Nairobi National Park
A drive to the South of Nairobi’s central district is Nairobi National Park. What makes this part unique is that it is the only wildlife destination in the world located inside a capital city. It is dotted with wide open grassland, scattered acacia bushes, and an amazing backdrop of the city scrapers. This iconic park hosts a variety of wildlife including black rhinos, buffalo, giraffes, lions, leopards, cheetahs, ostrich, gazelle and more. The park also has a vibrant birdlife with over 500 species recorded.
Visitors will enjoy game drives, bush picnics, camping, and hiking along the serene walking trails.
Nairobi National Museum and Snake Park
The Nairobi National Museum is a 5 minutes drive from the Nairobi City Centre. The museum presents an impeccable collection of Kenyan and East African History, Culture and Art. It is designed with several educational sections including human and dinosaur fossils discovered in Kenya, an informative display of all the 42 Kenya tribes, the history of Kenya’s independence, as well a fossil collection of iconic animals and birds.
Snake Park lies in a smaller building within the National Museum grounds. Designed with a central garden, a few trees, bushes, rocks and a pool, the park hosts various reptilian species including snakes, tortoises, Nile crocodiles, lizards, and American Alligator. The dangerous species including the cobras, black and green mambas, African puff adder, and the gaboon vipers are housed in built-in display cases.
This park is easily covered in an hour or less. It adds an interesting twist to the historical wildlife diversity of Kenya.
Karen Blixen Museum
The Karen Blixen Museum is located in the serene suburbs of Karen, at the foot of Ngong Hills. It comprises a beautiful farmhouse where Baroness Karen Blixen lived with her husband Swedish Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke between 1914 to 1931. After a series of personal tragedies, Karen left Kenya and documented her experiences in her famous novel “Out of Africa” (adapted to film). She referred to the house as “Mbogani”, meaning a ‘house built in the woods”.
The renewed interest in the life of Karen Blixen occasioned by the “Out of Africa: film production resulted in the restoration of the house in 1985, as part of the National Museums of Kenya. Most of her original furniture, previously sold to Lady McMillan was recovered and makes up part of the exhibition. Last-century farm tools including wagons, a tractor, ploughs, and original coffee processing factory equipment make up a rich outdoor exhibition.
To date, the house has remained a tranquil environment, with an ‘out of this world feel’. Surrounded by an indigenous forest, and with the Ngong Hills as its background, the well-manicured Blixen Museum grounds provide a serene setting for outdoor events including weddings, team building, and corporate galas. Karen’s love for arts has been kept alive through Karen’s Art Corner which supports local and upcoming artists. Birdwatchers will enjoy nature trails lined by different resident birds including tree hyraxes. This is a worthy stopover.
This is a fun visit where you get the opportunity to feed and pet the Rothschild giraffes up close. The experience is even more magical when taking photos of the friendly and curious calves. The facility offers a short lecture about endangered giraffes. You can also handle and feel the bones to understand the uniqueness of the animals even more. This 2-hour tour is best done before you embark on a safari to the parks.
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
For those looking for tourism with a cause, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a must-visit. The trust runs an elephant’s nursery in Nairobi National Park where they rescue and rehabilitate orphaned baby elephants. The Nursery provides the first stage in the hand-rearing and development of young milk-dependent baby elephants. The babies graduate from the nursery between the ages of 2-3 years. They are then moved to the Imani Reintegration Center in Tsavo East National Park, where they are slowly released into the wild.
At the nursery, you will enjoy an up-close friendly interaction with the baby elephants, and learn about their survival stories. You can even adopt an elephant in support of the Trust’s awesome work.
Dinner at the Carnivore
For the ultimate meat-eating experience, the Carnivore never disappoints. The restaurant features an all-you-can-eat meat buffet. While they no longer serve game meat due to government restrictions, the restaurant has a wide variety of meat to choose from. Currently, it is most famed for serving farmed crocodile and ostrich meat. The African feel of meat skewered on Masai Swords, cooked on coals, and served on cast-iron plates does add an interesting twist to the experience. Overall, the Carnivore is a beautiful place to end your Nairobi excursion.