping to save this endangered giraffe species.
#2 Nairobi Mamba Village
If you love animals and are looking for something a little different than a safari, Nairobi’s Mamba Village is the perfect stop for you in Kenya. Located 13 kilometres outside Nairobi in the Karen Suburb of the city, is an oasis of crocodiles, ostriches and giraffes waiting for you. There is a guided tour, providing you with the chance to learn about these wonderful creatures and it is a great chance to see them up close! There are also restaurants you can relax and enjoy during your visit. The Nairobi Mama Village is famous for its Crocodile Farm, so if you’re into crocodiles then this is something you don’t want to miss during your time in Kenya!
#3 Nairobi National Museum
Another top thing to do is to visit the Nairobi National Museum located in the heart of the Capital of Kenya. This is the perfect destination in Nairobi to really grasp an understanding of Kenya’s rich heritage and learn about the culture of such a wonderful country. It is about a 10-minute drive from Nairobi city centre and offers additional features such as botanical gardens, dining and shops. If you are new to Kenya and want to know more about the history of the country, this is a must see during your visit to Nairobi.
#4 Maasai Ostrich Resort
If seeing ostriches is one of your top things to do in Nairobi, Kenya, then you have come to the right place! Even if you just stay for a night, it is worth the stop. The biggest highlight is that you will have the chance to not only see and interact with the ostriches, but you will get the opportunity to ride an ostrich as well. Talk about a unique experience! You will get to learn about their lifestyles and enjoy their company during your stay at Maasai Ostrich Resort. It is a 1-hour drive outside Nairobi, but definitely worth the drive while you’re in the capital of Kenya!
#5 Carnivore (top restaurant in Nairobi Kenya)
Meat lovers worldwide will fall in love with Kenya’s most famous restaurant Carnivore in Nairobi! Carnivore, as the name is not surprising, is an open-air restaurant known for its variety of meats served. Located in Langata Suburb of Nairobi, this is one of the top things to do in Kenya, and your taste buds won’t be disappointed!
You can enjoy lamb, pork, ostrich, beef, spare-ribs, sausages, chicken wings, skewered kidneys and even crocodile and camel that are roasted over a traditional Maasai charcoal pit and carved at your table. Along with the unique meat options and tasty food, there is a wonderful atmosphere in Carnivore to go with it. It makes for the perfect dinner out in Nairobi, Kenya if your a carnivore yourself. If you’re a vegetarian: I advise you not to go 😉
#6 Karen Blixen Museum
While visiting the beautiful Capital of Kenya, a stop sure to amaze is the Karen Blixen Museum. Located about 6 miles outside of Nairobi, Kenya, is the house of Karen Blixen. She is the famous Swedish author of the book Out of Africa. Anyone familiar with the book or the movie will be sure to love stopping at this little gem during their stay in Nairobi, Kenya. You can tour the home that she lived in from 1917-1931. It was the setting of her autobiography and a great piece of history in Kenya.
If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, make sure to buy the book so you can read Out of Africa while you travel through Kenya and visit Nairobi.
#7 Live at the Elephant
While you are looking for things to do in Nairobi, a little live music may fit what you are looking for in the Capital of Kenya. One of the best venues you will want to check out is ‘Live at the Elephant’. With it being more catered to up and coming musicians and bands, it is a more laid-back intimate venue. It draws in more of a hipster crowd. It’s the perfect location in Nairobi to relax and enjoy the evening listening to some local live Kenyan music. A spot you don’t want to miss!
This spot is sure to make your list of must-see locations while in Nairobi, Kenya. Located on Langata South Road in Nairobi, is where you will find an accumulation of Artisans of Africa. With 18 shops all in one spot, you will find a little of everything in the way of African crafts, such as rugs, kid’s toys, jewellery and home goods that reflect the African culture. It is the perfect spot in Nairobi to find a gift or souvenir to have at your home and remember your amazing adventure in Kenya by. It is definitely one of the things to do in Nairobi, Kenya you will want to carve a little time out for. After perusing through the shops, you can enjoy lunch and a walk through the gardens to top it off!
#9 Brown’s Cheese Farm
Okay, you don’t expect to go to a Cheese Farm in Africa but if you love cheese than why not?! This farm just outside the Capital of Kenya, about a half an hour drive from Nairobi centre. Brown’s Cheese Farm is a great spot to explore for lunch. Not only is it a way to explore and tour the farm where this delicious cheese is produced, but you can also schedule a tasting as well. They also have a cheese making demonstration where you can learn how the cheese making process goes. To top it off you can relax at their Nature’s Nurture Homegrown Spa. Talk about a perfect relaxing day in Nairobi, Kenya right?! Relax and eat cheese what more do you want?
#10 Blankets and Wine Event – Nairobi Kenya
If you are visiting Nairobi, Kenya on a Sunday and are looking to experience a little more of the local scene, the Blankets & Wine event will be the perfect thing for you! This is one of the best local things to do in Nairobi, Kenya on the first Sunday of every month. Bring your favourite bottle of wine, a nice comfy blanket and enjoy the day away listening to live music. This event has gained popularity among the residents of Nairobi and brings in top performing artists across Africa to Kenya.
#11 Bomas of Kenya
Looking for a feel of African Culture and Kenyan history while visiting Nairobi? Located in Langata in Nairobi, the Bomas of Kenya is that cultural flair you are craving and will be sure to amaze. Bomas are the traditional Kenyan Villages you will get to experience when you visit. During the day there are cultural performances throughout the bomas features traditional Kenyan dance and music. It will really make the Kenyan culture come alive and help you connect to the rich heritage of Nairobi.
#12 Railway Museum
The railway system really reflects the growth of Kenya as a country. Located in the capital of Kenya is the Railway Museum highlighting that development and it’s right across from the Nairobi Railway Station. The Museum in Nairobi was built in 1971, and it provides great insight into the growth and expansion of Kenya. If you love trains or really want to dive in the economic growth of Kenya than the Railway Museum in Nairobi is something you want to experience for yourself. The Museum has the gallery for you to peruse through, along with the auditorium, resource centre, and a collection of locomotives for you to explore during your tour.
#13 Ivory Burning Site
Just inside Nairobi National Park is the Ivory Burning Site of Kenya. This serves as a memorial and a message to poachers throughout the country. In 1989 the country’s President set fire to 11 tons of seized ivory, and again in 2016 the President followed suit and burned 100 tons at the same site. The purpose of this site in Nairobi is to send a message out that poaching is unacceptable and not tolerated in Kenya. The site will have quite an impact on you when you come to see how much death in the elephant population had to come from poachers collecting this ivory. It shows a real struggle Kenya is still dealing with today and is worth a stop by while you’re in Nairobi.
#14 City Market Nairobi
For a little shopping while in Kenya, you will want to visit the City Market located on Muindi Mbingu Street in Nairobi. It is the best place in Nairobi to get souvenirs from your travel adventure in Kenya. It has stalls of crafts and goods you will be able to wander through and shop till you drop and you found that perfect souvenir to bring home with you!
#15 Ngong Hills Nature Reserve
If you’re in Nairobi and you want to get outdoors and explore the natural landscape of Kenya. That’s possible. Just outside of Nairobi is Ngong Hills Nature Reserve. This is a nice little getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city that locals also take pleasure in visiting. It is a forested area perfect for hiking, biking and enjoying an afternoon picnic. It is the perfect spot to take in some of the natural beauty of Kenya, and you don’t have to go for out Nairobi to find it.
#16 City Park Hawkers
This stop is one of the best-known local produce markets in Nairobi, Kenya. Located in the heart of the Capital of Kenya, you will find City Park Hawkers. If you are wanting to wander through or pick up some fresh food. This is one of the things in Nairobi that you will most definitely enjoy. It is a wonderful way to interact with the locals of Kenya and immerse yourself in the lifestyle Nairobi. Be ready to do a little bargaining, but you will be able to find some of the freshest produce selection right here!
While in the Capital of Kenya, you will be sure to want to visit some of the government buildings. One of the most iconic landmarks in Kenya is the Parliament Building in Nairobi. The building was built in the 1950s, and it has an English-Style architectural flair to it. You will note its beautiful clock tower. You can take a guided tour of the building and you can even listen in on a live session of the National Assembly of Kenya. This is any history enthusiasts dream stop on their visit to Nairobi, Kenya.
#18 David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Most people travel to Nairobi because of the beautiful wildlife found in Kenya. One experience in Kenya you will remember forever is the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust located just outside Nairobi. This is a beautiful sanctuary for elephants and rhinos. It’s even one of the world’s most successful orphan-elephant rescue programs. If you are wanting to find a way to get involved and give back, this is a wonderful program you can volunteer at and interact with these incredible animals. What better way to spend your time in Kenya is to visit this amazing place in Nairobi.
#19 Giraffe Center
Another amazing way to get involved is the Giraffe Center in Nairobi, Kenya as I wrote about earlier in this blog. This center was founded to help protect endangered Rothschild Giraffes along East Africa. You can volunteer and help taking care of the giraffes while you’re visiting the center. It’s so much fun interacting with these adorable, gentle animals when taking care of them! You’ll get to pet, play and feed them. It is one of the most memorable things to do in Nairobi, Kenya. And if you’re lucky you might even get a kiss from a giraffe 😉
#20 Karuka Forest
Located in the Northern section of Nairobi. Karuka Forest is sure to be your perfect relaxing break while visiting the urban Capital of Kenya. A few highlights this reserve has to offer are the Mau Mau Caves, breathtaking waterfalls and the perfect trails for hiking. You can also come to just relax with a picnic or, sit and take in the beautiful scenery. It is a stunning location you will truly enjoy.