What to do and see in Nairobi, Kenya: The Best Places and Tips

October 6, 2017 Vergie Nakamoto

Known as the safari capital of Africa, Nairobi is an energetic, modern city that serves as a fascinating introduction to both wildlife and nightlife. Music clubs pulse with life, shops and markets bustle, and a mélange of restaurants will tempt your palate in this former Maasai watering hole. Top sights include the Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Centre and the black rhinos of Nairobi National Park. The compact city center is safe to walk in and taxis make other areas accessible.
Restaurants in Nairobi

1. David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Mbagathi Road | Kws Workshop Entrance - Nairobi National Park, Nairobi 00503, Kenya +254 733 891996
Excellent
76%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) Elephant Nursery in Nairobi National Park provides a safe haven to orphaned baby elephants rescued by the DSWT. The Nursery provides the first stage in the hand-rearing and development of milk dependent baby elephants. Once they graduate from the Nursery, aged 2-3 years, the elephants move to one of the DSWT's Reintegration Centres in Tsavo East National Park, from where they will ultimately return to the wild.

Reviewed By LouisaWilde - London, United Kingdom

Great to see the charitable work being done and the orphans being cared for without being exploited. People are only allowed to visit for 1 hour per day. Suggest getting there early to get a good spot - highly suggest standing by the mud pits !

2. Karura Forest

Limuru Road | Muthaiga, Nairobi 00619, Kenya +254 791 398371
Excellent
58%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 782 reviews

Karura Forest

The Karura Forest Reserve is an urban upland forest on the outskirts of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. This remarkable geographical location and natural resource is one of the largest gazetted Forests in the world fully within a city limits. It covers an area of about 1,000 ha (2,500 ac) and today is a shining example of how country-based corporate social responsibility and individual philanthropy can serve to secure and protect a country's natural resources. The forest offers eco-friendly opportunities for Kenyans and visitors to enjoy a leafy green respite from the hustle and bustle of the city to walk, to jog, or simply to sit quietly and experience the serenity of nature in all its diversity.

Reviewed By sainbasha - Karachi

Karura forest is a natural forest within the city limits of Nairobi. There are two main entry points-one from Kiambu road and other from Limuru road. Additionally there are also two other entrances to the forest. Being Sunday, we arrived at the Kiambu road entrance around 4.00 PM. We bought our ticket and parked the car and started on foot on the trail. We headed towards the caves and waterfall. It was around 2 km plus walk, walking on the beautiful trail, watching the lovely foliage, going up and down the mountain trail, passing the caves, looking at the stream below, a heavenly sight. Lot of photo opportunities on the way for nature lovers. While walking we also saw some monkeys coming down from the trees. Make sure u r not carrying any food items openly as they are attracted to those. Anyway we continued the walk and kind if made a circle to the place where we were parked. All this took around 1 hour plus some 15 minutes. Ofcourse we did not explore the whole forest and did not go towards the Limuru side entrance. Overall a good place to spend a couple of hours.

3. Giraffe Centre

Duma Rd, Nairobi, Kenya +254 20 8070804
Excellent
56%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

Giraffe Centre

It is a place that seeks to secure our environment. Our main work is to carry out environment conserving initiatives. The care for giraffes that are endangered is one of the conservation activities that we do.

Reviewed By LouisaWilde - London, United Kingdom

Unique experience to interact with these giraffe and even get a sloppy kiss if you feel so inclined. Do listen to the advise from the staff about any giraffe who are grumpy and take it seriously as my friend got head butted very hard ! But stick to their guidance and it will be a wonderful experience. Suggest going in the morning while the crowds are low and the giraffe are hungry.

4. Nairobi National Park

Langata Road, Nairobi, Kenya +254 20 602121
Excellent
53%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Nairobi National Park

Noble black rhinos are the highlight of this amazing park, Kenya’s first national park and a local treasure.

Reviewed By tsareviews - Libreville, Gabon

The Masai at the entrance are like a group of beggars and don’t take no for an answer. Avoid contact with them and they leave you alone. We loved the large variety of animals in the park. Especially the small family of warthogs that seemed to come very close to us. I was disappointed with all the exotic species of trees and plants in the park.

5. Karen Blixen Coffee Garden and Cottages

336 Karen Road, Nairobi, Kenya +254 728 787607
Excellent
53%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 352 reviews

Karen Blixen Coffee Garden and Cottages

Reviewed By evelynhazzard - Toronto, Canada

I went for lunch with a group of 6. The staff were attentive and the outside Seating was attractive. Sadly, the food at the buffet was not appealing, not particularly well prepared, & definitely not what I was expecting. Considering the price and the name attached to the restaurant, both the ambience and food were a major disappointment to me. I actually felt badly for the families that were there, obviously for a special 'day out'. Hopefully they had a better experience than we did.

6. Ngong Hills

Great Rift Valley | Mageso Chember, Nairobi 00200, Kenya +254 706 756403
Excellent
44%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
3%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 230 reviews

Ngong Hills

Reviewed By P K

Plastics. Too much plastics on otherwise interesting site with nice view - happened to be hazy so we couldn't see that far. Cannot control the weather but plastics can be controlled... why not even in Kenya?
We walked from north point where bush begins. And those bushes are close to the path which the elderly park ranger from a meeting group pointed out "the thugs are hiding there". Well the younger ranger we met earlier told that nothing serious has happened lately. So you choose and pick. I think it's like walking around in Nairobi - are you out of luck so something bad MIGHT happen.
We took Uber which took us as far as cars are allowed (very far from paying for entrance) which we realized later when we were coming back with a knee which didn't like walking downhill - an old injury that reminded of itself. We learned that it's difficult to get Uber or Little up there to Ngong Hill Entrance and no Matatus can drive that road so think about your return trip if travel by yourself. After a day in sun which you might ignore because you don't feel it because of the wind it may be troublesome. That's a mighty wind up there.
Maybe going one more trip but this time from south end with a guard.
As usual foreigners pay more but this was "only" 600KES and you don't get anything for it.

7. Brown's Cheese Factory & Farm

Tigoni, Nairobi, Kenya +254 728 999654
Excellent
66%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 112 reviews

Brown's Cheese Factory & Farm

If you love cheese, Brown's Cheese Tasting Room is for you. We offer a unique foodie experience, just west of Nairobi. Brown's has been making cheese in Kenya for over 30 years, and we now invite guests to come to our facility to see how cheese is made, sample several varieties, and enjoy a delicious lunch sourced entirely from our organic garden. A typical visit to Brown's starts with a welcome drink and snack, followed by a cheesemaking demonstration by your host. This is followed by a tour of our production facility, with the highlight visiting one of our cheese caves, and seeing thousands of cheese maturing using traditional methods. After the tour, we sit down for our cheese tasting. We know that traditionally the cheese course is served after the meal, but we're cheese people and believe it is best enjoyed with a blank palette and an empty stomach! We taste 8-10 of our handcrafted cheeses, along with homemade crackers, breads, chutneys, plus our carefully selected house wines. We finish with a seasonal light lunch, typically consisting of soups, salads, and flatbreads, followed by dessert and coffee. Kids will love exploring the garden and animals, and even milking a cow. Our tasting room is open Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays, but Reservations are strictly required. Plan ahead, as Saturdays can be booked many weeks in advance. We look forward to introducing you to the wide variety of delicious cheeses crafted by Brown's.

Reviewed By Andrew D - Tenterden, United Kingdom

This was a simply fantastic experience based around visiting the small factory farm to see how cheeses such as Cheddar, Gouda and Parmesan are made and stored.
Followed by a generous lunch tasting various cheeses with tasting notes and supporting jams and relish. Good white and red wine also accompany the lunch which then includes a main course and the Browns farm organic ice cream.
You need to be there for noon and we left at 4pm and that's because we had something else to get to.
The surroundings are very relaxing and the explanations and service was truly very good making this a solid recommend experience.

8. Karen Blixen Museum

Karen Rd | Langata, Nairobi, Kenya +254 20 8002139
Excellent
36%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
18%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

Karen Blixen Museum

This is the beautiful farmhouse where Karen Blixen, author of Out of Africa, lived between 1914 and 1931, until she left Kenya after a series of personal tragedies.

Reviewed By Yvonne M

Very informative and interesting tour of Karen Blixen's former home at the foot of the Ngong Hills! Gave a sense of how she lived and how the coffee plantation operated, as well as her life in general. Although most of the original furnishings were sold off in the auction when she left, the pieces gathered have an authentic feel for the time, many of them donated by Universal Pictures after the film was made.

9. Kenyatta International Conference Center

Harambee Avenue, Nairobi 00100, Kenya +254 20 2247277
Excellent
31%
Good
48%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 430 reviews

Kenyatta International Conference Center

Reviewed By jToweett - Nairobi, Kenya

During a public holiday, you can scale the KICC stairs as a cardio challenge. It is so cool if you can do it as a group and do it in pairs. The cost to you to access the 32 floors is very minimal - between $.50 - $2 depending on whether you are a resident or not. Well worth every single cent.

10. United Nations Visitor's Service

United Nations Avenue | United Nations Office, Nairobi 00200, Kenya +254 20 7622043
Excellent
64%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
6%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 113 reviews

United Nations Visitor's Service

The United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) located in the leafy suburb of Gigiri, Nairobi, is one of the four United Nations Headquarters and the only one in Africa and the Global South. The United Nations Visitors’ Service was established on 9 January 2012, following General Assembly’s resolutions, which requested the Secretary-General to organize a guided tour operation at UNON.The Visitors’ Service’s main goal is to inform visitors about the work of the United Nations and its agencies by opening up the United Nations Complex to the public.We hope visitors will return home with a positive impression of the United Nations and its work in building peace and sustainable development.The Visitors’ Service provides guided tours to tourists, delegates, schools, colleges and universities as well as the general public. Children 5 years old and above are especially welcome.Days and Hours of Operation: Tuesdays to Thursdays: 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.Reservations: Minimum of 5 people per group.Briefing Programmes: Special briefing programmes for groups could be arranged according to their areas of interest. Groups are briefed by members of the UN Speakers Bureau-Nairobi.Languages: Tours are conducted in English, and are available in French, German and Swahili upon request.What to See on the ToursBeautiful, lush, green landscape property unique among UN offices to UNON, populated with an amazing variety of plant and animal species;The UN Conference facilities and the "Green Building,” the UN’s greenest building in Africa;A Memorial Garden in honour of the victims of the 1998 US Embassy bombings in Dar-es-Salaam and Nairobi;Special trees planted by representatives of Security Council Members in 2004, dignitaries, royalty and celebrities.Dozens of gifts and artworks presented to the United Nations by Member States, including paintings, sculptures and murals.Gigiri Nature Trail to view birds and different indigenous trees and plants (optional for an additional fee).

Reviewed By Jiayi W - Geneva, Switzerland

1,500 shirine per person to enter UN compound. Nice design with huge lands and sport center. There are some status of animals around. Office buildings are based on alphabet order, each letter represents an animal. For example, there is a painting of buffalo in building...MoreThank you for your positive review and thank you for taking a tour with us!

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