Things to see in Nairobi

Tourist offices

Nairobi tourist information

AFEW Giraffe Centre

Located 18km (11 miles) from the centre of Nairobi, this giraffe centre is run by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) and aims to increase the number of rare Rothschild giraffes left in the wild. It’s a great spot for children, and the tall observation towers offer a terrific chance to get close to these magnificent creatures.

Opening Times: Daily 0930-1730.
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: Koitobos Road, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone: (020) 890 952.
Bomas of Kenya

If you can’t get out to the tribal areas, this long-established cultural centre offers an entertaining introduction to the dances, music and artistic traditions of Kenya’s tribes. It’s a touristy show, but the enthusiasm of the performers makes this a worthwhile detour on the way to Nairobi National Park.

Opening Times: Mon-Fri 1430-1600, Sat-Sun 1530-1715.
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: Langata Road, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone: (020) 891 391.
Jamia Mosque

This large, striking mosque with a typically grand central dome is one of Nairobi’s most attractive buildings. The ornate green-and-white exterior contrasts strongly with the simple interior, although non-Muslims will need special permission to step inside.

Opening Times: Daylight hours at the discretion of the attendants.
Admission Fees: No
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: Banda Street, Nairobi, Kenya
Karen Blixen Museum

This handsome colonial bungalow was the home of Karen Blixen, author of Out of Africa, from 1914 to 1931. Come here to wander the lovely gardens and experience a taste of what life was like for colonial residents in the British Era.

Opening Times: Daily 0930-1730.
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: Karen Road, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone: (020) 800 2139.
Kenya National Archives

Housed in the striking old Bank of India building, this often overlooked museum displays paintings and tribal photographs from across Africa. There is also an impressive collection of tribal weaponry, instruments, masks and other paraphernalia, plus exhibits on the struggle for independence and the history of Nairobi.

Opening Times: Mon-Fri 0815-1615, Sat 0815-1300.
Admission Fees: No
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: Moi Avenue, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone: (020) 222 8959.
Kenyatta International Conference Centre

Nairobi’s most iconic building was the cutting edge of architecture when it was constructed in the 1970s, but it looks a little dated today. However, the view from the rooftop helipad is as mesmerising today as it was when the conference centre opened. On a clear day, you can even spot big game wandering around Nairobi National Park.

Opening Times: Daily 0930-1800.
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: Harambee Avenue, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone: (020) 224 7247.
Nairobi National Museum

The best introduction to Kenya, this museum in Nairobi recently reopened after an extensive refurbishment and it looks better than it has done for years. The collections of stuffed birds and wildlife species are impressive, and the geology displays offer a fascinating introduction to the forces that shaped the Rift Valley. Be sure to check out the exhibits on the history and culture of the Swahili coast. The cultural exhibits (including a wonderful set of tribal portraits by Joy Adamson) and the snake park in the grounds are also worth a peek.

Opening Times: Daily 0830-1730.
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: Museum Road, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone: (020) 374 2131.
Nairobi Railway Museum

This privately run museum contains a treasure trove of photographs and memorabilia from the Uganda Railway, dubbed the ‘Lunatic Express' by British colonialists because of the vast amount of investment required to build it. The railway line also cost hundreds of lives – many taken by a single pair of man-eating lions in the area now covered by Tsavo National Park. Models, photographs and other relics bring this fascinating piece of colonial history alive. A collection of old locomotives in various states of disrepair stands in the grounds.

Opening Times: Daily 0845-1645.
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: Station Road, Nairobi, Kenya
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