Other Activities picnic spots Kenya > Nairobi

Picnic Spots In Nairobi - Updated 2020

Picnic Spots In Nairobi
Barry
Barry
Updated

Nairobi is one of Africa’s most popular cities. Despite its obvious challenges, the city’s resilience is a testament to its people’s character. Whenever you’re in town, be sure to experience the true side of the city, not just the touristy bits. Although the tourist spots are excellent and well designed for visitors, for an authentic Nairobi experience, head to where the locals spend their time and get to know what truly makes this city tick. And when you need to simply unwind, how about a nice quiet picnic? In this article, we’ll take a look at the best picnic spots in Nairobi. Scroll down to find out more.

1. Lang’ata Botanical Gardens

Gazebo
Source: Peakpx

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Travel a few minutes outside the city center of Nairobi and look for the Lang’ata Botanical Gardens, a private establishment which hires out its facilities for private functions. For those who simply want a place to have a fun day out, its lush gardens are popular spots for family picnics. On-site, there are several attractions: a lagoon, nature trails and grass-thatched gazebos.

There may not be much here in terms of real estate, but there’s certainly plenty to keep you busy when you visit. You’ll have to pay to use their facilities, so bear that in mind when planning your picnic. Discounts are given to large groups, though.

Lang’ata Botanical Gardens

Address: Lang'ata, Nairobi

Website: Lang’ata Botanical Gardens

Opening hours: 8am - 8pm (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

2. Nairobi Arboretum

Nairobi Arboretum - Corruption free zone
Source: Photo by Flickr user Christine und Hag... used under CC BY 2.0

If you’re a bit of a cheapskate (like myself) and you don’t feel like spending cash, skip the Lang’ata Botanical Gardens and head to the Nairobi Arboretum. Found within walking distance from the CBD (just 3 km/1.8 miles), this spot is beloved of Nairobians. Its popularity stems from being close to the city center, without feeling like it’s close to the city center.

Unlike Uhuru Park, mentioned below, the Nairobi Arboretum doesn’t receive the same crowds, perhaps because it’s a bit more removed from the town. Yes, people do flock here, but there are little nooks where you’ll get some solitude, if that’s what you’re looking for. Enjoy the paths that snake through the park, allowing you to fully appreciate the diverse flora.

Nairobi Arboretum

Address: State House Rd, Nairobi

Opening hours: 6am - 6:15pm (daily)

Price: Free

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

3. Uhuru Park Nairobi

Nairobi's skyline from Uhuru Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jorge Láscar used under CC BY 2.0

This is Nairobi’s most popular park. It’s within the city center and it’s where most Nairobians head to when they have time to kill in between meetings or interviews. Aside from the usual park benches and scattered trees, there’s an artificial lake on which boat rides are offered. For a nominal fee, you’ll get to navigate this small, albeit fascinating, lake. There are also rides for kids and, best of all, snack vendors to keep you fed.

If crowds are a turn-off, avoid visiting during the weekend, when the locals come out to play and when you’ll be hard-pressed to find a secluded spot. Whatever the case, for a fun, unassuming picnic spot, Uhuru Park is a good choice.

Uhuru Park Nairobi

Address: Off Uhuru HIghway, Nairobi CBD

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

4. Central Park Nairobi

Nyayo Monument - Central Park
Source: Photo by user Jorge Láscar used under CC BY 2.0

Found right next to Uhuru Park, many people think that Central Park Nairobi is just another wing of its bigger counterpart. However, while it is only separated from Uhuru by a small road, it is a totally different park. For starters, it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of the Uhuru – no artificial lake and no rides. Its discernible feature is a monument with a hand sculpture at the top, holding a scepter of sorts. The jury is still out on whether this monument is stunning or hideous, but it makes for a good landmark. Just like Uhuru Park, Central Park doesn’t purport to be a tourist spot, so prepare for an unpretentious experience.

Central Park Nairobi

Address: Opposite Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

5. Nairobi Botanical Gardens

Nairobi Botanical Gardens
Source: Barry Juma

Not many people have heard of the Nairobi Botanical Gardens, possibly because it sits in the shadows of Nairobi National Museum and Nairobi Snake Park. Its relative obscurity and evident modesty make it an excellent place to escape the crowds. The gardens aren’t vast and extravagant, but what little it has is well utilized. A paved path leads from the museum on one end and the snake park on another, into this quiet and lush spot with strategically placed benches. You can relax here after exploring the museum, maybe even plan a picnic to cap off your day.

Nairobi Botanical Gardens

Address: Museum Hill, Nairobi

Opening hours: 8:30am - 5:30pm (daily)

Price: Free

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

6. City Park, Nairobi

City park Nairobi
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Brian kasiti used under CC BY-SA 3.0

City Park is the country’s oldest park, established way back in the early 1920s. Despite the threats of land grabbing at some point in its life, the park has managed to withstand these challenges to remain accessible to date, albeit after losing a few hundred acres. It’s found in Nairobi’s Parklands neighborhood, a short drive from the city center. Its distance from the CBD makes it an ideal spot for those looking for some seclusion. City Park’s rich bio-diversity and deep history give it an appeal that sets it apart from other parks in Nairobi. It’s definitely worth your time.

City Park, Nairobi

Address: City Park Dr, Parklands, Naitobi

Website: City Park, Nairobi

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

7. Uhuru Gardens

Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Luide Kakembo used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Way back in 1963, when Kenya was granted independence, the celebrations kicked off right at Uhuru Gardens. At this spot, the Union Jack was lowered and in its place, for the very first time ever, the Kenyan flag was raised. Uhuru Gardens, therefore, has quite a bit of historical significance. All the sentiment aside, this is certainly a great place to set up a picnic and, while you’re at it, check out the historical monuments, because everyone needs to learn a bit of history now and then.

Uhuru Gardens

Address: Off Langata Rd, Nairobi

Website: Uhuru Gardens

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

Price: Free

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

8. Evergreen Park - Kiambu Road

Boat ride
Source: Needpix

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Evergreen Park is a largely unknown, privately run park that mainly hosts private functions, like weddings. However, their facilities are designed for a wide spectrum of exciting activities, of course, including picnics. Just like Lang’ata Botanical Gardens in number one above, you’ll have to pay to use their facilities. Evergreen Park, however, strives to give you value for money. From boat rides to fishing, there is plenty here to keep you occupied.

Evergreen Park - Kiambu Road

Address: Evergreen Park, Kiambu Road Kiambu KE

Website: Evergreen Park - Kiambu Road

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

9. Mokoiyet & Kingfisher Picnic Spots

Ivory burning site at Nairobi National Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ninara used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

These are two of the several picnic sites tucked within the Nairobi National Park. If you’re planning to visit the park, opt to pack some snacks, pause at one of these spots and just chill out. From here, you’ll get a remarkable view of Nairobi’s skyline as the backdrop to the vast land of the park. It goes without saying the Nairobi National Park is an unforgettable safari experience and stopping for a picnic at Mokoiyet and Kingfisher would complement this trip.

Mokoiyet

Address: Nairobi National Park, Nairobi, Kenya

Website: Mokoiyet Picnic Site - Nairobi National Park

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

10. Kona Baridi

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Kona Baridi is actually Swahili for ‘Cold Corner’. This is a little hamlet, about a 40-minute drive from the city center, that earned its name from the cool breeze that sweeps over it from the Ngong’ Hills. Kona Baridi is found just behind these hills, with a truly breathtaking view to boot. This is the ultimate hideaway, a place you escape to when you’ve had your fill of the city’s cacophony. It’s a non-touristy spot, offering an authentic experience in a very serene location. If you’re looking for a picnic spot where you can simply chill out, Kona Baridi is the right choice.

Kona Baridi

Address: Kiserian, Kajiado County, KE

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

Serenity in Nairobi

You may have noticed the word ‘Uhuru’ a couple of times. Uhuru is Swahili for ‘freedom’ and it’s a word that’s used in a lot of places in the country: Uhuru Park, Uhuru Gardens, Uhuru Highway, even the president, Uhuru Kenyatta. Anyway, if you’re visiting Nairobi and a picnic is on your mind, consider one of the spots on our list above.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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