How to spend a day in Nairobi


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I had a free day in Nairobi before the tour started, so immediately started researching how to spend a day in Nairobi. And I believe I genuinely came up with the best way to fill my time!

After some research I found Perfect Wilderness Tours who offer a range of tours, from 1 day ones to much longer trips.

There were three things I had decided I wanted to do with the day and the tour company offered a day trip that fitted. Perfect!

Our driver, Sami, picked us up from the hotel and we set off. We were ready early and when we discovered this, he even turned up early as he was worried about us waiting. I cannot recommend him enough, friendly, interesting and so so helpful!

Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Nairobi 

Our first stop of the day was to visit the elephant orphanage. You can visit the orphanage each day from 11am – 12pm, make sure you get there a little earlier to get to the front when they let you in. This means you get a good spot, again thank you Sami. If you stand near the muddier, bath area of the enclosure there is a high chance you will get covered in mud as the elephants spray! We stood at the far corner from where you come in and it was perfect.

The elephants gamble down towards the keepers who feed them with bottles. Such a heartwarming sight. There is also a talk about each calf and why they ended up in the orphanage. Most often is it because they lost their mothers to poaching. Baby elephants need their mothers milk until the age of 2, and so would not survive with out this beautiful place.

Image of elephant calf in Nairobi

The work the orphanage does is amazing and when the elephants are around 3 years old, they are reintroduced back into the wild. The money from the visiting tourists contributes to their amazing work.

Image of Elephant calf feeding in Nairobi

After they are fed they play around in the mud together and wander around, getting close enough to be touched. Seeing these beautiful animals up close was such an emotional experience for me.

Giraffe Centre, Nairobi

For the second stop on how to spend a day in Nairobi – the Giraffe Centre. Most of the people who go to see the elephants head to the giraffe centre straight after. My tip would be to go and have some lunch first, so that you don’t end up there at the busiest time.

Image of giraffe centre in Nairobi

For those of you who have lusted over visiting Giraffe Manor, but can’t quite afford the price tag – this is the place for you. You can see the beautiful hotel in the distance and these are the very same giraffes.

Image of giraffes in Nairobi

You get given some pellets to feed the giraffes with, and you can even put it between your lips for a giraffe kiss. First time for everything!n It was a little slobbery, but I felt we had a real connection.

Image of kissing a giraffe in Nairobi

There are two levels which you can feed the giraffes from. The ground where they bend down to meet you. Or the raised tree house level where you can look them right in the eye. It was such a fantastic time and I am even more in love with giraffes than I was before.

Image of close up giraffe in Nairobi

Nairobi National Park 

Next on my mission on how to spend a day in Nairobi? Safari. The day ended in the most perfect way, with a game drive in Nairobi National Park. I have been on safari before, in Tanzania, and it was one of the most magical experiences of my life. However, I had never seen a rhino and this was high on the bucketlist!

Nairobi National Park is a mere 7km outside of the city centre. It is quite a special thing to be in the city one minute. Then in the middle of this beautiful game reserve the next. From a lot of locations you can see the skyscrapers of the city in the background.

Image of Nairobi National Park

We only had a couple of hours in the park, and actually a few more hours would have been perfect. First thing in the morning is the best time to go, as it is when the animals are most active. However, have said the above, I still had an amazing afternoon!

A day trip won’t be the same as a three day safari in the Serengeti or Masi Mara. But if time is an issue, or as an introduction, this is definitely a good alternative. It has certainly got me itching to go on another safari holiday.

Sami set us a challenge of who could be the first person to spot wildlife. My friend actually won, by spying a warthog in the distance. Then as we turned the corner, my dreams came true. A rhino. An actual real life rhino. In the wild. To say I was excited was an understatement.

Image of viewing through binoculars in Nairobi

Throughout the rest of the afternoon we spotted zebra, water buffalo, lots of impala, ostrich, a hippo and even a lion asleep under a tree.

Image of water buffalo Nairobi National Park

Image of Impala in Nairobi National Park

image of impala and ostrich in Nairobi National Park

As a final wonderful parting gift from Nairobi National Park, we saw more rhinos and even a little baby. I don’t think I have ever been so happy.

image of rhino in Nairobi National Park, how to spend a day in Nairobi

The park is also home to leopards, cheetahs and giraffes but sadly we didn’t get to see these.  There are no elephants as the park just isn’t large enough, being just under 120 sq km.

How to spend a day in Nairobi in summary?

If you want to know how to spend a day in Nairobi in the most perfect way, this is the itinerary for you. Headed back after a perfect day, and not sure how the rest of the trip could compete.

Spolier – it did. Have a look here to find out about my hike to see the gorillas

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Anna April 15, 2018 - 9:47 am

I never knew there was so much wildlife to see in Nairobi itself! We’re olanning a trip in the next couple of years. I definitely got the safari bug after South Africa last year! Can’t wait to read about the rest of your trip 🙂

Where Charlie Wanders April 15, 2018 - 10:17 am

I know! I was surprised when I started researching. The trip was mainly about going to see the gorillas in Uganda, so it was a nice little extra bonus to be able to do a game drive as well. I’d love to visit South Africa!

Tuva Zetterdahl April 15, 2018 - 9:59 am

Love this

lifejourney4two April 15, 2018 - 9:13 pm

Oh my goodness this looks amazing! We are hoping to go to Africa in the next couple of years – the experience must just be breathtaking! Love the photos and your post is an easy and enjoyable read. Love it!

charliewo207 April 18, 2018 - 9:32 am

thank you so much!! Africa is amazing, you will love it. I’d love to explore more of this continent.

WonderHereWanderThere April 18, 2018 - 9:17 am

Those giraffes <3

jasonlikestotravel April 20, 2018 - 1:06 pm

Your day sounds amazing! I’m looking forward to reading about more of the trip 🙂

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders April 20, 2018 - 2:51 pm

It was a really good day! I’ve written about my trip to see the gorillas and will share more soon. Thanks for reading 🙂

jasonlikestotravel April 20, 2018 - 6:44 pm

I’m glad. I’ll give it a read, I’m slowly catching up on the backlog of posts I’d missed!

Sam February 18, 2019 - 8:39 am

A day full of amazing experiences! This makes me want to go on safari so badly!!

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders February 18, 2019 - 9:37 am

You definitely should! It is an incredible experience

Gichboy January 22, 2020 - 8:09 am

Am glad for speaking to the world about our country. Welcome home

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders January 22, 2020 - 9:13 am

Thank you


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