Top 8 Best Day Trips From Nairobi : Nairobi serves as both the entry point to all that Kenya has to offer and the beginning point for numerous amazing safaris. It makes a great starting point for an adventurous day trip. While you could travel to several of the larger national parks, such as Amboseli or Lake Nakuru, and return to Nairobi by dusk, we don’t advise it because Kenya’s roads are dangerous and most small planes can’t fly in the early morning or late at night. Also, visiting these parks during the course of the day will limit your opportunity to see the animals, which is not the best time to see wildlife.
Take one of these day trips from Nairobi and you could find yourself sailing across a lake teeming with hippos, on top of a volcano, at the bottom of the longest rift on the planet, or on a Big 5 safari. Nairobi is a sophisticated city, but its proximity to nature gives it a special charm.
You may take a day trip from Nairobi to the Great Rift Valley, a jagged, 7,000-kilometer-long scar that can be seen from space. The Rift is home to numerous fauna species, soda and freshwater lakes, and dormant volcanoes. East of Nairobi National Park are Athi and the wildlife corridors that make it possible for all safaris to travel between Amboseli and Nairobi National Park. As you travel south toward Tanzania, temperatures rise, the height drops from 2000 meters to below sea level, and you arrive at the dry landscape and soda lakes of Magadi.
The greatest day trips from Nairobi will only take you a few hours and ensure that you’ll feel a million miles away from the city’s brilliant lights.
Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park is a special experience, more of a part of the Nairobi experience than a day excursion. This area features some traditional East African landscapes, such as sweeping grasslands and sparse woodland. Undoubtedly, the park is home to amazing species, including lions, rhinos, giraffes, wildebeests, zebras, impalas, buffalo, hippopotamuses, and crocodiles. It’s amazing how many of these endearing critters may be found roaming freely in the wild while metropolitan skyscrapers serve as their backdrop.
ü Distance from Nairobi: 9 km (5 mi), a 20-minute drive
ü Tip: Early morning game drives are best; afternoons in the park can be very crowded.
ü The Ngong Hills, west of Nairobi, are visible from many parts of town and have special significance for those who long for the early days of the East African safari. You may recall the statement, “I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills,” if you’ve ever seen the movie or read the book Out of Africa. The colonial nobility gathered here to socialize. The Ngong Hills Racetrack, which hosts racing meets a couple of Sundays every month, is a good place to look for echoes of this time period. Moreover, you could locate Denys Finch Hatton’s overgrown grave, who was Isak Dinesen’s dashing love interest (Karen Blixen). Be on the lookout for the lion rumored to protect his tomb at the latter.
ü Distance from Nairobi: 30 km (19 mi), a 1- to 4-hour drive.
ü Tip: A local guide from Kiserian can help you find the overgrown grave.
Swara Plains Conservancy
The Swara Plains Conservancy is a tranquil oasis located in the Athi-Kapiti Plains, southeast of Nairobi, off the Nairobi-Mombasa Road. The plains are covered in safari paths. Many of the animals have returned because of the conservancy’s vital work. Formerly, this was one of the most abundant sites for wildlife in Nairobi, with species migrating through here between Nairobi and Amboseli National Parks. Impala, zebra, and giraffe are among the animals you’ll likely see; cheetah and spotted hyena are other potential sightings. The conservancy’s administrative building is located in a pleasant, shaded area beneath the acacias, Top 8 Best Day Trips From Nairobi
ü Distance from Nairobi: 39 km (24 mi), 1 hour drive
ü Tip: Leave Nairobi early to avoid traffic snarls on the Mombasa road.
Lake Magadi is one of the lesser-known lakes in Kenya’s Rift Valley and one of the best day trips from Nairobi. You will encounter a lunar environment of salt lakes with massive salt encrustations along the lakefront just past Magadi settlement. Also, there are a few flamingo colonies and hot springs where you can relax by soaking in the water. See the Olorgesailie Prehistoric Site, a significant archeological site that was initially discovered in the 1940s and where you can still see some fossils and the remains of stone tools, on your route south.
ü Distance from Nairobi: 107 km (67 mi), a 2-hour drive
ü Tip: Ask at the Lake Magadi Tented Camp and Sports Club about activities run by the local Maasai.
One of the most underrated day trips from Nairobi is a journey to Thika, which is located northeast of the city. Thika, made famous by Elspeth Huxley’s timeless colonial memoir, The Flame Trees of Thika (1959), is today a contemporary provincial town that offers a chance to get a glimpse of urban Kenyan life away from the typical tourist trail. Visit the venerable Blue Post Hotel first, then go for Chania and Thika Falls nearby. Booking a tour and lunch at the Karunguru Coffee Estate is the best option. A fantastic way to spend the day.
ü Distance from Nairobi: 45 km (28 mi), 1 hour drive
ü Tip: A drink at the Blue Post Hotel is a must for reliving colonial times.
Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park
One of Kenya’s tiniest national parks is Ol Donyo Sabuk. Since so few people visit Ol Donyo Sabuk, one of the best things about going here is that you might have the park to yourself. Although there isn’t much wildlife, you might spot buffalo, colobus and Sykes’ monkeys, and baboons. The opportunity to go for a stroll while being accompanied by a ranger is another pleasure. Climb peaceful routes to the top of Ol Donyo Sabuk (2,146m), also known as Kilimambongo (Buffalo Mountain) by the Kikuyu. Along the route, keep an eye out for the unusual Afro-alpine plants, Top 8 Best Day Trips From Nairobi
ü Distance from Nairobi: 76 km (47 mi), a 2-hour drive
ü Tip: Make sure you leave enough time to drive back to Nairobi before dusk.
Mt. Longonot National Park
One of the best walks in Kenya is up the shapely Mt. Longonot, located northwest of Nairobi. From the parking lot, there is a gradual ascent to the crater rim, where you may stare down into the forested, lost world of the crater. From here, you have excellent views of the rest of the Rift Valley. If you have enough water and want to keep going, there is a trail that circles the rim, offering numerous breathtaking vistas as you go. Keep an eye out for vents coming from the crater floor and inner walls that emit sulfurous steam, Top 8 Best Day Trips From Nairobi
ü Distance from Nairobi: 83 km (49 mi), a 2- to 3 hour drive.
ü Tip: Take plenty of water; the hike can take 5 hours.
Kiambethu Tea Farm
This tea estate, located in the gently sloping hills northwest of Nairobi, is close by but feels a world apart from the city’s hustle and bustle. You can wander through the native woodland on the farm during the excursions that start at 11 a.m. while learning how tea is made. Go on for lunch, where chefs will serve dishes crafted with regional ingredients. A visit here also has a lot to offer those who enjoy sampling tea.
ü Distance from Nairobi: 25 km (16 mi), a 34-hour drive
ü Tip: Advance books are essential.