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Best things to do in Nairobi

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Where in the world: Africa  /  Kenya  /  Nairobi

Top 15 things to do in Nairobi

1. Nairobi National Park

See wild giraffes and black rhinos walking across a backdrop of skyscrapers at Nairobi National Park. Situated just 7 km (4 mi) south of the city center, the park is easily one of the country's most accessible nature reserves, yet despite its proximity to humans, it attracts a large and diverse range of wildlife. Tour the plains and see the park's extremely successful rhinoceros sanctuary, as well as hippopotami, Masai giraffes, and several species of big cats. Bring along a picnic and learn about the park's conservation projects on a guided visit.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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2. Safaris

Get up-close and personal with African wildlife on a safari tour from Nairobi. With the sprawling city as your jump-off point, you can easily venture on an exciting journey into the wilds guided by a local expert. In addition to observing huge elephant herds, birds of prey, cheeky baboons, and many other species, you'll get to enjoy views of legendary Mount Kilimanjaro and Great Rift Valley Escarpment. One- and two-day tours of national parks are designed as a short introduction into African wildlife, while two- to four-week volunteer programs allow you to work with conservationists on the elephant migration corridor at the Lumo Community Wildlife Sanctuary.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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3. Giraffe Centre

Come face to face with some of the region's most endangered giraffes at Giraffe Centre. Established in 1983 as part of a long-serving conservation project to protect the East African Rothschild giraffe, this nonprofit organization provides educational programmes for the young people of Kenya. Entrance fees help support the cause, and you'll get to meet, feed, and even touch these towering creatures from a raised observation platform. A forest trail also provides a pleasant walk through the undergrowth (watch out for the warthogs). If you're feeling thirsty, head to the teahouse for some refreshment amid ambient scenery.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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4. Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Meet some of Nairobi's most beloved residents at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a rescue and rehabilitation center for orphaned rhinos and elephants. Established in 1977 in honor of naturalist David Sheldrick, the nonprofit organization lies within the city's national park. Get up close to adolescent and baby elephants during bath time, and watch majestic rhinos playfully romping through their natural habitat. With the animals' welfare at its heart, the center only allows public viewing for a limited morning period, so check the website for visitor times.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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5. Nature & Wildlife Tours

Suggested duration: 8 hours
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6. Karen Blixen Museum

Famed as the real-life setting of the classic memoir "Out of Africa," Karen Blixen Museum stands frozen in time, a monument to the life and times of the late author. Danish author Karen Blixen lived here from 1913 to 1931, running the property as a vast coffee plantation, from which she took inspiration for her writing upon returning to Denmark. Delve into Blixen's life and times with a guided tour of the house, where many of the rooms feature original decor and props from the book's 1985 movie adaptation.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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7. Nairobi National Museum

Set within lush botanical gardens, Nairobi National Museum presents a rich and varied collection of natural history. Immerse yourself in ethnological and archaeological displays charting the history of Kenya, alongside in-depth ornithological taxidermy collections. Established in 1910, the museum underwent considerable renovation in 2005 to include shopping facilities and a welcoming cafe. Check out the Kenyan art collection and outdoor sculptures scattered across the verdant grounds. Personal guided tours in English are available.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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8. Off-Road Tours

Suggested duration: 4 hours
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9. Walking tours

Suggested duration: 8 hours
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10. Karura Forest

Explore caves and waterfalls in lush urban greenery at Karura Forest, Nairobi's flagship preserve and a getaway from the bustling capital. Spanning 564 hectares (1,394 acres), this scenic forest interlaced with rivers features a bamboo grove and marshlands sheltering colobus monkeys, galagos, bushpigs, porcupines, and dik diks amidst shrubs and croton trees. Explore 50 km (31 mi) of well-maintained nature trails, with views of African olive trees and Uganda greenheart. See caves used by the Mau Mau rebels in their epic independence struggle against the British Empire. There is also a memorial to the 2013 terrorist attack and an old chimney incinerator used to destroy decommissioned banknotes.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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11. African Heritage House

See a mix of African tribal artifacts at African Heritage House, an architectural landmark representing a combination of mud architecture styles. Designed by an American gallery owner, this private house overlooks a national park and features an eclectic collection of sculptures, costumes, textiles, masks, jewelry, handmade furniture, arts and crafts, books, and photographs. You'll need to arrange your visit and tour in advance; overnight stays and transport by rail or helicopter are negotiable.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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12. Spas

Suggested duration: 3 hours
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13. Ngong Hills

Ngong Hills represent a set of peaks in a ridge along the Great Rift Valley overlooking the Nairobi National Park. This gazette forest reserve spanning 21,000 sq km (8,108 sq mi) makes a popular weekend destination for those wishing to hike, jog, or picnic. With the highest peak standing at 2,460 m (8,070 ft), you can get a panorama of Maasai villages from 1,000 m (3,280 ft). You may see some buffalo there, and you can watch for traditional colonial houses, as this was a popular development area during the British colonial rule.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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15. Climbing Tours

Suggested duration: 8 hours
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