The Best 25 Day Trips and Activities in Nairobi

The Best 25 Day Trips and Activities in Nairobi – Nairobi is Kenya’s capital city. In addition to its urban core, the city has Nairobi National Park making Kenya to be the only country in the world to have a national park just 15 minutes’ drive away. This is a large protected area known for breeding the endangered black rhinos and home to giraffes, zebras, lions and much more alongside alluring bird species.

Next to Nairobi National Park, is a well-regarded elephant orphanage operated by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Nairobi is often used as a jumping-off point for safari that take tourists to other touristic places in Kenya. We advise you to take one of these day trips from Nairobi and you can find yourself on top of a volcano, at the bottom of the longest rift on earth, on a Big 5 safari or cruising across a lake full of hippos.

For day trips from Nairobi, you can head north-west to the Great Rift Valley, that 7000 kilometres long jagged scar, that can be seen from space. Filled with dormant rugged volcanoes, soda and freshwater lakes and an abundance of wildlife and birds. To the east of Nairobi, is Athi and the wildlife migration corridors that allow all of safaris best to pass between Nairobi National Park and Amboseli.

From Nairobi you can still head to the east for Mount Kenya, the vast Laikipia dedicated wildlife conservancies and of course a drive to the equator. Alternatively, head south towards Tanzania, as the altitude falls from 2000 meters to below sea level, the temperatures rise and you hit the arid lands and soda lakes of Magadi. 

These amazing day trips will take you no longer than a day and will guarantee that you will feel  being so indulged into nature just a few hours away from Nairobi.

1. Shopping at the Village Market

Shopping at the Village Market

The Best 25 Day Trips and Activities in Nairobi – Nairobi has no shortage of malls. This comes with some of the best shopping experiences. and one of the best is the quaint Village Market in Gigiri.

For those who fancy good things in life, you can literally buy anything you need here, from designer clothes to Kenyan souvenirs and there are tons of restaurants and cafes for you to taste some good delicacies when you are done with shopping. We are more wowed with The Hub in Karen and Galleria in Langata. Good places to go to the supermarket, pharmacy, ATM and pick up SIM cards whenever we are the city or on the go.

2. Explore the Karura Forest


Karura Forest, located not far away from Nairobi’s CBD is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are plenty of things to do there, whether you just want to take in the serene environment or do something more active like walking, bird watching, mountain biking or horse riding.

Environmental conscious guests can get involved with tree planting and there’s also a pretty waterfall you can go and admire. There are a few picnic sites so you could take one with you to make the most of your visit.

3. Cheese Tasting at Brown’s Cheese Co.

Cheese Tasting at Brown's Cheese Co

An afternoon at the farm including a cheese tasting, factory tour, and 3-course lunch (with 2 glasses of wine or beer) costs about $35. This includes pizza and ice cream, as well as lunch.You can also try milking a cow too if you turn to be adventurous! If you don’t want to make the journey out to the farm, you can also order cheese platters!

4. Lake Naivasha – The Place of Cool Waters

Lake Naivasha Excursion

Journeying down the picturesque Great Rift Valley and one of the easiest day trips from Nairobi. Lake Naivasha is a huge freshwater and the highest in terms of altitude of all lakes in the Rift Valley.  

The lake is famed for its hundreds of hippos that honk along the shoreline and glare blissfully at you from the water. It has a great many birds including African Fish Eagle, Cormorants, Pink Backed Pelicans, Herons, Kingfishers, Fish, Goliath Heron, African Jacana, Great White Egret, White Fronted Bee-eater, the Saddle-billed Stork among others.

Lake Naivasha’s shoreline id dotted with conservancies where buffalos, giraffes, zebras, hyenas, impalas, gazelles, waterbucks, Dik diks, jackals and many more call their home. Taking a boat trip on the lake to get close up with hippos or visit Crescent Island, or Sanctuary Farm.

A quick drive to the Crater Lake Sanctuary, to view the emerald green lake in the center of an extinct volcano intertwined by a a visit to Joy and George Adams former home now Elsamere Conservation Center for English high tea on the lawns of the lake is worth your time. Other option would be to visit Hell’s Gate National Park on foot or on a bike and wonder at it looming cliffs, volcanic plugs and the Njorowa gorge that has streams of cold warm and super-hot springs and the ever-present Mount Longonot in its center.  

5. The Thorn Tree Cafe at Sarova Stanely Hotel


An afternoon at the farm including a cheese tasting, factory tour, and 3-course lunch (with 2 glasses of wine or beer) costs about $35. This includes pizza and ice cream, as well as lunch.You can also try milking a cow too if you turn to be adventurous! If you don’t want to make the journey out to the farm, you can also order cheese platters!

6. Views of Nairobi at KICC

Views of Nairobi City at KICC

The Kenyatta International Convention Centre is the 6 the tallest building in Kenya, located in the heart of Nairobi’s CBD.

For a small fee, you can take a lift up to the top of the building for one of the best viewpoints in the city. This is a very popular spot for tourists, as well as couples on dates as it’s also a nice place to watch the sunset in the city and Nairobi’s skyline.

7. Hell’s Gate National Park


Hell’s Gate National Park sits at the base of the Longonot volcano and adjacent to Lake Naivasha. Filled with plains animals and the odd errant leopard it is most famous for Njorowa gorge a narrow sandstone gorge that have been sculpted into eerie passageways by millennia of water.

With it looming cliffs that are home to vultures and other birds of prey, Hell’s Gate National Park is Kenya’s only national park where you can walk or ride a mountain and encounter wildlife.

Other attractions within Hells Gate National Park are Fischer’s and Central Tower both popular rock climbing points, and the numerous hot springs in the gorge. 

8. Kiambethu Tea Farm Excursion

Kiambethu Tea Farm Excursion

Located one hour away from Nairobi, Kiambethu Tea Farm is a tranquil haven of bright green tea and nerve-calming walks. Kiambethu is run by a family that has been cultivating tea since the early 1900s.

Arriving at 11am, you’ll be offered a cup of tea or coffee and learn about the tea-making process and history of the farm, before taking a walk through the indigenous forest where you may see the Black and white Colobus monkeys.

Afterward, you’ll have a 3-course buffet lunch prepared with food from the garden, whilst enjoying the incredible views. 

9. Dedicated Coffee Estate Excursion

Nairobi Coffee Farm Excursion

Kenya is one of the world’s leading tea and coffee producers, and when you happen to be in Nairobi, why not take some time to tour the farms?

There are a couple of different coffee estates not far from the city of  Nairobi. Our choices here being the Fairview Coffee Estate and Karunguru Coffee Estate, both of which are Kenyan-owned.

The Fairview is around 30 minutes from the city CBD, and Karunguru around 45 minutes away.

You can do tours at both estates to learn about the coffee-making process and enjoy some deliciously brewed fresh coffee!

10. Swara Plains Conservancy


Located on the outskirts of Nairobi, Swara Plains Conservancy offers the second opportunity to view wildlife around Nairobi. Lukenya Hills and Athi Plains are parts of the wildlife corridor that runs from Nairobi National Park through to Amboseli and Tsavo National Park.

It is a great choice for a Kenya safari day trip but the best thing about Swara Plains Conservancy, is that you can go there for mountain biking. The flat and manageable roads offer over 100 kilometers of cycle trails that even your kids can manage.

If you are uncomfortable with the thought of riding past buffalo and lion then you can hire a ranger to cycle with you. Where else in Kenya can you bike ride past giraffe and zebra with views of the Ngong Hills and Kilimanjaro?  

11. Kazuri Beads – Visit for the Social Good


Kazuri means “small and beautiful” in Swahili and this describes each beautifully handmade ceramic bead which is shaped by hand. This is a social enterprise, employing mostly women from disadvantaged backgrounds. Kazuri Beads produce brightly colored, handmade ceramic jewelry, which are sold all over the world. It supports literally hundreds of disadvantaged Kenyan women, by providing employment and healthcare services for them and their families.

Kazuri Beads is a popular place for many guests who have just a few hours to spend seeing the sights of Nairobi. The main showroom and workshop is located close to many attractions and tourist venues in the leafy suburbs of Karen.

The workshop is just a stones-throw away from the Karen Blixen Museum named after Karen Blixen of the award winning film and book ‘Out Of Africa’

A visit to the Kazuri Beads workshop and craft center takes approximately one hour and here you will see the various processes.

A knowledgeable guide will show you around where you will see the whole process from the molding of raw clay through to the glazing, decorating and threading of beads as finished products.

12. Nairobi National Park Excursion

Nairobi National Park Excursion

Established in 1946, Nairobi National Park was the first national park in Kenya. Located approximately 7 kilometers from the city the park makes you feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of city.

Endowed with rolling savannah, woodlands, rivers, man-made dams, gorges and valleys, the park is home to Kenya’s Big 4 with exception of the elephant.  

Nairobi’s skyscrapers can be seen from the park and the 117 square kilometers Nairobi National Park is unique by being the only protected area in the world with a variety of animals and birds close to a capital city.

As expected, the park is a principal attraction for visitors to Nairobi. Despite its proximity to civilization and relative small size for an African national park, the park boasts a large and varied wildlife population. Cheetah, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, zebra, giraffe, lion and plenty of antelopes and gazelles can be seen roaming in this open plains country.

with a section of highland forest as well as stretches of broken bush country, deep, rocky valleys and gorges with scrub and long grass. habitat.
The park is also home to over 400 species of bird making it one of the best birds’ hotspot for any birder who is around. 

13. Mount Longonot

Hiking Mount Longonot

The unmistakable Mount Longonot, a dormant volcano in the Rift Valley stands like a sentinel on the Great Rift Valley floor overlooking the volcanic ash plains with views that stretch all the way to Tanzania.

The hike up the volcano is a sure way of accomplishing 8 km but very steep and so it takes approximately 2 hours to reach the top. You will be rewarded with the discovery of a forest within the crater where buffaloes, elands, leopard, bushbucks, zebra, giraffe and gazelles live.

Mount Longonot is close enough to Nairobi to do in a day trip but you can opt to remain behind and enjoy what Lake Naivasha has to offer in terms of accommodation and activities.

14. Nairobi Giraffe Center – Feeding Experience

Nairobi Giraffe Center Tour

To those whose budget doesn’t stretch to afford a stay at Giraffe Manor, do not worry! One of the best places to visit in Nairobi is the Nairobi Giraffe Centre, which is just next door to Giraffe Manor and is part of the same sanctuary.

The Giraffe Centre is a wonderful and refreshing experience undertaken during your visit in Nairobi. The excursion to the Giraffe Centre also known as the African Fund for Endangered gives an up close and personal interaction where guests have the opportunity to view giraffes as well as feed them.

To date, the center has rescued, hand-reared and released around 500 orphaned giraffes back into the wild since opening in 1979. Some of the beneficiary of this program include; Soysambu Ranch near Lake Elementaita, Kigio Conservancy near Gilgil and Sergoit Ranch in Eldoret. Others were recently translocated to Mwea National Game Reserve and Ruma National Park.

15. Karen Blixem Museum

Karen Blixen Museum Tour

If you’ve ever read or watched ‘Out of Africa’ you’ll want to visit the Karen Blixen Museum. The museum at ‘the foot of the Ngong Hills’ is the former home of Danish writer and coffee farmer, Karen Blixen.

A visit to the museum, we allow you to learn about Kenya’s colonial past, and get a cup of coffee or some food at the Karen Blixen Coffee Garden.

Karen Blixen, author of “Out of Africa,” arrived in Nairobi from her homeland of Denmark in 1914 and settled in what is now the suburb of Karen. She purchased 6000 acres of forested land, using only 600 acres for her coffee farm and preserving most of the native habitat. Karen left Kenya in 1931, and her famous novel was published in 1937. The residents that lived nearby maintained her home until Kenya’s independence when the Danish government donated the home and surrounding lands, and later restored the house that was used for the film “Out of Africa”.

In 1986, the Karen Blixen Museum opened the historic house to the public. Although the property is historically breathtaking, the most memorable part of visiting the museum is the house. Built in 1910, the bungalow-style home features a red tile roof, wood paneling and the original furniture and kitchen.
The museum is open every day for guided tours and special events may be held at the site. Visit the gift shop to find many of Karen’s works, as well as souvenirs, and then you can enjoy a delightful cup of coffee or tea at Tamambo before your leisurely walk through the property’s tranquil gardens and bird sanctuary.

16. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Ol Pejeta Day Trip from Nairobi

If you fancy seeing the Big 5, Ol Pejeta Conservancy is the closest destination. Ol Pejeta Conservancy boasts an outstanding variety of animals including the non-indigenous chimpanzee and a combination of amazing wildlife and stunning views across its open plains. For birdwatchers, Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a great Kenya birding destination boasting over 500 bird species. Ol Pejeta Conservancy birds include resident species, migrant species, and endangered species.

17. Hiking in the Ngong Hills


The Ngong Hills are present in both Nairobi literature and their distant presence. Google Nairobi and Karen Blixen’s famous quote will no doubt surface before too long. The Ngong Hills are a sinuous line of hills shaped liked knuckles that form a permanent skyline and a barrier between Nairobi and the hinterlands of the south.

The hills are one of the best day trips from Nairobi, just half an hour from central Nairobi and you will find yourself in a green world of bracken, ferns and mossy trees filled birds and butterflies. The ideal Ngong Hills day trip is to arrive at one end of the hills and walk all the way to the other side before driving back to the city.

18. Langata Link Shops Visit

Langata Links Shops Visit

While in Nairobi, no trip to Kenya is complete without picking up some of the beautiful handicrafts available here. Once of the best places to find these is at Langata Link – a house in the leafy suburb of Karen where every room has been turned into a different shop. They have everything here from bags made out of colourful Kenyan kanga material to delicate jewelry, rustic khaki luggage and pretty pottery. In the centre of the shop there’s also a lovely café, great for a pit stop after all that tiring spending you’ll be doing.

Among the so many, our favourite Kenyan brands, KangaruiNatural LamuLulu Kitolo Studio, and Ocean Sole. Ocean Sole is a cool social enterprise that recycles old flip-flops that wash up on the beaches of Kenya and make them into cool objects both art and more functional things for use in our daily lives!

19. Nairobi’s Sheldrick Elephants Orphanage

Nairobi Elephant Orphanage Tour

While in Nairobi, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, (formerly the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust) a rehabilitation centre for abandoned and orphaned baby elephants (and other animals, occasionally rhinos) who are too young to survive in the wild on their own.

Started by the late Dame Daphne Sheldrick in memory of her late husband, David, a legendary ranger at Tsavo National Park. The elephants are cared for and reintroduced into the wild when they are old enough to fend for themselves.

Every day, guests are allowed in at 11 a.m. for approximately 1 hour to see the elephants and listen to a talk by one of the keepers.

20. Bomas of Kenya – Learn About Kenya’s Culture


If you’re looking for one of the best places in Nairobi to learn about Kenya’s culture and history, then you need to take a visit to Bomas of Kenya. The centre was set up to educate people about the different ethnic groups found in Kenya and to help preserve and celebrate the Kenyan culture.

Visitors can watch music and dance performances and see the many exhibits.

Bomas of Kenya is a cultural tour of Kenya’s major ethnic groups, such as Mijikenda, Luo, Taita, Embu, Maasai, Kikuyu, Kamba, Kalenjin, Luhya, Kisii, Kuria to name just a few of the native peoples that are represented at the venue. The word “boma” means “homestead”, and here you find replicates of traditional villages that provide interesting insight about each tribe’s societal structure, crafts, music, dancing and much more.

Daily performances include a selection of more than 30 traditional dances of the different ethnic groups in Kenya, and one of the most impressive performances is the Samburu and Masai warriors.

21. The Nairobi City Tour

Nairobi City Tour

If you’re looking for one of the best places in Nairobi to learn about Kenya’s culture and history, Nairobi is popularly known as the “Green City in the Sun”.

The Nairobi city tour covers the modern city center, the colorful Nairobi city market, parliament buildings, Kenyatta International Convention Centre; the landmark of Nairobi (KICC), the Nairobi Railway Station Museum, the Nairobi Snake Park and the renowned National Museum where there are spell binding displays of the early man tribal regalia and the flora and fauna of Kenya.

Situated ate the National Museums of Kenya grounds, the Nairobi Snake Park is one of the attractions is popular with visitors. On display are cobras, puff adders, mambas and the large African-Rock python).

Several species of crocodile found in Africa, the American Alligator, Freshwater Terrapins and tortoises are also on display aquariums holding coral fish from the East African lakes and rivers are a main feature of the park.

Nairobi National Museum is located at the Museum Hill, approximately 10 minutes’ drive away from the Nairobi city centre. It is the flagship museum housing some of the most celebrated collections of history, culture and art from Kenya and East Africa. The museum aims to interpret heritage of Kenya to stimulate appreciation and learning.

22. Lake Magadi Excursion

Lake Magadi Tour

It can be freezing in Nairobi but it’s not difficult to find a different environment that warm just outside Nairobi. The day trip from Nairobi to Magadi takes under two hours and the journey is an incredible exploration through Masai countryside. Spot remote villages, mud huts, Masai people bedecked in jewels.

Magadi is famous for its soda lake, pinkly coloured with algae that attracts Lesser Flamingoes. In hot times the lake dries up and a layer of salt crusts the earth, its blinding brilliance is a photographers dream.

Springs, too hot to bath in, feed the lake but you can try dipping you toes in the water which heats to 86 degrees. Despite its volcanic source the hot water is home to a particularly enduring species of fish that can live in extremely high temperatures.

The land surrounding the lake is desert like and populated with hyena, zebra, gazelles, and giraffe. Further away from the lake the River Ewaso Ngiro supplies water to the Masai and their cattle and the huge trees provides shade for leopards and birds.

23. Kitengela Glass

Kitengela Hot Glass Tour

Kitengela Hot Glass is a 40-minute day trip from Nairobi. Kitengela crafts glass that is in demand all over the world. You can buy Kitengela glass online, or in one of their shops in Nairobi, but nothing beats a trip out to Kitengela itself.

Kitengela is a psychedelic bombardment of the senses that starts when you see a car ploughed into the earth and apparently ripped in two by lightning. A series of artworks and frankly bizarre instalments that are dropped seemingly at random in a countryside filled with camels, cows and pigs.

Kitengela glass looks over Nairobi National Park and it is entirely possible to game view from there but the fun is in witnessing the glass blowing and marveling at the art and architecture. There is an onsite shop and a place where you can buy imperfect glass for a fraction of the price.

24. Lake Elementaita


Further into the Great Rift Valley, is another Lake Elementaita, a drive that takes approximately 2 and a half hours so you may prefer to travel here for the day.  

This soda lake is sandwiched between the Mau Escarpment and the Aberdares. At the bst times of the year, the lake is home to 28% of the world’s flamingo population. The vast flocks and the powder pink of the algae that the flamingos feed on give the lake a picturesque blush that is rivalled only by Magadi.

Unlike Magadi, Lake Elementaita is in the highlands and the weather is temperate year-round. The shores of Elementaita are filled with game and the best place to view animals and get down to the lake is in Soysambu Conservancy. The conservancy has eland, lion, leopard, cheetah, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, impala, Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelle, reedbuck, steenbok, warthog, and klipspringer. A stopover at the Sunbird Lodge along the lakeshore offers the best view of Elementaita’s sleeping warrior mountain.

25. Champagne Ridge

Champagne Ridge Tour

Overlooking the Great Rift Valley’s most incredible views, Champagne Ridge is inhabited by local farmers who enjoy the odd luxury lifestyle. With underdeveloped land that allow dik dik, giraffe, zebra, hyena, impala, gazelle and even the leopard to have some freedom, the ridge says it all.

From here, the spectacular views sweeps across the Great Rift Valley and encompasses two volcanoes and a smorgasbord of patchy fields, silvery lakes and in the far far distance Tanzania. Take a picnic, find an empty spot and spend the day admiring the views or book a house on ‘the ridge’ and make a weekend of it. 

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