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Spending a weekend in Nairobi has so much to offer – and far exceeds expectations! I absolutely loved visiting this city, and can’t wait to go back some day. Although the city suffers from severe poverty and inequality, most of it is very developed, offering a multitude of great things to do.
Nairobi is often used as a gateway to the Masai Mara or any of Kenya’s other incredible National Parks for safari. As someone who has been fortunate enough to have done quite a few safaris before, this wasn’t a priority for us during our weekend in Nairobi. Therefore, this guide focuses on key things to do in the immediate vicinity of the city.
How to spend an incredible weekend in Nairobi
Where to stay in Nairobi?
We based ourselves in the gorgeous and fairly upmarket sub-urb of Karen. This allowed us to easily visit the key sites, whilst feeling safe in a nice part of town.
Day one of your weekend in Nairobi:
Hire a driver to take you on an epic tour of the main places around Karen for the day. It’s important to go with a reputable driver for this, as although safety in Nairobi has improved, muggings do still occasionally occur. First stop of the day has to be the infamous Giraffe Centre, as attached to Giraffe Manor. Opening at 9am, and costing $10 per person (payable only by credit / debit card), get there early to feed the beautiful Rothschild giraffes. Make sure to visit the auditorium to learn a little more about the conservation of these giants too.
From here, drive just fifteen minutes to the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage for their 11am visiting time. Costing $5 per person (payable in cash only), learn all about the adorable baby orphaned elephants and rhinos that are temporarily looked after by the nursery before being re-integrated into the wild.
After the incredibly heart warming experience seeing the elephants, drive 10 minutes to Boho Eatery, a stunning health food restaurant set in gorgeous gardens. Make sure to call ahead and book a table in advance (12.30 if going after the elephants), and ask for one on the swings outside!
Following a relaxed lunch, drive over to Bomos of Kenya – an outdoor cultural museum that showcases information about the various ethnic groups that make up Kenya, explaining how they live and build their villages. This costs $10 per adult, and $5 for students. They also offer a cultural show at 3.30pm daily included in the ticket price.
Dinner on Saturday night has to be at Tamarinde – delicious food in a beautiful outdoor setting. Book ahead as it gets very busy.
Day two in Nairobi:
Head to The Hub at Karen for a great breakfast at Art Café. Expect smoked salmon, green smoothies and eggs any way. This massive shopping mall has an amazing selection of shops to wander round after too.
Take advantage of the lower volume of traffic on Sunday late morning and head over to Kakura Forest for a shady hike through the trees and down to the waterfall. There are several routes that are possible, most taking approximately 1.5 hours. The café at the top is perfectly located for a late lunch looking over the forest.
And that’s it! That’s your perfect weekend in Nairobi – go and enjoy it!