Nairobi County


Discover Nairobi County

View from Capitol Hill of a traffic snarl-up on Uhuru Highway, Nairobi.  Photo Courtesy
View from Capitol Hill of Uhuru Highway, Nairobi. Image Courtesy

Brief Overview of Nairobi County

Nairobi is many things to many people. To some it’s a 21st century business hub connecting all the Counties of Kenya, Eastern Africa and Africa. To others it is the skyscrapers, unrivaled communication and modern infrastructure. Obvious perhaps, safari begins here for many visitors to Kenya, at the Nairobi National Park and Nairobi Safari Walk. Still to others, this is the ethnical melting pot of Kenya. A large and flourishing county with a population of about 3 million. And the people of Nairobi come from far and wide. Indeed Nairobi is a cultural plait.

No other city in Kenya offers such contrast, different in many aspects from the bucolic cast of rural towns. It is a city of modern cuisine, internationally famous hotels and world class entertainment. It offers every visitor a warm welcome, modern amenities and unique touring resources. It is also the land of sunshine. Nairobi is now the 80th most visited city in the world, with more than 2 million tourists in 2019, overtaking Athens, Abu Dhabi, and Rio de Janeiro. It is now ranked 56th in the Global Cities Index, and is closing the gap on Johannesburg and Cairo thanks to its growing importance as a technology and diplomatic hub.

Going through unique particulars of Nairobi, it is salutary to mention one of its foible and cross-cutting oddities, its matatu, lauded and loathed in equal parts, and which have been the fascination of many a researcher. Every country has it’s own set of factors that partly explain the differences in driving, and in Kenya it is the exhilarating matatu – Nairobi’s reply to the Jeepneys of the Philippines, the Songthaew of Laos, the Chicken Buses of Central America and the Chiva Express of Ecuador. The despisers of the aggressive graffiti-spotted matatu of Nairobi consider them a chaotic reflection of the blithe attitudes of the driving public, as well as, that of the law-enforcers themselves. Their supporters, on the other hand, say there is something witty and original about the graffiti concept.  Some say, that the “graffiti’d matatu” portrays Kenya’s outward looking quality.


Salient Features of Nairobi County

  • County Number 47
  • Area – 686 km2
  • Altitude – 5250 to 6070 ft
  • Major Towns – Nairobi
  • Borders – Kiambu, Machakos, Kajiado

Brief History of Nairobi County

Before the arrival of the railway line from Mombasa in 1899 – en route Kisumu and Uganda – Nairobi was largely an open plain. The placement of the railroad was exogenous to the population growth, as a commercial and business hub for the British East Africa Company. Soon after the arrival of the vital railway line, Europeans were allowed to settle down in the undulating area west of the city centre.  Later on, Asian traders were settled in the north-east (Eastleigh).  By 1963, Africans who formed a major part of the population, lived in the eastern parts, while Europeans and Asians lived in the western and northeast suburbs with access to better services. A status still reflected today. In 1900, Nairobi’s status was upgraded to a town, and, in 1905, it replaced Mombasa as the main centre. In 1907, it became the Capital of Kenya. In 1950, it was declared a city.


View of the Nairobi City skyline from Nairobi National Park.  Photo Courtesy of The National
Nairobi City skyline from Nairobi National Park. Image Courtesy

Places of Interest in Nairobi County

1. Panari Sky Centre

Most travellers to Kenya arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, at the southern edge of Nairobi, to year-round good weather. Thankfully, this part of the world sees more sunshine than most countries. With the equator running straight across Kenya, the sun is almost always overhead.  From the airport, it is a short 17 kms hop north to the City on one of Nairobi’s bussiest trunk routes (Nairobi-Mombasa Road). On the left, just over the rows of buildings marching on with the highway, sits the Nairobi National Park. On the right, 13 kms from the airport, sits Panari Hotel, best-known for its ice skating rink which offers people of all ages a few fleeting moments to interact with this rare element. The Solar Ice Rink at Panari Hotel measures 32 × 12 ms with an ice skating surface area of 15,000 square feet. The rink itself with temperatures of 12 degrees C can accommodate 200 skaters at any time and is open seven days a week from 11.00 am until 10.00 pm. More amenities at Panari include: Red Garnet, Black Golf Cafe, Amber Coffee Shop, Dips Club, Ruby VIP Club, and the Anga Sky Cinema.

2. Go Down Art Centre

About 1 kms north of Panari Hotel the Southern Bypass Interchange is reached. Taking a left, the Southern Bypass goes past the Nairobi National Park, through Langata and Ngong Forest Sanctuary, before joining the Nairobi-Uganda Road near Kikuyu. Taking a right, the Southern Bypass goes into the Industrial Area, which is one of two ways to reach the Go Down Art Centre. “Founded in 2003, in a space that was formerly a car repair warehouse, the Centre has contributed significantly to the growth, recognition, and visibility of local artist by fostering and facilitating collaborations and encounters between artists from different disciplines and different parts of the world”. One of its noble flagship programs – The Economy of Creative – helps budding artists reflect on the trajectory of their own life journeys as creatives, and as entrepreneurs, looking at ways they can identify and plug skills and knowledge gaps in their own practice, as well as, open outwards to embrace new innovations and technologies, and networks. It can also be reached by taking exit 3 (right) at the Nyayo Stadium Roundabout, 6 kms north of the Bypass and Panari Hotel, along Lusaka and Mukenia Roads.

Spatial Location of the Go-Downs Arts Centre in Nairobi County
Spatial Location of the Go-Downs Arts Centre in Nairobi County

3. Nairobi South Cemetery

Nairobi South Cemetery is found 3 kms south-east of the city centre on Uhuru Highway leading from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Nairobi CBD. On the way from the airport the cemetery is situated directly beside the road on the left, adjacent to the Bunyala roundabout. This is the first roundabout after the Nyayo National Stadium. The road leading to the cemetery entrance is marked by a CWGC direction sign. “During the First World War, Nairobi area was the headquarters of the King’s African Rifles and became the main hospital centre for the East African campaign. Nairobi South Cemetery has 155 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, mostly in one section, interspersed by civilian graves. There are also two burials of the Second World War. The cemetery also contains the Nairobi British and Indian Memorial, which is a screen wall which commemorates British and Indian officers and men who lost their lives in the East African campaign before the advance to the Rufiji in January 1917” – CWG

4. Nairobi National Park

At Nyayo Stadium Roundabout taking exit 1 onto Langata Road, passing Wilson Airport, sits the Nairobi National Park. It can also be reached via the Sourthern Bypass which links to Langata Road. The latter provides one of the surpassing roadside views of the park. Except for this stretch and for a few kilometres near Langata Road, to keep wildlife out the heavy traffic, the park is not fenced. The animals move freely in and out of the park across the unfenced boundary with the Athi-Kapiti Plains. The entrance to the National National Park, adjacent to which is also a unique animal orphanage, where animals are nurtured back to health, is located within the Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarter. The 117 km2 Park has over 60 kms of marked looping trails which unveil, around every bend, all that is great about wildest Africa; with the backdrop of Nairobi City’s skyline.

The Nairobi National Park is never without a unique concentration of wildlife across its plains – zebra, wildebeest, kongoni, impala, grant’s gazelle, cheetahs, lions, warthogs among many more. Along the Athi River are herds of waterbuck and, in the river, there are hippos and crocodiles. The park has more than 100 species of animals, several quite rare like the Caracal. The best times for game viewing in the park are the early morning and early evening, when the sunset behind the Ngong Hills provides a wonderful background for photographers. Also of interest is the Ivory Burning Site. The first ivory burn happened in 1989 when 12 tonnes of ivory were incinerated. The most recent happened in 2016, when 100 tonnes of ivory were incinerated at the same burn site. “This is one the most important landmarks in the annals of conservation” – Lonely Planet.

Map of Nairobi National Park Courtesy of Expert Africa
Map of Nairobi National Park Courtesy of Expert Africa

5. Nairobi Safari Walk

The stilted Nairobi Safari Walk, spread over 0.1 km2, provides a rare plenary to sight wildlife and their habitats from above. Four of Africa’s high-minded big-five – lion, buffalo, leopard and rhino – can be spotted along the safari walk, which on average takes an hour half to complete. This simulation of wetland, savanna and forest ecosystems is an outstanding interpretation of the wildest places to be seen in Kenya. The raised wooden boardwalk also serves as a fine birding ledge from where many species of avifauna can be spotted in the forest canopy. To boot the view over the wildlife and habitats, it offers unprecedented glances of the Athi-Kapiti Plain. Admission to the Nairobi Safari Walk is Sh 215 for citizen adults and Sh 125 for children; Sh 300 for resident adults and Sh 170 for children; and USD 22 for non-resident adults and USD 13 for children. It is situated adjacent the entrance to Nairobi National Park, or 7 kms from the City.

6. Nairobi Animal Orphanage

Established in 1964 as the sanction and rehabilitation center for abandoned and wounded wildlife in Kenya, it serve as an all-important close-up encounter with wildlife especially for the younger ones, who are awestruck by the close up view – while the animals in need are being ‘mothered’ back to top health, before they are released to the wild. “Nairobi Animal Orphanage harbours lions, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals, serval cats, Sokoke cats, warthogs, leopards, various monkeys, baboons and buffalo. Various birds can also be viewed including parrots, guinea fowls, crowned cranes and ostriches”. It is located in the Nairobi National Park.

7. Nairobi Tented Camp

Singular at the Nairobi Tented Camp, established in 2010, is that it is the only tented safari destination set within the Nairobi National Park. Bedizened for comfort and luxury, within the riverine habitat of Kisembe River, its 9-tented camps, dining and lounge tents are all crafted to complement the authenticity of the safari experience. The day in Nairobi Tented Camp starts with a freshly brewed hot drink brought to your tent before setting off for that famous safari tradition – an early morning game drive.  Be lucky enough to catch the first rays of early morning sun as they burn off the night dust of dew stirring the plains game gently to life. Visitors also enjoy game drives in the park, sun-downers, trips to David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and Giraffe Center. It is accessed via Mbagathi Gate (near Multimedia University) on Langata Road and Magadi Roads and about 18 kms from Nairobi City or 11.5 kms from KWS Headquarter.

8. Emakoko Lodge

The boutique 10-rooms Emakoko Lodge is situated on a pleasing promontory in the southeast area of Nairobi National Park overlooking Mbagathi River and the wildlife rich plains. This modish lodge is built on two levels, with five rooms in the upper level built into the cliff face – “the climb to the upper rooms is worth it for the spectacular views”. Just a short walk from the lodge sits the Leopard Cliff Observation Point which serves as a useful vantage to eyeshot wildlife and appreciate the beauty of these plains. To the north, the county is open acacia savanna grassland strewn with combretum bush. The concept for the Emakoko Lodge was the brainchild of Anthony and Emma Childs – the hosts – to offers an exclusive and personal environment where guests can enjoy the beauty of this area; with the city’s amenities only a stone’s throw away. The Emakoko Lodge is found 33 kms from Nairobi along C58 Langata-Kiserian-Magadi Road.

9. Carnivore Nairobi

If a visit to the Nairobi National Park tickles your fancy for some game meat, few restaurants are a cut above the fine experience set up at Carnivore Nairobi, near Nairobi National Park. Spectacularly dubbed the “Beast of a Feast”, this offers a variety of meats including ostrich, crocodile and camel, all roasted over charcoal and carved at your tableside; complemented by an assortment of side dishes and sauces. The feeding frenzy does not stop until the defeat is declared by the guests who signal that enough is enough by lowering the white paper flag perched atop the central tray. This feast is followed by dessert and coffee. “The Carnivore Nairobi opened its doors in September 1980 to instant success. The food, service and atmosphere were strikingly different from anything in Kenya and has since played hosts to over two million customers from the across the globe”. It is found near Wilson Airport along Langata and Langata Links Roads.

Spatial Location of Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi County
Spatial Location of Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi County

10. Langata GP Karting

Langata GP Karting is a sure bet if you want to spin some laps in Nairobi. No racing licence is required to enjoy the 450 ms track with a mixture of long, fast and looping corners. You simply arrive and drive. Karting is open to ages five and above, and the ten-minutes sessions, which can be staggered into two-five minutes sessions, remedy the need-for-speed both for the young and old. The facility boasts over 30 electric karts which can reach 50 kph along the straights. The Saturday Nights Racing Series treats the more severe competitor cases in a first-rate tournament setting. A computerized split-second timing system keeps track of all the race times. In between races, guests can enjoy food and drinks at the Sports Bar and Restaurant, or have a go at the paintball war area to fight it out in colour. Langata GP Karting is located along Langata Links Road close to Nairobi Carnivore. For more information get in-touch at info@gpkarting.co.ke

11. Langata Rifles

Opposite the turnoff to Langata Links Road that takes to Carnivore Nairobi and Langata GP Karting is Nairobi Dam Road, which terminates near Nairobi Dam and Langata Rifles. Officially known as the Kenya Regiment Rifle Club, it was founded in 1952 to fashion shooting as a sport in Kenya. “Shooting sports which is fast gaining popularity among the elite civilian gun holders, hunters, police, military and military reservists is both a competitive and recreational activity meant to impact licensed gun holders with skills and expertise on gun usage in various instances” – Standard Media. The range is also open to walk-in guests looking for a high-adrenaline thrill of firing a hand-gun. It is one of few places in Kenya to admit civilians to fire weapons. Langata Rifles features two ranges – an indoor range used for short arms and an outdoor shooting range. The club also blooms competitive shooting or weapons defense training.  Safety is key at Langata Rifles and every visitor is assigned an instructor to lead them through their shooting drills. It is found 500 ms from Langata Road, near Nairobi Dam.

12. Uhuru Gardens

Just a short distance from Langata Links Road turnoff, on the piece of land separating Carnivore Nairobi with Langata Road, sits Uhuru Gardens – one of the most important historical and heritage sites in Nairobi. It was at the Uhuru Gardens at midnight on December 12, 1963, where Kenya’s first flag flew and its anthem first heard, to a 40,000 strong jubilant and cheerful crowd that filled it to overflowing to mark the nation’s wend to sovereignty, as the instruments of power (constitution and a sword) changed hands. Uhuru Gardens has a notable collection of distinguished monuments to include the two monuments paying homage to Kenya’s self-rule, and a symbolic Mugumo (fig) tree planted on the spot where the Union Jack was lowered and replaced by the Kenyan flag. Uhuru is Swahili equivalent of freedom. Uhuru Gardens also doubles as a recreational outdoor park, open daily at 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, under the aegis of the National Museums of Kenya. It was gazetted as a National Monument in 1966 owing to its incomparable history. Future tributes include a Mashujaa or Heroes Corner.

Kenya Gains Independence (1963). Published by British Pathé

13. Bomas of Kenya

From Uhuru Gardens it’s a 4.5 kms drive to Galleria Mall Roundabout, going past the Langata Cemetery on the right. Exit 1 (left) takes you to Magadi Road which goes past David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage through Magadi Town to Lake Magadi. Exit 2 (on straight) proceeds Langata Road to Karen which sits on the western frontier of Nairobi bordering Kiambu and Kajiado Counties. Exit 3 (right) takes to Forest Edge Road and to the Bomas of Kenya set at the edge of a narrow patch of forest which connects Nairobi National Park to Ngong Forest Sanctuary. This was established in 1971 with the overall mandate to preserve, maintain and promote the rich and diverse mosaic of ethnic groups in Kenya. Bomas of Kenya has been the go-to cultural passage for people of all ages and from all walks of life. The popular cultural centre is an exhibition of abounding traditional culture. Visitors get to enjoy guided walks through their elaborate cultural village, with representation, in the traditional homesteads, of Kikuyu, Luhya, Kalenjin, Taita, Maasai, Luo, Kuria, Kisii, Kamba, Mijikenda, Embu, Meru, Meru, Samburu, Turkana, Ilchamus, Teso, Borana, Rendile, Sakuye, Gabbra, Somali, Sengwer, and the Pokot. The tour culminates in enjoying the traditional dances and a medley of local cuisine at their Utamaduni Restaurant.

Our repertoire consists of over 50 dances from different ethnic communities. With live percussion, string and wind instruments, and diverse, authentic and energetic dancing, that takes you on a journey of Kenya’s past and present.

14. Utamaduni Craft Centre

3 kms from Galleria Mall off Exit 1 at Galleria Roundabout along Magadi Road there is a choice of two roads that run westerly into Karen. If you follow the first, Bogani East Road, and the main road to Catholic University, you will find yourself in the quiet suburbia of Karen. One kilometre from Catholic University, there is a unique touring attraction. On a lush property in the middle of the do-well developed upmarket area, there is a craft outlet with a leisurely garden that attracts art collectors, souvenir-buyers and artisans from across Kenya. Widely lauded as one of the best craft outlet in Nairobi, Utamaduni Craft Centre offers an outstanding variety of crafts, and since 1995 has provided a unique shopping experience. “The shop, a converted Kikuyu house with 18 shops, is a treasure trove of African crafts, fabrics, books, African fashion, leather and sisal items, jewelry, antiques and art; with friendly staff to assist and help pack or ship if needed”. Other highlights include an onsite restaurant, gardens and a play area.

15. Langata Botanical Gardens

Not too far from Utamuduni along Bogani East Road and Langata South Roads sits the Langata Botanical Gardens. The poikilo-planted private park popular as a wedding reception venue, is on most other days a restful and commendably preserved garden to be at leisure.  It incorporates both man-made and natural elements to complete a prepossessing park. Its Botanical Garden Restaurant is open daily from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. Into the bargain of its restful grounds is a beautiful lake surrounded by graceful ancient trees, trim hedges, and walkways.

Spatial Location of Langata Botanical Gardens in Nairobi County
Spatial Location of Langata Botanical Gardens in Nairobi County

Matbronze exists as a wildlife art gallery alongside serving a simple, wholesome menu in the suburbia area of Karen just 1 km south of Utamaduni Craft Centre along Langata South Road and Kifaru Lane. The gallery space displays one of the largest exposition of wildlife bronzes in Africa. Over of six hundred pieces, ranging from cuff-links to life size crocodiles, all of superior workmanship, offer the visitor the thrill of discovery, what is new and what is in process, with most of the pieces on the easel on sale. No show entry fee, and once in the attracting display room meticulously arranged for display to a rather excellent standard of housekeeping, it is a moving experience admist the muted but ornate wildlife sculptures. And yes, their peaceful garden is a sculpture garden too. It is right outside the central gallery display, and it is a pleasant place to show the visitors how the bronze sculptures can look outside. Matbronze Art Gallery & Foundry is open daily: Monday to Thursday: 0800 to 1700; Friday 0800 to 2000; Saturday 0800 to 1730; and Sunday 0930 to 1700. It also hosts ‘private’ events.

17. Raptor Rehabilitation Trust Kenya

Located down the road from Langata Botanical Garden, along Ushirika Road, is the Raptor Rehabilitation Trust Kenya (RRK) established in 2011 to rehabilitate harmed raptors and orphaned birds of prey, and raise awareness on importance of birds of prey. They also teamed up with Peregrine Fund, National Museums of Kenya and Nature Kenya to start the Bearded Vulture Conservation Project under the aegis of Kenya Wildlife Service. Youngies and school-kids are a key platform for RRKs raptor conservation programs. By raising awareness and mastery of birds especially among young and avid birdies, it’s hoped a positive attitude in the future of birds of prey will be fostered. “There was a time when Kenya was a haven for many bird species, attracting ornithologists from around the world. Now multiple species, especially birds of prey, are on a decline and campaigns are on to conserve them” – The Society for Conservation of Biology.

18. Nairobi Giraffe Center

Shortly before arriving at David Sheldrick Orphanage, along Magadi Road, one reaches the second route west into Karen along Mukoma Road, that terminates at the acclaimed Nairobi Giraffe Center. Established in 1979, as the Africa Fund for Endangered Wildlife (A.F.E.W), this is primarily a centre for promotion and conservation of the Rothschild Giraffe – a subspecies of the giraffe found only in the grasslands of East Africa and confined to small pocket areas in Kenya and Uganda. Initially listed as ‘critically endangered’ and thanks to such salvation projects, their status has now moved to ‘near threatened’ on the IUCN Red List. Giraffe Center, at the heart of its 58 hectare land, offers a lofty encounter with giraffes in a memorably kooky safari setting that includes feeding these graceful giants. This is, undoubtedly, one of the most intimate experiences with giraffes anywhere in the world and one of the most interesting things-to-do in Nairobi. It is open from 9 am to 5 pm seven days of the week, and feeding and tours go one throughout the day. The Giraffe Centre has also become world-famous as a Nature Education Centre, educating thousands of Kenyan school children every year. Then, there’s a 2 kms walking trail going down to the snaking Gogo River which offers an exciting birding experience with stellar views of Ngong Hills. An alternate route back to the main centre will pass you by the Warthog Den. The renowned Giraffe Manor, famed for its giraffe encounters, is set at the north tip.

19. The Giraffe Manor

Raised in 1932 as a residence for Sir David Duncan Mackintosh, the 12-rooms Scottish style hunting lodge set on 13-acres with austere views of Ngong Hills is today one of the amazing hotels in Kenya, and part of The Safari Collection. It is internationally recognized as a singular experience in Africa. Unique to Giraffe Manor in the northern area of Giraffe Center is the unmatched interaction with the resident giraffes which gracefully roam in and out the property. Most of the time these giraffes enjoy a limitless buffet of leaves but, they are never shy of popping in for a bite with the guests through the large dining windows. Granted that there are many modern touches within the Manor, it has retained much of the original 1930’s character and preserved its colourful and charming history. Each of its 12 rooms are uniquely outfitted to potray a piece of Kenya’s golden safari days. One of its rooms is named after Karen Blixen, the world-famous penman of Out of Africa. Then, there the Betty’s Suite named after one of the smallest and prettiest giraffes in the Center born in 2000, and which in turn was named after Betty Leslie-Melville a previous owner of Giraffe Manor (1974-2009).  Other suites include the Finch Hatton Suite, Hellen Superior Room and Kelly Superior Room.  Each room has a private veranda overlooking the forest, hillscape and park. Some of the high flying names that have stayed here include Ellen Degeneres, Mick Jagger, Walter Cronkite, Johnny Carson, Brooke Shields, Richard Chamberlain, Richard Branson, Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman.

Giraffe Manor, Kenya. Published by Wildluxe Luxury Travel Show

20. David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

In her deeply heartwarming memoir “Love, life, and elephants: An African love story”, Daphne Sheldrick passionately recounts her remarkable life and career as a conservationist and introduces the world to a different sphere of elephant conservation, which she described as the “human-animal”. Her spirited efforts have won the hearts of many who visit David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. Established in 1977, in honour of David Sheldrick – one of the celebrated game conservationist in Kenya and the founder warden of the Tsavo National Parks – as a haven for rhino and elephant orphans as well as other animals, it is today a world’s success anecdote in the conservation of wildlife. “The elephants, whose development shares certain parallels with that of humans, are raised in hybrid human–animal herds, with male keepers taking the place of matriarchs in the surrogate setups. These men shadow the elephant calves, feeding them milk every three hours and even sleeping with them at night”. It is open to the public for one hour daily between 11 am and 12 pm. It is located 6 kms from Galleria Mall, via Magadi Road, near Multimedia University and Mbagathi Gate to NNP.

Behind the Scene at the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. Published by DSWT

21. Karen Blixen Museum

Many on leaving the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage double-back along Magadi Road turn left on Bogani East Road and drive to its end to join Karen Road for a drop-in on the Karen Blixen Museum – the former residence of the exceptional penman of Out of Africa. Born Karen Christenze Dinesen on April 17th, 1885, in Denmark, Karen arrived in Kenya during WW1 in 1913, where she spend her next 17 years at this house – the centre piece of a 4500-acres farm at the foot of the Ngong Hills – before returning to Denmark in 1931. She would later rivet and tantalize many a reader with her exotic descriptions of Kenya’s beautiful landscapes in the bestseller Out of Africa, released in 1937 soon after returning to Denmark. Still and all, Karen Blixen would go on to become the most rhapsodized about aristocratic settler in pre-independent Kenya. Her residence, which displays her atypical and punctilious styling, was converted to a museum in 1986 soon after the adaptation into screenplay of Out of Africa in 1985. It’s open daily from 8:30 am to 6 pm and found 2 kms from Karen Center.

Karen’s misfortune was not that she was an aristocratic lady with exquisite manners which did not fit in with the present day’s taste. Her otherness was older and went deeper. Even in her great days in Africa a friend could say to her: ‘Life will never make a tune for your dancing.’ And she went to Africa because she felt like there was nobody in Denmark or Danish intellectual life who knew her and could respond to her nature. – A Portrait of Karen Blixen

22. Swedo House

A visit to Karen Blixen Museum should not omit a visit to Swedo House, located just down the road. Built in 1906, the quaint Swedo House located at the Karen Blixen Coffee Garden and Cottages was Karen Blixen’s initial and brief hunting lodge and farm house soon after her arrival in Kenya, after she acquired part of the 6000-acres Swedo-African Coffee Company. It was later designated as the farm manager’s house. “While over the years Karen’s coffee farm was split up to form today’s Karen Estate, her farm house and the manager’s house have been preserved”. Also at the site, is the historic Grogan MacMillan Manor House that was painstakingly moved, brick by brick, from Chiromo to the Swedo House in 2008 to save it from destruction. Hand in glove, these collection of buildings preserve the prodigious history associated with the broad forepassed pattern of European settlement and incipient farming in Kenya. It’s found off Karen Road.

23. Oloolua Nature Trail

Also of interest near Karen Blixen Museum, Oloolua Nature Trail is one of the great walking destinations in Naiorbi. It contains a 5 kms walking trail through the unblemished Oloolua Forest, which was once used by the Mau Mau fighters during pre-independent Kenya. The 400-acre Oloolua Forest is also remarkable for its beautiful waterfalls draining into the Mbagathi River, its caves, and its bamboo forest rest point. It is this river which offers the major attraction to the visitors as it changes course along the indigenous tropical dry Oloolua Forest, slow winding alternating with rocky rapids, with its woodland fringes forming canopies of deep shade which offer welcome relief and tranquility. The Trail’s headquarter is at the Institute of Primate Research (IPR), a non-governmental organization, under the care of National Museums of Kenya, which undertakes research on bio medical and animal welfare. The Institute also carries out a host of educational activities centered on ornithology, entomology and geology. It is located about 500 metres from the corner of Bogani East Road and Karen Road.

24. Kazuri Beads

A significant stride was taken in 1975 in the promotion of ceramic bead jewelry and hand-crafted pottery when Kazuri Beads launched as a modest workshop experimenting in hand crafted ceramic beads. “Today Kazuri has grown in leaps and now has a significant workforce of over 340 women skilled in the crafting of ceramic beads, strung into beautiful and artistic jewelry”. The object of Kazuri Beads, which runs its operations from a rustic shelter, is to support its family of ceramic bead experts who hand-make and hand-paint exquisite and baroque African jewelry.  Every visitor, on arrival, is immediately impressed by both the intricate workmanship and the sociable and the friendly atmosphere. In fact, its founder Susan Wood intended just that; to engender a medium of employment especially for struggling and deserving mothers. Kazuri in Swahili means “small and beautiful”. It is found in part of what used to be Karen Blixen Estate, along Karen Road and off Mbagathi Ridge, about 1.4 kms from Karen Blixen Museum.

25. Karen Country Club

The first nine holes at the Karen Country Club were laid out in 1933 and after ten years, in 1943, the second nine holes were designed, on parts of the former Karen Blixen coffee estate. “In those early days, golfers shared the course with baboons, zebra, eland and every so often lions would roam the golf course and interrupt both play and maintenance”. With the exception of the occasional lengthening of the golf course, not much has changed in the course layout at Karen. The original clubhouse was constructed in 1937 and in early 1977 a fire burnt down the building. A new clubhouse was built and ready for use in 1979. The Kenya Open was first held at Karen in 1968. At that time, M. Bambridge was the professional winner and Karen member David Farrar was the winner of the amateur silver salver. Karen Club hosted the Kenya Open again from 2004 to 2008, 2013 to 2016, and 2019. The entire course is impeccable, with a four-way mix of bent grass varieties, which is dark green in colour. It is, perhaps, the closing Hole 18 – 559 yards that get a hats-off: a challenging par-5 with a water hazard about 140 yards short of the pitching green. It is located off Karen Road.

26. Marula Studio

650 ms northwest of Karen Country Club, via Karen Road and Marula Lane, sits the fascinating Marula Studio. “Ocean Sole is an incredible Kenyan organisation that recycles flip-flops found on the beaches and in the waterways of Kenya and turns them into incredible works of art” displayed and sold at its Marula Studio. Since 2005, the company set out to turn flip-flop scraps to craft and functional products and promote cleaner healthier oceans. It is located along Marula Lane.

27. Purdy Arms Karen

850 ms past Marula Studio on Marula Lane sits Purdy Arms Karen, a popular family-oriented hangout. Centered on a 1950’s colonial-style refurbished house set on 22-acres, it offers a very attractive setting interspersed with large mature trees, open grounds, and vivifying outdoor activities for all ages. Activity here revolves around Podo Restaurant and the Bar and Terrace – one of the popular watering-hole in Karen. Likewise, they have gone an extra mile to reinvent the outdoors by bringing together soft adventure, as well as, numerous adrenaline-rushing sports to include two archery ranges, a box target range for beginners, and a ranky outdoor climbing tower. It is open daily from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm.

28. Nairobi Mamba Village

The approach to the city centre from Karen Shopping Centre can be made from many different routes, and the two most common ways are via Ngong Road or Langata Road, both heading east. Along the latter, passing Karen Hospital and Hillcrest International School, and just before Steadmark Gardens, one would be interested in making a left turn into Langata North Road to visit the Nairobi Mamba Village, home to more than 70 colossal Nile crocodiles. This is a great place to enjoy boat rides, view crocodiles, feed ostriches, and joy-ride camels or horses. It has two spacious restaurants to enjoy a tasty meal and refreshments.

29. Ngong Forest Sanctuary

The 1,224-hectares Ngong Forest Sanctuary, widely popular as the Ngong Road Forest, is administered by the Kenya Forest Service and the Ngong Road Forest Association as a community forest formed under the Forest Act of 2005. It is divided by Ngong Road into two main segments – the Miotoni Section to the northwest, and Ngong Racecourse and Kibera Section to the southeast. These two sections are in turn divided by the Southern Bypass. Ngong Forest has a range of recreational activities that include walking in the woodland concerts, touring its sacred trees, groves and shrines, monkey watching, and exploring the Miotoni Dams that have potential to be upgraded for sport fishing. Aiming to emulate the successful model of Karura Forest, the Forest – divided into five zones by the roads crossing the forest – is fast developing to cater to a whole range of recreational activities. It takes on average 2 hour on a casual pace to explore the forest. A guide can be organized. The main entrance to the forest is located nearby the Nairobi War Cemetery, and just 400 meters off Ngong Road.

30. Nairobi War Cemetery

Adjacent the entrance to Ngong Race Course and within the precincts of Ngong Forest Sanctuary, this is the largest war memorial in Kenya, containing 1,952 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 11 of which are unidentified. There are also 76 non-war burials and one French grave. Within the cemetery is the East African Memorial commemorating men of the land forces who lost their lives in the advance from the south into Italian Somaliland and Ethiopia and during the occupation of those territories, and who have no known grave. Along with them are honoured those who died during operations in Madagascar in 1942 and who have no known grave. Besides those who died in these efforts, many men who were lost in the sinking of the troopship ‘Khedive Ismail’ en route to Ceylon on 12 February 1944 are commemorated here; they include a great part of the 301st Field Regiment, East African Artillery. The cemetery also contains Nairobi Memorial commemorating 477 men of the United Kingdom, South African, and East African Forces who died in the non-operational zones of Kenya whilst in training, or on lines of communication or garrison duty, and whose graves could not be located or are so situated as to be unmaintainable. Besides the original burials, numerous graves were transferred to this cemetery from African civil cemeteries and temporary army burial grounds at Garissa, Gelib, Kinangop, Marsabit, Mega and other inaccessible places. During WW2, Nairobi was the center of the East African Force and the base for the conquest of Jubaland and Italian Somaliland, the liberation of British Somaliland and the sweep north-westwards to open Addis Ababa for the return of the Emperor. It was also a hospital centre; No.87 British General Hospital arrived in June 1943 and was still there in December 1945, while No.150 British General Hospital was there for a period in 1943. The war cemetery was opened in 1941 by the military authorities. Nairobi Cemetery is open daily, between 06:00 and 18:00.

31. Ngong Race Course

The visually fleek 2,400-metres Ngong Race Course is the leading and currently the only thoroughbred-racing course in Kenya. It is owned and operated by Jockey Club of Kenya, with season racing hosted on alternate Sundays. The Kenya Derby, first held in 1914, is its most prestigious horse-racing day, but, it plays host to a number of high-ranking annual festivals, to include, Concours d’elegance and Heart Fun Day. Some of the other highlights include the mini golf course, lounge and pub. It’s found along Karen-Ngong Road nearby Lenana School and next to the Nairobi Business Park – about 13 kms from Nairobi City.

Spatial Location of Ngong Race Courcse in Nairobi County
Spatial Location of Ngong Race Courcse in Nairobi County

32. Nairobi Polo Club

Founded in 1907 along Ngong Road and across from Jamhuri Show Grounds, Nairobi Polo Club has the rare distinction of being the oldest polo club in East Africa. With two full sized pitches, the Club hosts the highest goal polo events of the playing calendar. It hosts monthly tournaments, as well as, a series of other social events and wingdings, all with free entry. Nairobi Polo Club is revered for its vibrant atmosphere and lengthy list of both playing and social members. The Club has become a centre for both new players to kick-off their polo experience and for their seasoned players to battle it out in thrilling high goal tournaments.

33. Jamhuri Motocross Track

Located near Nairobi International Trade Fair, Nairobi Polo Club and Jamhuri Park, Jamhuri Motorcross Track is the foremost and largest motorcycle club focused on Enduro and Motocross in Kenya. “The MX section organizes nine races, while the Enduro category holds five races annually.  All these races are sanctioned by the Kenya Motor Sports Foundation (KMS-F) and determine the national championships”. East African Motor Sports Club was begun in 1947 for the sole purpose of promoting motor sports. In early 1990s, the Club began to focus on motorcycle sports. Through Kenya Motor Sports Foundation it started to run events in line with FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) and the Continental Union FIM Africa. Over the years, EAMSC has developed and grown the sport and recently introduced is the Veterans & Masters class for those above 35 years.  This has proven very popular and has grown in numbers.

Nairobi is a city of diversity, and nowhere is its diversification more apparent that at the nexus of art galleries and studios located between Ngong Road and Waiyaki Way, in the middle-upper developed suburbias of Kilimani, Kileleshwa and Lavington. The explosion of art galleries in Nairobi, especially in the last decade, extends to the city’s personality of being outward looking, in response to a market and appetite for art inspired by both local and international issues. So it makes sense that Adrian Nduma, the impresario of the Bonzo Art Gallery (situated along Ngong Road not far from the Kenya Meteorological Department Headquarters) turned to contemporary inspiration, his work style ranging from realistic to abstract and including portraits and still life and commissions. He works largely in acrylics. “The company seeks to ‘minister to humanity through art’. In so doing, we put together innovative and market-friendly services to continuously respond to ever-changing market demands of the Fine Art sub-sector of the economy” – Bonzo Art. The gallery, brimming with artwork from artists in a good deal of genres but largely in the “modern art”, can be visited on weekdays between 0800 to 1700 hours. For more information on their artwork and visiting the studio, do get in touch at art@bonzo.co.ke, or call 0722 761247.

35. Circle Art Agency

By 2010 it had become clear that art scene in Kenya was gaining a foothold and expanding rapidly. And in 2012 Circle Art Gallery made an exciting entry to the contemporary art scene in Kenya. Its entrance came at a time when the industry was changing considerably in the region, and especially in Kenya, with growing audiences, artists having more opportunities; making quite an impression on the impact which contemporary art might have in time to come. What made the entrance all more exciting was it providing crackerjack services to a wide range of private, regional and international clients, from those who wish to make a single purchase to those looking to start a collection or enhance an existing one; spurring a wave of publicity and interest in local art. Open daily from 1000 to 1700 hours, Circle Art Gallery exhibits a carefully curated and diverse collection of art, from a diverse group of contemporary artists across East Africa, offering an agreeable destination for presentations from local and international artists, curators, art critics, and art collectors. It is situated at 910 James Gichuru Road.

The search for genuine Kenyan art appears to have propelled many homegrown and seasoned artists into income options that may be creating the vast assembly of outstanding galleries and exposure in fantastic portfolio of art. A noteworthy name, Kioko Mwitiki Art Gallery, one that is hard to miss along James Gichuru Road set alongside the Lavington Mall with its self-same insignia printed on the rooftop, is a smart and vibrant gallery. Along its spaces are splendid sculptures and paintings. A mixed show of paintings, sculptures, macramé and print arts from numerous artists. “You must know of Kioko – the man who makes metal sculptures. If you have gone to the Kenyatta International Airport you will have seen his elephants on the roundabout. His metal sculptures are imaginative – and often witty. There are many good examples in the gallery. He is sharing his ability with other artists – four of them currently – John Fox. Or again, “Kioko Mwitiki has set the bar very high. For not only did the scrap metal sculptor get so good at creating life-size Kenyan wildlife out of scraps that he had to send whole containers-full of his sculptures abroad just to meet his clients’ desires for his art” – Margaretta Gacheru. Entry fees applicable: Adults 300; Kids 100.

Spatial Location of Kioko Mwitiki Art Gallery near Lavington Mall
Spatial Location of Kioko Mwitiki Art Gallery near Lavington Mall

If you are seeking original and iconic work from contemporary African space, appropriately priced, you will probably find your next big thing at the Photizo Gallery. More than one hundred paintings can be found here, with a one-of-a-kind online shopping platform of beautiful art pieces from Africa. Founded in 2013 with just one artist represented, it now pride themselves in representing over 50 top East and Central African Artists. It is located at Valley Arcade Mall.

Another great space for name-dropping, but also for keeping your finger on the pulse. It displays a limited edition art photography from Kenya. “All the works are limited editions, original prints that are numbered and have an authenticity certificate. The photos are developed by a professional laboratory in Kenya and hand-checked on high quality paper, the frames are made by local craftsmen in Nairobi. Each print is available in a mix of sizes, materials, and finishes. They sell them with or without a frame. The pictures can be printed in maximum 48 hours and put into a tube for easier transport. They also deliver outside Kenya”.

39. The Kuona Trust

Established in 1995 as the Centre for Visual Arts in Kenya, Kuona Trust is now the largest art organization in East Africa, intent on mentoring and supporting up-coming artists. It has been dedicated to the generation, presentation and promotion of innovative contemporary visual arts practice in Kenya. Its artists studios, its library, programme of exhibitions, artists-forums, workshops and mentoring, and international residencies have been instrumental in developing new and experimental contemporary art. The Kuona Gallery and Kuona Art Shop, that are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, offers a great place for art lovers and artists to see, buy, and learn plenty about the art space in Kenya. It is found along Likoni Lane, Likoni Close and Dennis Pritt Road, in the Hurlingham area.

40. Shift Eye Studios

Another great space for art-lovers and artists is the multi-functional Shift Eye Studios, formerly known as Shift Eye Gallery, located in the Priory Place nearby Hurlingham. This art centre focuses on showcasing contemporary visual arts – with emphasis on photographic forms of expression – as a platform to inspire and foster dialogue in the budding photography scene in Kenya. It holds regular exhibitions and events at the gallery-space, and is open daily on weekdays from 10 am to 5:30 pm. It is found in the Priory Place, close to Yaya and Chaka Place.

41. Royal Nairobi Golf Club

Royal Nairobi Golf Club, established in 1906, is an excellent international golf course where all levels of golfers enjoy a great testing experience. Throughout the course, each element has been positioned carefully and is expertly detailed to make for a thrilling play. Unique to the Club is that it is fairly long compared to most other Kenyan courses. The part of the golf course that is closest to the club house is fairly flat while the part at the back of the course is undulated with a small stream meandering over the course. Its tremendous variety with careful and creative design pieces itself together as an exiting challenge for golfers of all levels. The Tanahill Shield, which was inaugurated in 1924 and more popular as the Easter Tournament, is traditionally played here during the Easter Holidays.

42. Nairobi National Library

On completion slated for 2020, the Nairobi National Library will be one of the must-dos in Nairobi. With a sitting capacity of 5,000 on 5-levels and taking up the triangular property enclosed by Ngong Road split and Ragati Road, it is an extraordinary combination of baroque flair and traditional design. One of the most striking feature is the nuance of African traditional designs that borrows inspiration from the fast-disappearing emblematic traditional huts. With an open-to-all membership policy, Nairobi’s foremost library will, in the sense of no matter what, en-kindle the moribund art of reading, and will be a place to discover, to contemplate and to create. Since time immemorial, libraries have been prodigious structures vital to societies the world over; at the same time protecting the written records of humanity. And Nairobi National Library is no exception. It will be impressive from the moment you arrive, to when you leave.

Spatial Location of Kenya National Library in Nairobi County
Spatial Location of Kenya National Library in Nairobi County

43. Railways Golf Club

This is set at the corner of Ngong Road and Uhuru Highway (A104 Mombasa-Uganda Road). It is backdropped by the high-rise towers at Upper Hill, more proper Capitol Hill, and sits across from Kenya Railways Headquarters and the Railways Museum. “This is a remarkable nine hole par-72 course, measuring 5,900 yards, boasting lush greens, “tight” fairways, beautiful mature trees, a clubhouse, changing rooms and cabro carpark in Nairobi’s green-belt”. It was begun in June, 1935, when the golf club was first formed. In 1942, it opened its first 5-hole golf course south of the main Nairobi City near Reflection Lake (in Uhuru Park). The Golden Golf Club was incorporated as a non-profit society in 1962, and continues under this designation in present day. Railways Gold Club is notable as one few pay and play golf course in Kenya, providing the residents of Nairobi with an affordable golfing experience on the first class playing club. The entrance is situated along Ngong Road, and opposite Railways Sports Club.

44. Nairobi Arboretum

From Yaya Centre, it is a short 4 kms drive into the CBD either using Argwings Kodhek Road and Valley Road, Lenana Road, or Valley Road. All these road at the bottom of the hill on Valley Road have the option of turning left into State House Road, which is the quickest way to get to Nairobi Arboretum. Gazetted in 1907, care of the Kenya Forestry Service, the 30.4-hectares public outdoor park contains more than 350 unique indigenous tree genres and over 100 species of migrant and resident bird species in addition to its Sykes and Vervet monkeys. The Arboretum provides a peaceful park for praying, meditation, walking and bird watching. Honest to its mission to provide a safe peaceful park, it remains one of the most-treasured urban parks and a pertinent green pocket in the fast expanding city-scape. From September of 2016, the Nairobi Arboretum started charging a small cover charge of Shs. 50 to help manage the ground sustainably.

45. All Saints Cathedral

Quite unmistakable, both for its scale and beauty, the All Saints Cathedral is on account of its location and accessibility, the most momentous of the Cathedrals in Kenya. Its history began over five decades after the arrival of Johann Ludwig Kraph in Mombasa, when Rev. William G. Peel – the first Bishop of the Diocese of Mombasa – arrived in Nairobi, at the same time as the Uganda Railway, in 1900. In 1903, Peel helped found St. Stephen’s Church, a small wood and iron fabrication near Parliament Building (which was demolished to make way for the extensions to Parliament in 1963). In 1907, a larger church was built under Reverend W. M. Falloon at St. Mark’s Church in Parklands, behind Parkland’s Police Station. In July 1914, a public meeting of European Anglicans was held to raise money for a permanent church in the centre of Nairobi City. Forthwith, on February 3, 1917, the foundation stone for All Saints Cathedral Nairobi was laid.

“The design of Mr. Temple Moore, an architect who ‘thought Gothic’ and was widely lauded as one of the most outstanding architects in that style in the late Victorian era, was used for the main build, and further portions of the building were completed in 1924, 1934 and in 1952 to a new design for the Chancel” – All Saints Cathedral. In November 1924, the Church of All Saints was elevated to Cathedral of the Highlands, equal in status to the Cathedral in Mombasa. By 1934, the raising of the cathedral had only progressed as far as the Chancel arch and it remained in that incomplete state until after the Second World War. In 1949, an appeal was launched to complete the building and the present-day building, which was completed and consecrated to the glory of God on the 21st March 1952. It was later designated as a National Monument under National Museums of Kenya. It’s located along Kenyatta Avenue adjacent to Uhuru Park.

The late Graham Hyslop, who was an organist at the All Saints Cathedral and Kenya’s colonial Music Inspector in 1963 with a particular interest in Pokomo songs. He was also conductor of the All Saints and Alliance School choirs. He died in 1978. It was he who recorded a lullaby from Mzee Meza Maroa Galana that became the melody to the Kenya National Anthem. Graham was part of the five-man 1963 Kenya Anthem Commission. It was mastered by the Kenyan Anthem Commission in 1963, from his composition.

46. Mau Mau Memorial

Spectacularly set in the Freedom Corner of Uhuru Park, an almost sacred area that has been the venue of some infamous demonstrations which changed the history of Kenya – to include ‘the mothers of political prisoners who stripped naked in Uhuru Park in 1992 after unsuccessfully petitioning then Attorney General Amos Wako to free their sons from detention’ – Mau Mau Memorial is a solemn reminder of the fearless folk who bore the brunt and, an everlasting symbol of the joys of freedom and the pains of the lack of it. The Memorial, a bronze statues depicting a woman handing over food supplies to a Mau Mau fighter which was commonplace in a war mainly waged in the forests, enshrines the villagers and Mau Mau fighter. This was, perhaps, the sternest of struggles for freedom in Kenya’s history. In spite of the horrors of the struggle for self rule, Mau Mau Memorial is also a significant step in the reconciliation process. It is located in Uhuru Park, along Kenyatta Avenue, nearby All Saints Cathedral.

Above Naiorbi – MicroDrone Pictures

Fondly remembered as the “House of Hatches, Matches, and Dispatches” owing to its original function of recording marriages, births, and deaths’, the Nairobi Gallery stands as an old-world landmark of Nairobi and a stark reminder of her endearing history. Built in 1913, and once the regional post office, it now hosts many art fares and expos. Listed as a National Monument, it is part of Nairobi City’s epochal sites. It’s located off Kenyatta Avenue near GPO and Uhuru Park.

48. The Goethe Institute

Goethe Institute is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany. It aims to foster knowledge of the German language (with year round courses), boost cultural exchange, and to bring people together in a culturally-friendly-setting. By the same token, it hosts a variety of cultural events – films, concerts, exhibitions and festivals – to encourage international cultural exchange. It also routinely houses art, fashion and photography exhibitions. It is located within Maendeleo House on Loita Street, adjacent to Alliance Francaise and near GPO.

NAIROBI JAM #2 : Makadem and Ian Msanii. Published by Goethe-Institut

49. Alliance Francaise

This the French Cultural Centre and a school for students to learn French and grow their understanding of French and Francophone cultures. It offers a rich program of annual activities showcasing local and international arts, to further creativity. Alliance Francaise also runs weekly film (every Monday) screening diversified Kenyan, French and Francophone films. Once-a-month, it stages a platform for musicians, musical and poetry collaborations, where artists are invited to perform, improvise, experiment and build audiences in an intimate acoustic setting. What’s more, its monthly visual arts exhibitions, installations and thematic exhibitions serve multiple purposes like providing a medium for exposing and celebrating artistic creativity. It is open daily on weekdays from 8:30 am to 8:00 pm. It is found near the junction of Loita and Monrovia Street.

50. Jomo Kenyatta Mausoleum

The death and funeral of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta will always go down as one of the forlorn and deeply-moving moments in Kenya’s history. It would also be an off-centre event of pomp and glamour on a scale never seen before in Kenya, and since. Kenyatta had led Kenya as its pioneer Prime Minister from 1963 to 1964 and then as its foremost President from 1964 up till his death in 1978. Indeed, Kenyatta who took over the helm at the not so young age of 75 had the difficult task of steering the nation reeling from the sting of colonialism, with dissenting tribal factions and unrelenting regional woes, along the brittle path of self rule. In consideration of the foregoing, Jomo Kenyatta, always well-calculated and tactful, led the nation from its twilight to prosperity. Into the bargain, he would be immortalized as one of the most enigmatic and respected African statesman.

Jomo Kenyatta died around 2:30 am on August 22nd, 1978, in State House Mombasa, surrounded by friends and family. The announcement of his death on the national broadcaster Voice of Kenya was received with overall sadness. Forthwith, his body was discretely flown to Nairobi. Mzee Kenyatta lay in state at State House Nairobi for ten days, where he was guarded round the clock by a Guard of Honour mounted by all branches of the Kenya Forces, as the endless procession of both Kenyans and international visitors gave their last respects. On the last day, he was taken back to his home in Gatundu ahead of the state funeral. On the day of his funeral, August 31st, 1978, more than 85 prominent leaders from around the world had arrived in Kenya in addition to more than 500,000 Kenyans who lined the streets. He was laid to rest next to Parliament Building. Then and now, the site marked by 22 evenly-spaced flags – 11 on each side – is not open to the public. It is however allowed to walk past the entrance.

51. KICC Rooftop

About 400 ms from Jomo Kenyatta Mausoleum on an almost straight line east, sits the leviathan and intricately detailed double life-size twelve-foot Kenyatta Monument found within the precinct of the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC). The monument was unveiled in 1973, when KICC was opened, to celebrate 10 years of independence. The 27-floors (105 ms) barrel shaped building, much like the legend it was named after, became the iconic emblem of independence in Nairobi City. KICC first opened its doors in September 1973, to the most prestigious global conference of the time, and for the very first time in Africa, the IMF World Bank Conference. It held the rank of the tallest building in Nairobi before the completion of Teleposta Towers, in 1999. Up until the late 1990’s, KICC operated a revolving restaurant on the top floor which was then an extolled way to take in the views of Nairobi from above. Thankfully, its rooftop which doubles as a helipad is open to the public to take in views of Nairobi City.

The Kenyatta Monument was unveiled in 1973 to replace that of King George V pulled down in the wake of Kenya’s independence, in 1963, the same year that King George V Hospital was renamed Kenyatta National Hospital. The cast bronze statue designed by James Butler – an 80-year-old British sculptor – was entirely made in England with every detail intact and was then shipped from England by container to Mombasa; then driven by truck to Nairobi.

52. Judiciary Museum

Nairobi City is home to more than one monumental and recognizable building that easily gives away its past association with British Empire (from the colossal Kenya Railway Headquarters to the Supreme Court; abutting with KICC) which have long been an integral part of the cityscape in additions to newer ones like Times Tower, UAP Old Mutual Tower, and Britam Towers. Many of the former house antiquities of the history of the British Empire in museum and galleries. Established in 2016 within the Supreme Court Building in collaboration with the Kenya National Museums, Judiciary Museum (sometimes known as Sheria Musuem) expositions important documents, numerous objects of great judicial value to include carvings of the eight previous Chief Justices who have served in Kenya, and a photographic gallery showcasing the broad history of Kenya’s Law and Judicial System. The only of its kind in Kenya, Judiciary Museum lifts the veil of skepticism often associated with rule of law. It was inspired by the need to open up the Judiciary System to the public, as an approach to bring about a general appreciation and understanding of the changes in Judicial Institutions.

53. Nairobi Archives

Another great example of the British Empire’s relic buildings in Nairobi is the imposing National Archives along Moi Avenue nearby Hilton Hotel. Its location at the edge of the CBD and Downtown Nairobi makes its experience a two fold affair. The first is accessing it, through the sea of humans that builds up around its entrance. The importance of Downtown Nairobi as a commuter interchange cannot be underplayed, yet, it is hard to imagine of any place in Kenya that is as busy. Almost all travelers to and from all corner of Kenya and city commuters with exception of a handful routes west and south of Nairobi arrive or depart at Downtown. It results in a massive and endless congregation all day long. Once inside however, visitors to the National Archives will find its experience richly rewarding. Established in 1965 as the Government Repository, this stockpiles upwards of 40,000 volumes of Kenya’s history. Its cavernous foyer, with a high arched ceiling has, on it walls, an illustrious and a timeless collection of rare art, that make for a rare heuristic walk down Kenya’s history. It also expositions an impressive display of artefacts, art and photos from divergent African cultures, and the illustrious and priceless stamp gallery accorded by Joseph Z. Murumbi.

54. Nairobi African Memorial

Nairobi African Memorial stands alongside Kenyatta Avenue, within Nairobi CBD, commemorating East African soldiers and carriers who died during the First World War. It is one of three memorials – alongside that in Mombasa and in Dar es Salaam – erected to commemorate East African soldiers and carriers who died during the First World War. Over 34,000 East African soldiers and over 600,000 dedicated porters and carriers served with British Empire forces throughout the war campaigns against Germany’s colonial forces in East Africa during the First World War. “One of the earliest actions of the First World War took place off the coast of German East Africa (GEA) on August 8th, 1914, when the British cruiser HMS Astraea bombarded a German wireless station. The territory, today mainland Tanzania, was Germany’s largest colony in Africa”. The memorial commemorates over 50,000 who died. It takes the form of three bronze figures each representing those who served during the war; a scout of the intelligence corps, a soldier of the King’s Africans Rifles and a member of the Carrier Corps. The African Memorial was unveiled on May 20, 1928, by Her Highness Princess Marie Louise in presence of British officials and tribal chiefs.

55. Jamia Mosque

“Muslims then and now have made use of local artisans and architects to create beautiful, magnificent mosques. The architecture of mosques depends on where you are and when the mosque was built, and there are many different styles” – WOW Travel. In Nairobi, Jamia Mosque located along Banda Street is one the impressive Islamic edifices build between 1902 and 1906 under the stewardship of Syed Maulana Abdullah Shah. It exemplifies the classic Arabic architectural style with extensive use of marble and inscriptions from the Quran. It has a row of shops down one side that provide rental income for its upkeep. Certainly, its arch-facets are the tapering three silver domes and twin minarets. Moreover, it contains a library and a training institute dedicated to the teaching of Islam, Arabic and contemporary studies like computing. For the Non-Muslims, a walk around the Masjid especially during the weekend when the streets are less-busy makes for a lovely tour. A trip here can be easily combined with a tour of many landmarks of Nairobi including the close at hand McMillian Memorial Library.

56. McMillian Memorial Library

Protected under Chapter 217 of the Constitution of Kenya (McMillian Memorial Library Act) – in relation to the “trust deed concerning the McMillan Memorial Library dated June 30th, 1931, and made between the then Commissioner for Local Govt. for and on behalf of the Government and Lady Lucie McMillan of the one part, and the then Colonial Secretary, the then Director of Education, the then Mayor of Nairobi, Marcuswell Maxwell, Arthur Alexander Legat and Ralph Beresford Turner of the other part” – the 1920’s buildings adjacent to Jamia Mosque was part of Lord William Northrup McMillan’s estate donated to the Government of Kenya, on behalf of the people of Kenya, to be used in perpetuation for learning. The Library was built in his memory by his wife. It contains an astonishingly plenteous cache of volumes illustrating the thought-provoking pre-independence history of Kenya – with emphasis on the British aristocracy. After decades of neglect and despair, private citizens have taken up the responsibility to restore the city’s aging landmark, and hopefully breath life back into its spaces. It’s open daily on weekdays between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm.

57. August 7th Memorial Park

Set up on the site of the August 7th, 1998, bomb site (formerly the United States Embassy in Kenya), the park eternizes the tragic and deeply-moving events of the deadliest terrorist’ attack on Kenyan soil, that is the 1998 bombings of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. More than 5,000 were wounded. This was created to honour the lives lost, tell the stories of those who survived, and for those whose lives were forever changed by the tragedy. The peaceful gardens with a centerpiece memorial wall are the highlights of the park. Then there’s the ‘art in the park project’, a memorial house exhibiting a collection of objects from the fateful day, as well as, a heart-rendering detailed photographic gallery. Excepting Sundays, the park is open daily from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. It is located at the corner of Moi Avenue and Haile Selassie Avenue.

58. Railway Museum

Rather underwhelming when considered by itself, it is, in the context of what it represents, one of the most significant historic landmarks in Kenya. Since 1971, the Museum has given nostalgic pleasure to both train lovers and history buffs. It records, protects, and displays a telling memorabilia of the famous “Lunatic Express” that began service in 1896. It was a huge triumph for the British East Africa Company and an expensive one, costing some £5.5m, or almost £650m in today’s money. The 970 kms Kenya-Uganda Railways, connecting Mombasa and Kampala, through an unpeopled hinterland lurking more dangers than one can shake a stick at, was the most substantial and seminal projects undertaken by the British East Africa Company. It took 36,811 workers 8-years (1895-1903) to complete the line. 2,493 workers died during the construction of the railway. As a pay-off, the Kenya-Uganda Railway opened the hinterland more rapidly than ever before, leaving in its wake a snowballing number of towns; including Nairobi. It gained its legendary status as the Lunatic Express, in part, because of a pair of man-eating lions that grind its construction to a halt. It is worth mentioning that it was the policy of Great Britain to allow her merchants to establish commercial relations with the natives by opening trade relations, but not until the trade becomes profitable and private enterprise have established the value of trade did she raise her flag and claim them as British possessions and exercise governmental control. In Kenya, the British East Africa Company was chartered to spearhead the development and growth of East Africa Region.

England, as a result of her policy, had secured the most profitable parts of Africa. The only portions that yielded return on investment, made by colonies, are the regions controlled by England. Among the privileges given to them were – to establish banking and telecommunication, make and maintain roads and railroads, licence and carry on mining operations, settle, cultivate and improve the land, and develop peace and order. – Gardiner G. Hubbard

59. Kenya National Theater

Built in the late 1940’s and opened in March 1951, the Kenya National Theater, more popularly known as Nairobi Theatre, is Nairobi’s premier playhouse and the golden stage for local play-wrights and performers. The refurbished 365-Seater theater, with a spacious onsite restaurant and lounge, boasts multiple spaces for diverse creative processes and performance presentations covering drama, live musical concerts, physical theatre, images projection, dance and movement. It is run by the Kenya Cultural Center founded in 1952 as a semi autonomous government agency under the Ministry of Sports and Heritage in Kenya. It hold regular events and shows. It is located along Harry Thuku Street, not far away from Norfolk Hotel and Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (K.B.C).

Spatial Location of Kenya National Theater in Nairobi County
Spatial Location of Kenya National Theater in Nairobi County

60. The Norfolk Hotel

In 1900, Nairobi was declared a city in preparation for the arrival of Kenya-Uganda Railway in 1903. The railway led to the blooming of several towns like Mombasa, Voi, Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu, and Eldoret. Nairobi conspicuously became important as a inland deport. It also enabled the settlers to come into the country and occupy the “White Highlands”, as well as, the growing number of visitors to the region eager for game hunting. The declaration of Kenya as colony in July 1920 through a proclamation by the British Empire, assuring the European settlers of their dominance in Kenya, further accelerated the influx into Nairobi. Naturally, there was a growing need for hotel establishments to meet the demand. The historic landmark of Norfolk Hotel, built in 1904, which became the epicenter for early explorers and settlers, played a climacteric role in Kenya’s historical legacy. “For over a century business has been discussed and deals struck on the verandah of the iconic Norfolk Hotel.” Fairmont Hotels

By catering luxuriously to the middle-upper budget, Norfolk Hotel established itself as Nairobi’s premier house for the sophisticated class. Then and now, its 27 luxurious suites and 143 rooms set around tranquil tropical gardens, with a heated outdoor swimming pool and a health club with a fitness centre, has attracted many travellers to Kenya. The rooms intermingle classic elegance and modern design with discreet technology. Many rooms have pleasing elevated views of the landscaped courtyard, while the signature suites are an excellent choice for guests seeking to experience luxury intertwined with the rich history of the city. In its garden is a collection of invaluable antique object piece like the “transportation trio” – a hand drawn cart, a model Ford and animal drawn cart.

Although it’s been updated with modern amenities through the years, Norfolk Hotel’s highbrow hospitality and Victorian design with fine timber furnishings, sweeping staircases and private tropical garden remains. It has also retained its signature decorum for sophistication and is a popular spot for hammering-out mind-blowing treaties and deals. In the same way, Norfolk gained unwelcome notoriety on March 14, 1922, when a fracas broke out outside the hotel and the police, aided by the settlers resident there, opened fire on the rioting crowd and killed about 27 people and wounded 24. The peaceful protest was part of a big delegation led Abdalla Tairara and Douglas Mwangi who were demanding the immediate release of Harry Thuku, leader of the Young Kikuyu Association. He had formed the party to protest the state of affairs of Kenya becoming a colony and called for the natives to fight for their right to hold land and title deeds. Of course, the Government and the settlers were unhappy about this development.

61. Rahimtulla Trust Library

The Rahimtulla Trust Library is housed in the antique Rahimtulla Trust House, built by Rahimtulla, who bequeathed funds for the betterment of mankind. He had ideated a public library to house vast books, with emphasis on philosophy. Surprisingly little known, the modest trust owned library located on Mfangano Street has been in operation since 1950. It is still in relatively dandy condition.

62. Rahimtulla Museum

Established in 2001 as the Ramoma Rahimtulla Museum of Modern Art, this aims to support Kenyan artists and to house a permanent collection of Kenyan art. It showcases valued Kenyan art, contemporary African art, and numerous international artists. It has a resource centre for artists and workshop areas – even an apartment for international artists in residence. What’s more, it has plenty of intriguing sculpture in the outdoor area which is also used for open-air performances. It relocated from the ground floor of Rahimtulla Towers at Upper Hill, to a much bigger floor space in Parklands, made possible by the generosity of of patrons like the Descendants of Abraham Block. “The space at Rahimtulla Towers wasn’t big enough for both the permanent and temporary exhibitions”. It’s located along Second Parklands Avenue in the Westlands area.

63. Diamond Plaza

Unique to the Diamond Plaza, classically known as ‘little-India’, is the climbing dare at the Blue Sky’s Indoor Climbing Gym. Its 6.5 ms walls with hundreds of paths is a deserving challenge and a nice workout. Also of interest at Diamond Plaza is the listing of well-liked inveterate culinary joints popular especially for exceptional Indian Cuisine – great for those happy to try out new tastes and delights. It’s located along Fourth Parklands Avenue and Pramukh Swani Road.

64. Jewish Synagogue

The Jewish Community of Kenya is especial, comprising Jewry from all corners of the earth, Sephardic and Ashkenazi, from countries as divergent as Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Great Britain, the U.S., Canada, Israel, Yemen, Iraq, India, Morocco and South Africa, and of the native-born Kenyan Jews. In 1963, when Kenya became independent and Israel opened an Embassy in Nairobi, the Nairobi Hebrew Congregation took on a new lease of life.  Owing to the good relations that early Jews had founded, the Israelis established themselves in a favourable environment, having great relations with Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta (and later Daniel Moi). The Nairobi Jewish Synagogue “is one of Nairobi’s earliest buildings, having been erected in 1912 on a piece of land which had been allocated to the small Jewish Community which had trooped in and settled in the then British East Africa Protectorate”. The Nairobi Jewish Synagogue is currently the only operating Jewish Synagogue in East Africa with a rich history of over 100 years. A word of advise is necessary here. Entry to the synagogue is strictly controlled and sometimes only limited to the Jewry. And due to security considerations, visitors must fill out an online security clearance form at least a week before arrival. It is found at the corner of Uhuru Highway and Nairobi University Way.

65. Nairobi National Museum

Ground in 1929 as the Coryndon Museum, it was reestablished in 1963 as the Nairobi National Museum. “At his unexpected death in 1927, Lady Coryndon established the Coryndon Memorial Fund to build a better museum for the society in memory of her husband. The government offered matching funds for public donations and in 1928 construction began”. The National Museum of Kenya aims to collect, preserve, study, document and exposition Kenya’s rich past and present. It houses a tremendous array of artefacts, sculptures, historic mementos and pictographic galleries. In addition to the museum, visitors are treated to a variety of shopping and dining facilities as well as its botanical gardens that offer a serene outdoor space for walking. It is open daily and year round from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. It’s found at Museum Hill along Waiyaki Way. 

66. The View at Movenpick

Nairobi is home to a vibrant culinary scene with a mix of first-rate eateries and, every year the list changes substantially, yet, what is special about The View at Movenpick (a smart casual dining experience that offers plenty of highlights for all the senses) is that it treats visitors to a moving 360 degree skyline view of the city, as they enjoy world-class cuisine. “It’s like being in a culinary orbit.” The Swiss oriented cuisine bistro at the revolving restaurant on the 24th floor is adorned in a winsome, stately and fancy decor, and large windows, as one of the most indulging in Nairobi City. The revolution takes 80 minutes with all-round fine panoramas of the City. It is located in Valley View Office Park in Westlands.

An Exclusive first-look inside Mövenpick Nairobi – Capital FM Kenya

67. Shangilia Skate Park

Although still relatively new in the Kenyan space, skate-boarding seems to have taken a foot-hold in the streets of Nairobi. Huge steps forward were achieved in 2013 with the help of Skate-Aid to fabricate the eye-catching park that’s the first of its kind locally. Shangilia Skate Park offers a delightful arena for youngies to be active, where they can be creative and impress the cheering guests. It is open Monday to Friday from 3 pm to 6 pm and Saturday to Sunday from 1 pm-6 pm. It’s located along Waiyaki Way behind Nairobi School off Mukabi Road. By car it’s best to go through Loresho, and be on the lookout for the Mexican Embassy.

68. Vetlab Sports Club

The 18-hole golf course at Vetlab Sports Club, consisted of well-laid greens of hybrid blend bent-grass compatible with the weather and in line with USPGA recommendations, is one of the leading golfing and leisure facilities in Kenya. It operated as a 9-hole golf course until 2007, with members keen on expanding it to an 18-hole course, completing the sequential 18 holes with an investment of over Kshs 60 million. The value of Vet Lab Sports Club as recreation and green oasis amidst Nairobi’s concrete jungle cannot be gainsaid. And it is currently the only golf course in Kenya constructed on public land and to which end its membership is open to every Kenyan and visitor to Kenya within the provisions of the club’s constitution. Indeed, it is one of the most sought after courses for golf enthusiasts. Other amenities: A modern sports bar (the water hazard) with a stunning view of the 18th green with its outside greenery blending in with the interior to match the color pallet of the landscape; a well-equipped gymnasium for all members (at an annual fee of Kshs 16,800); conferencing facilities. It’s located 15 kms from the City at Loresho via Waiyaki Way and Kapenguria Road.

69. Forest Road Cemetery

Forest Road Cemetery is a large civil cemetery about 3 kms to the north of the city centre, just off the main road to Thika (A2 Nairobi-Isiolo-Moyale Road). It is situated near the roundabout at the Pangani end of Forest Road. The main war graves plot will be situated at the bottom end of the cemetery access road, and there are other scattered war graves within the cemetery. It contains a total of 78 identified casualties from the First and Second World Wars. The Nairobi (Forest Road) War Cemetery is open every day between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm.

70. Muthaiga Golf Club

Founded in 1922 and christened the ‘home of golf in Kenya’, Muthaiga Country Club is in many ways the ultimate embodiment of Kenya’s peculiar marriage of aged golf traditions and a stately 18-Hole Championship Golf Course. To date, Muthaiga Country Club is home to the Kenya Golf Union. On December 29th, 1928, the Kenya Golf Union was inaugurated, and its first member clubs were Eldoret, Gilgil, Kiambu, Kitale, Nairobi and Muthaiga. “The first attempt to form a Golf Union in East Africa, similar to Golf Unions in the United Kingdom and other parts of the Commonwealth, took place at a meeting convened by the late Mr. A. C. Tannahill and held at Nairobi Golf Club (now Royal Nairobi Golf Club) on July 7th, 1923.” – Kenya Golf Union. The Kenya Open, part of the European Tour, was started here in 1967 and remains the biggest golf event in the region. In 2001, the Club engaged services of the well-known South African Golf Course Design and Architect Peter Matkovich (of Matkovich & Hayes) to modernize the course and, to address multiple aspects of the course to make it more joyous to play on. It is found in Muthaiga along Thika and Kiambu Roads.

71. United Nations Visitors Centre

“The United Nations Office at Nairobi, the UN headquarters in Africa, was established by the General Assembly in 1996″. It houses various branches of the United Nations that include UNICEF, UNIDO, UNOPS, UNFPA, WFP, UNCRD, UNEP, UNODC and UN-Habitat, with several agencies like FAO, UN-Women and UNHCR among others tenanting offices at select locations within Nairobi. The United Nations at Nairobi runs different types of tours at their HQ’s, to include, walking tours, UN briefing and green building tour. The tour takes on average one and half hours, and among the highlights include briefing on the ‘green buildings at UN’ and the first certified energy reliant and carbon-neutral buildings in Kenya, a history of the UN’s work in Kenya and Africa, the picture-postcards gardens and friendly hosts. A modest fee is charged for the tour. At least one day prior to your tour, please send a list of participant names and ID numbers to un.tours@un.org. This will be forwarded to UN Security to enable access to the complex. All visitors above 18 years must present a national-issued ID to UN Security for clearance. To get there by car (and be sure to cater for 30 minutes clearance at the gate) drive out along Limuru Road and on UN Avenue.

72. Karura Forest

2.5 kms past the turnoff to Muthaiga Country Club along Kiambu Road brings you to a wonderful forest capped by miles of trails where you can walk or ride through a fairyland of forest, and waterfalls, among the colourful insects, birds and wildlife. A variety of animals have been recorded here to include duikers, bush-bucks, bush pigs, genets, civets, bush babies, porcupines, sykes monkeys, squirrels, hares, epauletted-bat. Reptiles include cobras, pythons, green snakes and monitor lizards. The Forest also has a lake and historically significant caves too. Once through the barrier (having paid a small cover charge of Sh.100 per person), there is a choice of three well signed trails. Popular at Karura Forest, marked by a gently rolling topography occasioned by shallow valleys, are its 15 kms walking trail and its 12 kms cycling trails. You can hire a bike at the main entrance. The 10 km2 Karura Forest, the largest recreational park and forest in Nairobi, is a sustainable environment of indigenous forest, woodland, wetlands and marshland. It is comprised of two blocks namely Karura and Sigiria, and three sections separated by Limuru and Kiambu Roads. Its southern boundary lies along Getathuru River. Since 2005, Karura Forest has been managed by Kenya Forest Service under the Forest Act of 2005. It was originally gazetted in 1932 through Proclamation No. 44 and later Karura Forest became a Central Government Forest Reserve in 1964, under the Kenya Gazette Legal Notice 174.

73. Windsor Golf Club

Ranked as one of “Africa’s Best Golf Resorts” by Business Daily and among the “11 of the world’s top city golf clubs” by CNN, the Victorian styled Windsor Golf Club lacks nothing in beauty and luxury. “What makes the course unique is the fact that it’s carved out of a tropical rainforest,” explains avid local golfer Mike Macharia – CNN. Aside from its fine 18-holes championship golf course, there’s also tennis, squash, cycling and petanque. Accommodation is provided in 130 tastefully-furnished rooms spread across acres of beautiful gardens from where guests can enjoy 4 restaurants, 3 bars, a club house, business centre, gym and spa, scenic jogging track that winds through a tropical forest and a heated pool. It is found 14 kms north of Nairobi in Ridgeways, via Kiambu and Kigwa Roads.

74. Constant Gardener House

The Constant Gardener House, a homespun abode in Muthaiga, is best-known as the film set for the self-titled 2005 BBC screenplay adaptation. The Constant Gardener is a thriller about “a British Diplomat in Kenya, as he tries to decipher the murder of his wife Tessa,” that’s based on the unputdownable book by John Le Carre. The rustic house built in 1919 and set on two acres of lovely variegated gardens, is one of Nairobi’s oldest and notable historic houses. “It was built by Major Andy Anderson, a well-known hunter and safari guide in early colonial Kenya, and surrounded by vast coffee plantations for the first sixty years of its existence. It is furnished and decorated throughout with antique and colonial furniture, family portraits, paintings, photographs and mementoes, and has an excellent and extensive library of books on Africa” Expert Africa. The Constant Gardener House, which sleeps 5, is a fine getaway to walk into a bygone colonial epoch. It is located in Muthaiga, nearby the United Nations and Village Market.

Spatial Location of the Constant Gardener House in Nairobi County
Spatial Location of the Constant Gardener House in Nairobi County

75. Eye of Kenya at Two Rivers

Nothing brings the city’s outline appreciably closer than the glass-walled pods of Nairobi’s latest signature attraction at Two Rivers Mall. Promising a moving experience at every turn, once you gather up the courage to take a ride, it offers an imperial sight at the top and is a thrill for all ages. Set at the extreme north-western corner of Nairobi, the 60-metres-high cantilevered observation wheel with 40 capsules each sitting 6 passenger – accommodating 240 at full capacity – has a beyond-money vantage view of Nairobi. It is open daily from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm and costs Shs 500 per passenger. In spite of the fact that it completes one revolution in 17-minutes, faster than most of the famous wheels around the world, it is a big highlight at Two Rivers Mall taking into consideration that 121 years since its invention it is a first in Kenya. There’s plenty more to do at Two Rivers Mall to include: hanging out at the Funscapes Themepark; rolling out in fun at Oswear Skates Park which features hover boards, skateboards and roller skaters; dining at one of 25 restaurants overlooking the riverfront; enjoying the dancing fountains; or shopping in one of over 20 high-flying fashion brands. It is located 10 kms past Karura Forest along Kiambu Road onto Northern Bypass.


A day at the races in Ngong Racecourse, on Ngong Road.  Photo Courtesy of Travel with my Art
Race day at Ngong Race Course. Image Courtesy of Travel with my Art

Geography of Nairobi County

The terrain in the eastern side of Nairobi County is gently rolling but divided by steep valleys towards the City boundaries. To the north sits Karura Forest, that is typified by steep sided valleys. The Karen-Langata area is characterized by plains surrounded by Nairobi National Park, on the east, and Ngong Forest, on the south. The main rivers in Nairobi County are Nairobi River, Ngong River and Kabuthi River. These rivers are highly polluted as open sewers and waste is directed towards them. Nairobi Dam, along the Ngong River, and Jamhuri Dam are the main water reservoirs in the County. There are three forests in Nairobi County namely Ngong Forest, to the south, Karura Forest, to the north, and the Nairobi Arboretum. These three forests have a total coverage of about 23.1 km2.

Land Use in Nairobi County

The proportion of households that have title deeds in Nairobi County is low, a higher proportion of the non-poor compared to the poor own title deeds. The numbers of parcels held by the poor stands at 1,565 while those of the non-poor stands at 6,944, and 1,565 parcels operated by the poor have no title deeds. This situation is fuelled partly by historical land injustices, land grabbing and influx of unskilled and semi-skilled job seekers from rural areas. 450,000 households live within informal settlements that include Kibera, Kawangware and Mathare.

Highlights in Nairobi County

Nairobi County is a major centre of tourism in the region. Its relative proximity to many tourist attractions both in Kenya and East Africa makes it an asset in the tourism sector. As the capital city and commercial centre, Nairobi attracts many diplomats and leisure tourists; partly because it hosts the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) – the main point of entry to Kenya.  The Nairobi National Museum which houses a collection of artefacts portraying Kenya‘s rich heritage through history, nature, culture and modern art is a must-do. Other museums include Nairobi Gallery and the Karen Blixen Museum.  It has fifteen 5-star hotels and seventeen 4-star hotels with a total bed capacity of 5,700 beds.

Population in Nairobi County

In 2012, Nairobi County’s population was projected at 3,517,325 and expected to rise to 3,942,054 in 2015 and 4,253,330 in 2017. Makadara constituency had the least population, of 170,807 people, while Kamukunji recorded the highest population of 237,589. Out of its 17 constituencies, Mathare has the highest population density of 7,257 / km2, while Langata has the least (1,054 persons).


View of the Karura Falls within the Karura Forest.  Photo Courtesy of Trip Advisor
Karura Falls within the Karura Forest. Image Courtesy of Trip Advisor

Airports in Nairobi

Nairobi County hosts Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), the biggest in Kenya.  It also hosts Wilson Airport, the second biggest airport within Kenya.

Roads in Nairobi County

Nairobi County has a total road network covers 553 kms, of which, 423 kms are laid with bitumen standard, while 54 kms gravel and 76 kms are earth roads. The current road network is heavily congestion in most parts of the City scape, especially during the morning and evening peak hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Climate in Nairobi County

Nairobi County has a fairly cool climate based on its high altitude. Temperature range from a lowest of 10 C to a high of 29 C. It has a bi-modal rainfall pattern. The long rains season fall between March and May while the short rains falls between October and December. The dry spell (Jul – Sep) is peak travel season.

Nairobi County Distance Chart
Nairobi County Distance Chart

View of Peace, Love and Unity Monument at Uhuru Gardens.  Photo Courtesy of Trip Advisor
Peace, Love and Unity Monument at Uhuru Gardens. Image Courtesy

National Monuments in Nairobi County

  1. Nairobi School
  2. Khoja Mosque
  3. Old Mutual Building
  4. Standard Chartered Hse.
  5. Pan Africa House
  6. Royalty House
  7. Imperial Chambers
  8. British East African Hse
  9. Bull Cafe
  10. Prembro House
  11. Pansoms House
  12. Surat Association Hse
  13. Rahimtulla Trust Library
  14. Bohra Mosque
  15. 10 Year Nyayo Era
  16. City Hall
  17. Peace Pole
  18. Global Forest
  19. Jomo Kenyatta Mausoleum
  20. Silver Jubilee Monuments
  21. Peace, Unity Monument
  22. The Judiciary Building
  23. The National Monument
  24. The Tetrahedron
  25. Institute of African Studies
  26. City Park

Nairobi County Map

Nairobi County Map