Unforgettable Kenya Nairobi Tour: Top Local Experiences

tour of Nairobi
At the Giraffe Manor, guests can pet and share their breakfasts with giraffes

Imagine waking up in a city where you can sip your morning coffee while watching giraffes saunter across the horizon, or where you can embark on an early morning hike through Karura Forest, home to verdant greenery, enchanting waterfalls, serene trails, and wildlife like the Colobus monkey.

That, distinguished reader, is a Kenya Nairobi tour for you.

Set against the arresting backdrop of the Rift Valley and Ngong Hills, Nairobi is a city that pulsates with life and endless possibilities. As the safari capital of the world and the only capital city boasting a national park within its precincts, it offers tourists a unique blend of experiences as diverse as the people who call it home.

In this guide, we’ll take you through some of the best places to stay, must-visit attractions, and the ideal times to explore this world-class city. We’ll also provide a brief history of Nairobi and highlight the benefits of experiencing Nairobi tours with a local guide.

But first…

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And If You Like What You See…

Give us a call or WhatsApp us at +254-704-532-105 or +254-719-222-430 to start planning your safari today! 

Executive Summary

  • Nairobi is renowned for its unique blend of urban sophistication and wild adventure, making it an extraordinary gateway to Kenya’s natural wonders. 
  • Top attractions in Nairobi include the Nairobi National Park, Giraffe Center, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Nairobi National Museum, and Karen Blixen Museum, providing a diverse mix of wildlife conservation and cultural education.
  • Visitors are encouraged to explore local hidden gems such as Karura Forest and Ngong Hills, and to immerse themselves in the vibrant culture of Nairobi’s markets and art galleries for a well-rounded experience.
  • One of the top experiences in Nairobi is a wildlife safari, offering visitors a chance to see a variety of animals in their natural habitat.

Video Overview: Kenya Nairobi Tour

A Brief History of Nairobi

Delve into the past, and you’ll discover that Nairobi’s story is one of rapid transformation. Founded as a modest rail depot by colonial authorities in British East Africa, Nairobi quickly became the heartbeat of commerce and administration, outgrowing its initial purpose. Its name, stemming from the Maasai phrase ‘Enkare Nairobi,’ means ‘ a place of cool waters’ and reflects the city’s origins alongside the Nairobi River.

From 1907, Nairobi;

  • Replaced Mombasa as the Kenyan capital
  • Burgeoned into a center for industries like coffee, tea, and sisal
  • Blossomed into a thriving hub for business and culture.

Despite the challenges of rapid urban growth, such as infrastructural strains, Nairobi’s spirit remains undaunted, a testament to its resilience and enduring appeal.

Top Places to Stay in Nairobi

Nairobi tour
From luxury hotels to budget lodges, there’s something for everyone in Nairobi

From the moment you land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi presents you with a plethora of accommodation options. Whether you yearn for the opulence of luxury hotels, the intimate charm of boutique lodges, or the exclusivity of luxury safari lodges, there’s something for everyone.

That said, some of the best places to stay during your Nairobi tours include;

  1. The Villa Rosa Kempinski (Luxury hotel)
  2. The Boma Nairobi (Luxury hotel)
  3. Sankara Nairobi (Luxury hotel)
  4. Radisson Blu Hotel (Luxury hotel)
  5. Royale Club Karen (Mid-budget hotel)
  6. Golden Tulip Westlands Nairobi (Mid-budget hotel)

Best Time to Visit Nairobi

Nairobi’s equable climate, courtesy of its elevated position, makes it a year-round destination, but to truly enjoy outdoor activities and city tours without the interruption of rain, aim for the periods between July to October and January to February.

July, the driest month, is ideal for those looking to make the most of the mild temperatures ranging between 21-25°C (70-77°F). Not only is the weather perfect for sightseeing, but the great outdoors beckon with clear skies and comfortable conditions, ensuring every moment of your visit is spent in the best possible way.

Must-Visit Attractions in Nairobi

Nairobi’s tapestry of attractions extends beyond its natural wonders. Here are some of the best destinations to visit during your Nairobi city tour.

Nairobi National Park

Nairobi tour
The Nairobi National Park is the world’s only park within a city

Located just a few minutes from the city’s bustling streets, the Nairobi National Park offers exceptional wildlife tours. Here, the juxtaposition of wildlife against the city skyline is as surreal as it is beautiful, offering visitors an unparalleled safari experience.

To look forward to is an incredible array of over 100 mammal species, including majestic lions, graceful giraffes and endangered rhinos. Beyond the impressive fauna, the park is a haven for bird enthusiasts, with species like ostriches and secretary birds dotting the landscape.

And it gets better…

The park is also home to attractions such as the Hippo Pool, where guests can see countless hippos, crocodiles, and other animals that go there to quench their thirst. There’s also the Nairobi Safari Walk, a raised 400km wooden boardwalk that allows for breathtaking park views.

The Giraffe Center

Nairobi city tour
At the Giraffe Center, you get to interact with the tallest mammal in the world

Situated near the Nairobi National Park, the Giraffe Center invites visitors to feed, pet, and take selfies with the Rothschild Giraffe, Africa’s tallest mammal. The center also serves as an education center where you can learn about this critically endangered wildlife species and the conservation efforts to protect them. Additionally, the Giraffe Center supports various community programs, promoting environmental awareness and sustainable practices among local residents. It’s a perfect spot for both fun and learning, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and families alike.

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Nairobi city tour
Since its inception, the DSWT has rescued and rehabilitated over 320 elephants

At the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, you can experience the heartwarming work of rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned elephants. You can also witness the playful antics of baby elephants during their daily mud bath, learn about the conservation efforts from knowledgeable keepers, and even adopt an elephant to support its journey back into the wild. This unique opportunity not only offers a close-up view of these majestic animals but also raises awareness about the crucial need for wildlife conservation. A visit here is a touching reminder of the delicate balance between humans and nature, and the ongoing efforts to preserve Kenya’s incredible wildlife heritage.

Nairobi National Museum & Karen Blixen Museum

Kenya Nairobi tour
A cultural display at the Nairobi National Museum

For a dive into Kenya’s rich history and culture, the Nairobi National Museum and Karen Blixen Museum stand as bastions of knowledge and heritage.

The Nairobi National Museum houses extensive collections that cover Kenya’s history, nature, culture, and contemporary art, providing visitors with a comprehensive understanding of the nation. Meanwhile, the Karen Blixen Museum, set in the former home of the famous author of “Out of Africa,” transports visitors to the colonial era, showcasing artifacts and personal items that reflect her life and times. Together, these museums provide a deep and enriching experience, making them must-visit attractions for anyone interested in exploring the essence of Kenya.

Hidden Gems of Nairobi

Nairobi’s hidden gems like the Karura Forest, Nairobi Arboretum, and Oloolua Nature Trail offer a break from the city’s fast pace. These lush green spaces provide serene environments perfect for leisurely walks, bird watching, and picnics. The Nairobi Arboretum, for example, boasts an impressive collection of indigenous and exotic tree species, creating a tranquil setting for nature enthusiasts. The Oloolua Nature Trail, on the other hand, features dense forests and scenic rivers, offering a picturesque escape ideal for hiking and exploration.

Other hidden gems in Nairobi include;

  • Bomas of Kenya, where traditional dances and homesteads showcase Kenya’s diverse ethnic tapestry
  • Kitengela Hot Glass Studio and Karen Village, where artisans craft unique pieces
  • Ngong Hills, which offers stunning vistas and hiking trails for adventure and tranquillity

Local Markets

Nairobi city tour
The Masai Market invites you to a breathtaking showcase of the traditional Masai crafts and beadwork

Nairobi’s local markets are the heart of its vibrant culture.

The Maasai Market allows you to immerse yourself in the world of traditional Maasai crafts and beadwork, offering a feast for the senses with its array of unique artefacts. It’s a place where the city’s heart and soul are on full display, and the art of haggling is more than just a transaction—it’s an interaction steeped in local custom.

City Market and Toi Market are equally enticing, with the former providing a spectrum of fresh produce and souvenirs, while the latter caters to those seeking a bargain with its array of second-hand goods. Each market is a microcosm of Nairobi’s diversity, where the aromas of food, the chatter of vendors, and the rich tapestry of crafts create a vibrant shopping experience that’s as much about the journey as it is about the finds.

Art Galleries

Nairobi’s art scene is a vibrant taleau of creativity and expression, with galleries like the Nairobi Gallery and Circle Art Gallery serving as cultural landmarks. The former, housed in a colonial-era building, showcases a diverse collection of contemporary African art, while the Circle Art Gallery champions East African artists, offering a window into the region’s dynamic artistry.

The One Off Contemporary Art Gallery and Kuona Trust Gallery further enrich the city’s artistic landscape. One Off, nestled in a tranquil garden, exhibits a melange of works by Kenyan artists, allowing visitors to explore the country’s contemporary art scene in a serene setting. Kuona Trust, on the other hand, is a nurturing ground for emerging talent, reflecting Nairobi’s commitment to fostering its artistic community.

Coffee Houses

Nairobi city tour
Kenyan coffee is ranked amongst the world’s best

Offering a break for both locals and travelers, Nairobi’s coffee houses provide a perfect mix of warmth and aroma. Nairobi Java House, a beloved chain, serves up a variety of coffee drinks and pastries in a comforting ambience, becoming a staple in the daily life of the city’s denizens. Artcaffe, with its chic décor, tempts with its selection of coffee blends and international cuisine, making it a popular spot for both casual meetings and leisurely breaks.

Kesh Kesh Coffee invites visitors to:

  • Savor the rich flavors of Ethiopian coffee
  • Experience traditional brewing methods
  • Immerse themselves in Nairobi’s diverse cultural influences
  • Explore the city’s burgeoning coffee culture

It’s more than just a coffee break; it’s a great time that captivates and delights both residents and tourists.

Day Trips and Excursions from Nairobi

AJ Kenya Safaris offers a wide range of safari packages starting from Nairobi. These packages take you to gems like Lake Magadi, known for its flamingo-lined shores, and Hell’s Gate National Park, famous for its dramatic sights and rich wildlife. Other notable destinations include the Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru, and the charming Ngong Hills.

Other holiday companies, such as Bonfire Adventures, take tourists from Nairobi to far-off destinations like the Serengeti in Tanzania or even the Maldives.

Booking Your Nairobi Trip

Planning your Nairobi adventure is a breeze with the multitude of online booking options available. Tour operators’ official websites offer a straightforward way to reserve your spot, ensuring your adventure is just a click away. Additionally, platforms like TripAdvisor and Viator provide a range of tours catering to diverse interests and schedules. Tour packages, both group and individual, are also available, offering a convenient way to book your Nairobi tour.

Advance booking is particularly prudent during peak seasons when Nairobi’s attractions draw travelers from around the world. With the added support of live chat and customer service contacts, tailoring your Nairobi experience has never been easier.

Why Choose a Local Guide for your Tour of Nairobi

Nairobi city tour
a local tour guide allows you to connect with Nairobi on a deeper level

A truly memorable Nairobi tour often hinges on the unique details that only a local guide can provide. Opting for guided tours enhances your experience by leveraging the expert knowledge and intimate understanding of the city that local guides offer. Friendly, accommodating, and professional local guides transform a standard tour into an enlightening journey. They share stories and insights that enrich the narrative of Nairobi, revealing the city’s soul in a way that goes beyond the surface.

Additionally, a local guide’s ability to customize itineraries ensures that your tour is as unique as your interests, while their navigational skills save you time and enhance your security. Their helpful proficiency in local languages and customs smooths the way for genuine interactions, allowing you to connect with Nairobi on a deeper level.


From the verdant expanse of Nairobi National Park to the rich tapestry of cultural experiences and the warmth of its coffee houses, Nairobi is a city that defies expectations and delivers unforgettable memories. As you prepare to embark on your Nairobi tour, let the promise of adventure and discovery inspire your journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we answer some of your most frequently asked questions about Kenya Nairobi tours. 

What makes Nairobi unique compared to other capital cities?

Nairobi is unique compared to other capital cities because it is the only one with a national park within its boundaries, allowing for a rare combination of urban life and natural wilderness.

Can I see the Big Five animals in Nairobi National Park?

No, you may not be able to see all of the Big Five animals in Nairobi National Park, but it still offers a fantastic safari experience just moments away from the city center.

What are some cultural activities to enjoy in Nairobi?

In Nairobi, you can enjoy cultural activities such as traditional dances at Bomas of Kenya, exploring art galleries, and engaging with artisans at markets like Maasai Market and Karen Village. These activities offer a rich cultural experience.

Is it safe to travel around Nairobi?

Yes, it is generally safe to travel around Nairobi, but it’s advisable to be cautious and aware of your surroundings, and consider hiring a local guide for added security.

How far in advance should I book my Nairobi tour?

It’s advisable to book your Nairobi tour in advance, especially if you’re planning to visit during peak seasons to ensure availability and better plan your itinerary.