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Christmas in Nairobi? 13 Places to Hang Out, Have Fun With Under Ksh1,000
Christmas in Nairobi? 13 Places to Hang Out, Have Fun With Under Ksh1,000
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Christmas in Nairobi? 13 Places to Hang Out, Have Fun With Under Ksh1,000

Money254
Doreen Gathoni
December 22, 2021

Happy Holidays! 

Time to unwind and get into the different ways to enjoy, explore and get-into all that Nairobi has to offer for under Ksh. 1000 or under $10.

NB: Cash payments maybe allowed but to avoid any disappointments carry your Master /VISA card and top-up your mobile money / MPESA account.


Before we get started let’s get some fee definitions out of the way.

  • For example, you’ve probably come across fee charts with different rates for children, students, resident, non-resident and citizen and wondered why they’re different. 

Let’s dive into what these rates are.

  1. Citizen Rates refers to rates paid by legal Kenyan citizens with valid national ID / passport. This rate also extends to citizens of Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi with valid passports
  2. Resident Rates refers to rates paid by foreigners who are residents / staying in Kenya
  3. Non-Resident Rates refers to rates paid by foreigners visiting Kenya but do not reside in Kenya
  4. Student Rates refers to rates paid by individuals of up to 23 years old with valid school ID from a recognised high school, university, college. 

School tours often pay this rate, unless there are special group rates independently available

  1. Children Rates refers to rates charged for persons aged between 3-18 years or below 16 years at some locations. 

NB: Students travelling independently maybe charged this rate at some locations. Children below 3 years are not charged  


There’s something for everyone.  

Now, let’s get into all the “city in the sun” has to offer - whether you’re an adult, teen, child, new-in town, tourist, a citizen (etc.)

NATURE / OUTDOOR SPOTS

If taking in the fresh air while enjoying the sights-n-sounds of nature is what you’re looking for, here are some outdoor options to visit. The best part is most are free for everyone. 

1. Giraffe Centre

This amazing city getaway offers a wildlife and nature experience for its visitors.

It’s a mind-blowing experience to get up close and get to not only learn about giraffes but also see, pet and feed these tall, gentle giants up-close.

Once you’ve had your thrill of these “gentle giants,” how about a stroll through the centre’s scenic nature trail / conservancy? 

It's a 1.6 KM stretch of breathtaking views of The Gogo River (from the viewpoint, you get to view the river’s source, which originates from Ngong Hills). It’s also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with the option of visiting the Warthog Den

Here are the charges:-

  • Its free-access for Giraffe Manor residing guests  
  • Free entry for advance bookings by school groups (a week in advance is recommended) 
  • Students below 23 with valid student IDs pay the child fee rate (as indicated in the resident and non-resident charges below)
  • Resident Fee:- Adult - Kshs. 400 | Child (3-12 years) - Kshs. 200 | Children below 3 years - Free 
  • Non-Resident Fee:- Adult - Approx. $15 / Kshs. 1500  | Child (3-12 years) - Approx. - $7.50 / Kshs. 750 | Children below 3 years – Free

NB: No cash payments allowed. Payment mode accepted is MPESA, Master / VISA card 

TIP: Open all week (including weekends and holidays) from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Remember a big part of budgeting is including the best travel or transport rates. 

For affordable, stress-free planning, keep in mind the centre’s busiest / peak hours on weekends, public holidays and on weekdays, which are between 11 a.m. - 1p.m. 

2. Nairobi Mamba Village

You’ll want to make a day of exploring this haven of local culture and nature experiences.

Located in Karen, this leisure park is home to Nile crocodiles, tortoises, ostriches (where you get to feed the world’s largest bird), carry baby crocodiles, as well as get to learn more about the fauna and flora at Mamba village.

(e.g.) Did you know an ostrich has 3 stomachs? 

An enviable feature, for some of us during the holiday’s festivities
Also available at this 30-acre plus’ destination is camel and horse riding, an art gallery, large restaurant, secluded picnic sites, botanical gardens, nature walk and bird-watching trails for family outings, picnics and team building activities.

  • Entry Fee:-  Kshs. 200 (not charged per person but per entry group) -access for Giraffe Manor residing guests  
  • Boat Ride Fee:- Adult - Kshs. 100 | Children - Kshs. 50
  • Horse Riding Fee:- Kshs. 150 (Daily 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
  • Camel Riding Fee:- Kshs. 150   

3. Oloolua Nature Trail

Oloolua Nature Trail is a popular tranquil getaway for Nairobians’ during the weekend and a top pick for a budget-friendly, scenic escape for solo trips, families, couples and especially for the sporty-at-heart’.

Located at the Oloolua forest in Karen, some of the attractions include natural caves, a bamboo rest point, a waterfall, a papyrus swamp and educational centres where you interact-and-learn about various geology, botany and aquatic species.

  • Citizen Fee:- Adult - Kshs. 200   |  Child (Below 16) - Kshs. 100  
  • Resident Fee:- Adult - Kshs. 400   |  Child (Below 16) - Kshs. 200  
  • Non-Resident Fee:- Adult - Kshs. 600   |  Child (Below 16) - Kshs. 300 
  • Pets Allowed:-  at NO extra charge, just keep them on a leash

4. John Michuki National Park

Did you know that the rehabilitated Michuki Park is home to over 88 tree species?

For some, this green zone at the heart of Nairobi CBD is a serene escape within the city.

It is located along Kijabe Street near the Globe Cinema Roundabout in Nairobi, which is easily accessible and in addition to being well maintained, it is open to the public daily from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

  • All you have to budget for is snacks and transport 

TIPS: Save on transport by opting to travel during off-peak hours for PSV / public transport into town. If you plan to spend the day at the park, plan for PSV peak hour rates or for taxi fare.

Also, the park is close to other affordable, top-recommended getaways (such as Nairobi National Museum and Nairobi Arboretum) if you’re looking to turn your day into an even richer day out.  

  • Entry Fee:- No charge. Free entry for all  

5. Nairobi Arboretum

Conveniently accessible from the CBD, the Nairobi Arboretum is a budget-friendly location that’s ideal for nature trails, picnics, birdwatching, photography, videography and is a favourite for outdoor dates, group activities and events (e.g.) concerts and team-building  

You can plan a trip to the home of “Sykes, Vervet monkeys, various bird species, indigenous and exotic plants” - any day of the week, all year round from 6 a.m. - 6.15 p.m.  

  • Adult Entry Fee:- Kshs. 65  
  • Child Entry Fee:- Kshs. 27  
  • Car Park Fee:- Kshs. 65  
  • Pets Allowed:-  at NO extra charge, just keep them on a leash 

6. Paradise Lost

The drive to Paradise Lost is like a scenic trailer, as you leave the crowded Nairobi streets and the high-rise buildings behind for a local, road-trip experience.

For a variety of fun activities and sightseeing attractions – you can look forward to fishing, horse / camel riding, boat riding, coffee-farm visit, cave exploration, bird watching, nature trail walks, scenic picnic sites plus a kids’ play area and waterfall views.

  • Adult Entry Fee:- Kshs. 400  
  • Child Entry Fee:- Kshs. 300  
  • Non-Resident Fee:- Adult - Kshs. 1000   
  • School Package:- Kshs. 250 per child. This special package requires the child / children to be in school uniform, includes free entry for teachers, free boat rides and cave tours from Monday - Friday  
  • Activities Offered are charged separately from the entry fee:-  
  • Camel Riding | Horse Riding | Boat Rides - Kshs. 300
  • Zip lining | Quad Biking - Kshs. 1500 
  • Archery - Kshs. 1200 

7. Nairobi Safari Walk

Nairobi is famous for being the only city with a national park within city limits – which makes a Safari Walk, a must-do. Without stretching your resources, you get to enjoy and experience what Kenya’s wildlife attractions have to offer, all at one place.

Want more on your day-out? You got it

In addition to the safari walk, you can include an extra tour to the animal orphanage, (which is located less than 12 metres away).

So, as you budget for your city safari walk, keep in mind that there are price-inclusive and price-exclusive items for everyone, (foreigners and locals included), to have a memorable experience. 

TIP: The safari walk prices are inclusive of professional English speaking guides, all park entry fees, service charges & taxes, pickup-and-drop off from your hotel in Nairobi (if you’re not a city-dweller or treating yourself to a hotel stay, you’re sorted)

To get in on the park activities and attractions, the entry fees are as follows:-

  • Citizen Fee:- Adult - Kshs. 200   |  Child / Student - Kshs. 100  
  • Resident Fee:- Adult - Kshs. 200   |  Child / Student - Kshs. 100  
  • Non-Resident Fee:- Adult - $20 | Child / Resident - $10   
  • Pets Allowed:-  Not Allowed   
  • Price Excludes:- tips / gratuity, communication charges, travelers insurance, visas, laundry, international airfares & airport taxes, drinks, meals, sight-seeing and optional guest activities 

NB: The Safari walk rates differ from the National Park rates. Modes of payments allowed are MPESA, VISA card and direct bank deposit to KWS bank account at the gate

8. Diguna High Ropes Challenge

This is a thrilling option, for those looking to get into something fresh - something to push you out of your comfort zone. 

Diguna High Ropes is located at Rongai (a town in Nairobi located in the outskirts of the city’s buzz). As the name states, Diguna is an obstacle of different rope-treading activities, that literally, have you walking the line at new heights. 

So, if a “Tarzan-Like Day” without the jumping and leaps sounds good, Diguna is it for you… 

For your peace-of-mind, there are safety measures in place and skilled staff members to accommodate different heights and weight classes. 

However, if heights are not your thing, best to checkout the other 9 options (which are just as budget-friendly)

  • Entry Fee:-  Kshs. 150 per person  

9. Karura Forest


This evergreen forest in Nairobi is a “lush eco gem” that is a memorable location for locals and foreigners, who visit.

  • Its features include scenic waterfalls, serene picnic sites, beautiful caves and
    spectacular indigenous trees 

Visitors can participate in different activities (e.g.) guided eco-tours, forest nature walks and drives, hiking, jogging and riding bicycles, visiting archeological sites (where artifacts were recently excavated) and more.


  • Citizen Fee:- Adult - Kshs.100   |  Child - Kshs. 50  
  • Resident / Non-Citizen Fee:- Adult - Kshs. 200   |  Child  - Kshs. 100  
  • Non-Resident Fee:- Adult - Kshs. 600 | Child / Resident - Kshs.  300

Parking Fees (Daily Rate)

  • Car 4x4 (5 Door):- Kshs.100  
  • Minivan (12 Seater):- Kshs. 200   
  • Minibus ( >14<32 Seater):- Kshs. 300   
  • Bus ( >32 Seater):- Kshs. 500   

NB:  The forest operating hours are 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.  The last entry is at 5.45 p.m.  

All gates close at 7 p.m.

10. Nairobi National Park


Just as thrilling but not the same as the Nairobi Safari Walk, is the Nairobi National Park, which is a short drive to-and-from the CBD. 

A picturesque location to eat out at the park’s restaurant – the park’s “safari charm” is also experienced during the safari walks, game drives, picnics-in-the wild and at the park’s key attractions (e.g.) ivory burning site monument, three campsites, the animal orphanage, hiking walking-trails and a rhino sanctuary

  • Citizen Fee:- Adult - Kshs.400   |  Child - Kshs. 200  
  • Resident Fee:- Adult - Kshs. 400   |  Child  - Kshs. 200  
  • Non-Resident Fee:- Adult - $35 | Child / Resident - $20   
  • Pets Allowed:-  Not Allowed   
  • Price Excludes:- tips / gratuity, communication charges, travelers insurance, visas, laundry, international airfares & airport taxes, drinks, meals, sight-seeing and optional guest activities 

NB: Modes of payments allowed are MPESA, VISA card and direct bank deposit to KWS bank account at the gate

11. Ngong Hills


Did you know that the Ngong Hills are a scenic expansive location of seven hills located in Ngong, Kajiado County?

This sprawling getaway is a “source of pride” for the country’s economic and tourism sector.

  • Ngong Hills features include - wind generation power sites, tourism sites, unobstructed viewpoints, high altitude sports training and hiking areas.
    Some activities you can look forward to include:- cycling, picnics, camping, hiking, outdoor Zumba session and other team-bonding activities 
  • Citizen Fee:- Adult - Kshs.232   |  Child - Kshs. 58  
  • Resident Fee:- Adult - Kshs. 464   |  Child  - Kshs. 174  
  • Non-Resident Fee:- Adult - $6.96 | Child / Resident - $1.74   

Other Fees

  • Cycling:- Kshs. 116  
  • Horse Riding:- Kshs. 342  
  • Camping Fees:- Kshs. 986
  • Guards are recommended for added security:- Fee ranges between $15 - $30    

CULTURAL / HISTORIC SPOTS 

12. Nairobi National Museum

If you really want to experience the museum in a unique way – opt for an exclusive group tour of a minimum of 10 people for museum night tours!

(You don’t have to find 10 people, simply put in a request and you could get to meet 9 new friends, which makes for a brag-worthy’ holiday story)

The museum is located at Museum Hill, about a 10 minute-drive from the Nairobi CBD and is accessible by PSV too.

  • The museum is home to celebrated collections of Kenya’s history, nature, culture and contemporary art, inside and outside of the museum (e.g.) outdoor sculptures, the pristine nature trail and the botanic gardens, the 4-pillars of Kenya’s national
    heritage( that is culture, history, nature and contemporary art) etc.
  • Inside the museum – you can look forward to the art gallery and temporary exhibitions, archeological displays, shopping and dining facilities

The museum is open all year round, Monday to Sunday from 8.30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

Night tours are between 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. except for private functions (It might be obvious, but let’s make it clear, pets are not allowed)

----------------

Museum Entrance Rates:-

Guided Tour (Minimum 10pax | Charge is per group of 10pax, if you’re more than 10)

  • Citizen Fee:- Kshs. 1000  
  • Resident Fee:- Kshs. 2000  
  • Non-Resident Fee:- Kshs. 2000      

TIP: Book online publicrelations@museums.or.ke to budget accordingly 

by considering the timelines available 

_------------------_

Combination Tickets (these are discounted joint tickets that include admission to the museum and the snake park)

  • Citizen Fee:- Adult - Kshs. 300 |  Child (Below 16) - Kshs. 150  (save Kshs. 100 & 50 respectively)  
  • Resident Fee:- Adult - Kshs. 600  |  Child (Below 16) - Kshs. 300 (save Kshs. 400 & 300 respectively)  
  • Non-Resident Fee:-  Kshs. 1500 | Child (Below 16) - Kshs. 1000  (save Kshs. 900 & 200 respectively)  

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Night Tour Packages

  • Citizen Fee:- Adult - Kshs. 500   |  Child - Kshs. 250  
  • Resident Fee:- Adult - Kshs. 1000   |  Child - Kshs. 500  
  • Non-Resident Fee:- Adult - Kshs. 2000  | Child - Kshs. 1000   

INDOOR FUN SPOT

13. A Game-Day Mix’ At The Village Bowl

This is a favourite for those who’d rather take outdoor fun indoors (and with what looks like a “rainy-muddy holiday season,” there’s lots of indoor games you can look forward to here)

This spacious bowling spot at the Village Market also offers a 3-in-1 game combo of pool, foosball & air hockey at affordable rates. 

That means, even when you combine bowling with the 3-in-1 game combo’ option, it would cost approximately Kshs. 700 per game.

  • The location too, is a win-win if you want an “eat, play, drink, shop day,” to relax and enjoy yourself at various food stalls and clothing stores at the Village Market  

TIP: Budget Rule #1 Assume Nothing     

The Village Market locally nicknamed VIMA’ is often thought of as a high-end, expensive location, however, you’d be missing out on some budget-friendly options that are a value-add for your budget planning efforts. 

Ready to play? The rates are:

Bowling

  • Mon – Fri (10 a.m. – 4 p.m. per game & per person):- Kshs. 350

                 (4 p.m. – Till Late per game & per person):- Kshs. 500    

  • Sat – Sun (10 a.m. – Till Late per game & per person):- Kshs. 500

Pool, Air Hockey & Foosball      

  • Mon – Fri (10 a.m. – 4 p.m. per game):- Kshs. 100

                       (4 p.m. – Till Late per game):- Kshs. 200    

  • Sat – Sun (10 a.m. – Till Late per game):- Kshs. 200

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More Thrills. Less Spending For All

Travel and the simple ways one enjoys a weekend has drastically changed in the past few months – but with change we adapt and (sometimes) all you need to do is to take another look at what’s around and choose to experience it, in a positive way, without having to risk your peace-of-mind at all.

How will you remember your 2021 end-of-year holiday season?

Gathoni is a skilled content developer with over 5 years of experience in content development as a graphic design and copywriter, in different industry sectors. Her passion to nurture positive, stronger, communication impact continues. You can find her on LinkedIn here.

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