Must-See Tourist Destinations in Nairobi

My page about the best tourist destinations in Nairobi. While many people use Nairobi as a base rather than as a destination in it’s own right, there are enough attractions in Nairobi to spend a few great days in the city. I personally like Nairobi very much and could easily spend a week there. Also have a look at my page about Nairobi tours.

Male impala at Nairobi National Park
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Nairobi National Park

Definitely the biggest tourist destination in Nairobi. The Nairobi National park is an underrated, full safari game reserve only 7 km away from the downtown center of the city. It's so close that you can even manage to get some pictures of wild animals with a skyscraper on the horizon.

The park commonly sees lions, zebras, giraffes and more. There is one unfenced border to the park so the population of animals changes all the time. The only animal you will miss is the elephant, which doesn't frequent the area. But other than that, you never know what you are going to see. Admission to the park is around US$40, and it is well marked with roads and a walking trail.

Nairobi National Museum

Originally the museum was intended as a place to house natural history specimens and displays, but once Kenya became an independent nation, the focus changed to include exhibits about the history and people of Kenya as well. Particularly interesting are the prehistoric artifacts discovered by the Leakey’s, the famous anthropologists who unearthed much evidence that the first humans in history actually originated in Kenya.

Major renovations are underway to enlarge the facility and modernize the exhibits. The fee to enter the museum is about $12US. If you like culture and history, you'll find several other smaller museums scattered around Nairobi that you should look into.

Karen Blixen's former house in Nairobi

Karen Blixen's former house in Nairobi
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Karen Blixen Museum

Danish author Karen Blixen lived in Kenya for many years before WWII, and one of her books about it was turned into the best-selling movie, "Out of Africa". Due to the popularity of the movie, her former home in Nairobi was made into the Karen Blixen museum. You can see how she lived on her coffee plantation between 1914 and 1931, and get a feel for the life of an early Kenyan settler. The cost to visit this museum is also around $12US. One of the nicest tourist destinations in Nairobi.

The Bomas of Kenya

If you don't want to trek deep into the land of the Masai to see traditional Kenyan villages, you can take a peek at the Bomas. In one of the Nairobi suburbs, there is a recreation of a native village from a number of different Kenyan tribes. It’s admittedly built specifically for tourists, but still gives a good impression of traditional tribal life. Dances and other traditional performances are put on each day.

Kenyatta Conference Center

This is mainly a business center, but it has a huge saucer-shaped tower with a viewing platform that offers a superb view over the city, extending to the suburbs. The outside of the building looks quite outdated, however, next to Nairobi’s new glass skyscrapers.

jamia mosque, nairobi

Jamia Mosque, Banda Street, Nairobi
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Jamia Mosque

This isn't on many lists of tourist destinations in Nairobi, but this is undeserved. Kenya has a good deal of Muslims (especially in the coast area) because of centuries of trade with and domination by the Arabs across the Indian Ocean. The Jamia Mosque at Banda Street is one of the biggest religious structures of Kenya. Unfortunately, they are reluctant to let non-Muslims enter the building, but you might be lucky and the outside appearance is interesting enough.

Uhuru Park

Uhuru park is a public park in the middle of the city, and is the location of many public rallies and speeches over the years of Kenya history. The name means "freedom" and there are a monuments to the independence of Kenya. It's located near the affluent neighbourhood of Upper Hill, and will provide you with a nice green place to relax while you are touring around the city. Uhuru Park isn’t safe at night (even more so than the rest of Nairobi), so don’t walk there alone.

So - even if you are just considering Nairobi to be your "landing point" in Kenya, for travels farther abroad, don't miss these interesting tourist destinations in Nairobi.

Related Pages:

Tours to the main tourist destinations in Nairobi
Pictures of Nairobi

Nairobi National Park

Nairobi - Introduction

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