Nairobi is a highly populated city with many activities. In this busy city, you may need some time off the hustle and bustles of the city to relax your mind and reflect on your life. You may also need a place to just enjoy nature without much distraction. In any case, you need a picnic site that can accommodate your needs. The good news for you is that Nairobi is the world’s wildlife capital with many nature parks. Despite it being a city, Nairobi has the most fascinating natural places you should visit. That said, we have compiled a list of the best picnic sites in Nairobi. Read on to find out more about these wonderful sites and what they have to offer.
The top 5 best picnic sites in Nairobi based on visitor’s experience are:
- Nairobi Mamba village
- Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
- Giraffe Centre
- Karura Forest
- Paradise Lost
1. Nairobi Mamba Village
“Mamba” is a Swahili word for Crocodile. Nairobi Mamba Village is East Africa’s largest crocodile farm. It’s home to around 70 Nile Crocodiles known to be the largest of the crocodile species and the most dangerous. The farm has five crocodile pens.
The village is a characteristic heavenly communal zone spread over 30 sections of land. There is also a four-star lounge and a few restaurants. The village is among the best picnic sites in Nairobi as it offers a diverse range of activities to visitors. When you visit the place, you will not only interact with crocodiles but also camels, ostriches, and horses. Therefore, you are sure to participate in activities like horse riding, camel riding, merry-go-rounds for your kids, and interaction with ostriches. The best moment you will have with ostriches is the chance to feed them.
The experience is continually fulfilling as you interact with nature in this village. Opening hours are 9 am to 5 pm daily.
Entry fee Ksh. 200
Location: Along Langata North Rd (Langata Road), Nairobi, Kenya.
Check out: Affordable Picnic Sites Along Thika Road
2. Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) is among the affordable picnic sites in Nairobi. It’s an amazing place that will most likely touch your heart as you interact with elephants and nature’s breeze. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is an elephant nursery located in Nairobi National Park. The trust provides a safe haven for orphaned baby elephants rescued by DSWT.
The Nursery provides the first stage in the hand-rearing and development of milk-dependent baby elephants. Once they graduate from the Nursery, aged 2-3 years, the elephants move to one of the DSWT’s Reintegration Centres in Tsavo East National Park, from where they will ultimately return to the wild.
The trust is open to the public for one hour from 11 am to 12 pm daily. This is the time when the orphans arrive for their midday mud bath and feeding. The entry fee is Ksh. 500 for any person aged above four. Remember, you will only pay in cash, no Mpesa or credit card transfers. Therefore, make sure you have at least Ksh. 1,000 when visiting this trust.
3. Giraffe Centre
Giraffe Centre is another popular picnic site in Nairobi. It was established to protect the endangered giraffe found only in the grasslands of East Africa. It’s located in Lang’ata, approximately 20 kilometers from Nairobi CBD.
Giraffe Centre will offer you an opportunity to get up close and personal with giraffes. The African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW), commonly known as the Giraffe Centre provides conservation education to the youth and school children of Kenya. You will get an exclusive view of giraffes in a serene environment that will give you an opportunity to meditate upon your life.
The Giraffe Centre is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm including weekends and public holidays. There is a teahouse and curio shop; also a 2 Km nature trail to walk through.
Entry fee for adults: Ksh. 1,000
Entry fee for Children: Ksh. 500
4. Karura Forest
If you are a nature lover, then Karura forest is your go-to place. The forest is one of the largest urban gazetted forests in the world. It features picnic sites, waterfalls, indigenous trees, and caves. When you visit the Karura forest, you get a chance to see birds and ride bikes. Alternatively, you can do some running to keep fit.
Bike riding is available in Karura forest at Ksh. 500 for 2 hours. There are long natural trails within the forest for those who love nature walks. As a result of these myriad of activities, Karura forest is one of the best picnic sites in Nairobi.
Opening hours: 6 am to 6 pm daily
Karura Forest Features
- a 15-metre waterfall
- archaeological sites (recently excavated, artifacts being analyzed)
- an old chimney incinerator – used by the Central Bank for the burning of decommissioned currency up until the mid-1990′s
- an abandoned stone quarry pond, now called Lily Lake
- caves which are considered to be sacred by many and steeped in Kenyan history (they were formerly used by the Mau-Mau freedom fighters as hideouts during the struggle for Independence)
- patches of bamboo
- marshlands that attract bird life including winter migrants from Europe and Asia
- serene groves of secondary and primary indigenous trees.
5. Paradise Lost
Paradise lost features 54 acres of fun, a lake, and caves to explore. The massive farm is equipped with wooden tables to enjoy your meals and nature. Paradise lost is a tourist attraction site in Kiambu town, 14 kilometers from Nairobi CBD. It is an oasis in the middle of a coffee farm.
As one of the picnic sites in Nairobi, Paradise Lost features the Paradise Lost resort caves. These caves are eroded by the nearby Gichi River. The entry to this park is screened by an impressive cascading Paradise Lost waterfall. It opens daily from 8 am to 5 pm. The entrance fee is Ksh. 400 for adults and Ksh. 300 for children.
What to Enjoy at Paradise Lost
- Explore the stone age caves
- A visit to a coffee farm
- Watching birds
- Nature trails
- Stunning watrerfall
- Boar riding
6. Snake Park
Snake Park is among the picnic sites in Nairobi’s CBD. It’s located along Museum Hill Road, about 1.5 Kilometers from the CBD. The snake park is an impressive picnic site to visit if you don’t want to go far from town. The park offers an incredible view and feel as you interact with wild animals.
The snake park has some impressive snake species. If you want to see the Puff adder, black mamba, Egyptian Cobra, African rock python, and Gaboon Viper (with 4 cm-long fangs, the longest in the world), then you should visit this park.
The park is open daily from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.
Entry fee for adults: Ksh. 1,200
Entry fee for children: Ksh. 600
7. Nairobi Arboretum
The Nairobi Arboretum is a 30.4-hectares paradise surrounded by over 300 indigenous trees species. Due to the many trees and vast portions of land, the arboretum is one of the best picnic sites in Nairobi. Visiting this site will give you an opportunity to interact with animals, birds, and walking trails.
Some of the animals you will interact with here are monkeys, Jackson’s three-horned chameleon, birds, butterflies, and the High-casqued chameleon.
It’s open daily from 6 am to 6 pm.
8. The Nairobi Animal Orphanage
Nairobi Education Centre (Animal Orphanage) serves as a treatment and rehabilitation center for wild animals. It’s located in Nairobi National Park in Lang’ata. Some of the animals hosted here include lions, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals, serval cats, rare Sokoke cats, leopards, warthogs, monkeys, buffalo, baboons, and birds. Among the birds, you will the opportunity to interact with ostriches, guinea fowls, crowned cranes, and parrots.
The Nairobi Animal Orphanage opens at 8 am and closes at 5 pm daily.
9. Uhuru Gardens Memorial Park
Uhuru Gardens is located along Langata Road, a 15-minutes drive from the city center. It’s Kenya’s largest Memorial Park that commemorates Kenya’s independence. ‘Uhuru’ is the Swahili world of freedom.
The Gardens were officially declared a National Monument in 1966 because of their historical importance. The Gardens are Kenya’s birthplace because it’s where Kenya’s first flag was raised marking the very first year of independence on 12th December 1963.
There are many recreational facilities in these Gardens ideal for picnics. Furthermore, the gardens have the sacred Mugumo trees highly adored by the Kikuyu community. It’s open from 8 am to 6 pm.
10. Jeevanjee Gardens
Jeevanjee Gardens is an open garden in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD). It is the only park in the city directly owned by the people having been donated to the magnificent people of Nairobi as a resting place. It was founded by A.M Jeevanjee, an Asian-born entrepreneur in Kenya.
Jeevanjee Gardens is one of the ambient picnic sites in Nairobi. It’s a 5-acre recreational park with trees for relaxation. If you want natural shade in Nairobi CBD, Jeevanjee Gardens is a good one. The garden is dotted with artistic benches and sculptures that add to its appeal. The good thing is that Jeevanjee Gardens is always open to the public.