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10 Best Picnic Sites in Nairobi (2024)

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When it comes to enjoying a day out with family and friends, few activities rival the joy of picnicking. Nairobi, the vibrant capital of Kenya, has picturesque picnic sites that cater to nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. In this article, we will explore the top picnic destinations in the city, each offering a unique blend of natural beauty and tranquility. So, grab your picnic basket, spread out a cozy blanket, and embark on a delightful journey through some of the most sought-after picnic sites in Nairobi today.

1. Oloolua Nature Trail

Picnickers at The Oloolua Nature Trail
Picnickers at The Oloolua Nature Trail. Image from the establishment’s Facebook page.

Perched in the Karen locality, the Oloolua Nature Trail is a treasure trove that offers a serene yet scenic environment for picnickers. As you stroll along the trail, you are surrounded by mature trees, lush greenery, and the sound of chirping birds. This tourist site also features a small waterfall and a natural cave, adding to its charm. Set up your picnic spot on the grassy patches or use one of the available picnic tables for a comfortable experience.

2. The Nairobi Arboretum

Nairobi Arboretum Park, a top picnic spot in Nairobi
The Nairobi Arboretum Park. Image by Ahero Dala.

For nature lovers, the Nairobi Arboretum is a must-visit picnic spot. This 30.4-hectare (75.12-acre) park is home to about 350 tree species, making it a haven for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Stroll along the well-marked paths and choose a spot under the shade of a towering tree to enjoy your picnic. Keep an eye out for the resident monkeys playing among the branches!

3. Karura Forest

Karura forest, a leading picnic site in Nairobi, Kenya
Karura Forest – one of the leading picnic sites in Nairobi. Image by FIT-A-PALOOZA.

If you are looking for a picnic spot that offers a wide range of activities, Karura Forest is the place to go. This urban forest boasts several walking and cycling trails, making it perfect for those who want to combine their picnic with outdoor adventures. You can rent a bike, explore the lush forest, and then settle down for a picnic in one designated area.

The picnic fee per person is Ksh. 150 for adults and Ksh. 100 for kids below 12 years. Do not forget to explore the park’s waterfalls.

4. Uhuru Gardens

where to picnic in Nairobi
Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.

As the site where Kenya’s flag was first raised during independence, Uhuru Gardens holds historical significance. The park features beautifully manicured lawns, clean and well-maintained picnic areas, and several monuments that commemorate Kenya’s struggle for independence. Take a moment to relax and soak in the history while enjoying your delicious picnic spread.

Moreover, this historical landmark has undergone major renovations to include a state-of-the-art museum and sculptures.

5. Langata Botanical Gardens

Nairobi's premier picnicking spots
Photo by sq lim on Unsplash.

Escape the city’s hustle and bustle at the Langata Botanical Gardens. This serene oasis is home to a wide variety of plants and is a paradise for plant enthusiasts. With its well-maintained picnic spots, tranquil ponds, and shady trees, Langata Botanical Gardens provides a picturesque backdrop for a relaxing picnic. Don’t forget to explore the garden’s extensive collection of succulents and exotic plant species.

6. City Park

Photo by Minku Kang on Unsplash

City Park is a popular spot for weekend picnics and family outings. This spacious park offers ample green spaces, thus perfect for spreading a blanket and enjoying a picnic. City Park also features a small pond where visitors watch the ducks swim by. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some beautiful monkeys wandering around.

Also, there are vendors selling snacks, fruits, and drinking water in and around this park.

7. Uhuru Park

Picnicking in Nairobi's Uhuru Park
Picnicking in Nairobi’s Uhuru Park. Photo by Jennifer Wu on WikiMedia.

Are you after a central picnic site in Nairobi city? Uhuru Park is a fantastic option. Located near the city center, this iconic park offers stunning views of the Nairobi skyline and the adjacent Nairobi Dam. In 2022, renovations were made to give the park a new look and to attract more tourists.

This picnic spot has vast open spaces, well-maintained walkways, and manicured lawns. It is an ideal picnic spot for families, couples, and solo picnickers. While here, take a leisurely boat ride on the lake or visit the famous Freedom Corner, a historical site within the park.

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8. Central Park Nairobi

central park Nairobi
Central Park Nairobi. Photo by Onchester454 on Wikimedia.

Central Park Nairobi provides a convenient escape from the urban chaos. This picnic site is in the heart of Nairobi’s central business district and neighbors Uhuru Park. It offers peaceful surroundings, beautiful flower beds, and several picnic spots where you can decompress and enjoy a meal. Central Park is also a popular venue for fun events and concerts, so check out their schedule for any upcoming performances during your visit.

Nearby picnic sites

1. Ngong Hills Nature Reserve

picnic sites in Nairobi
 Trees dance to the rhythm of the wind atop the Ngong Hills. Photo by Shirley Elsie.

Just a short drive from Nairobi, the Ngong Hills Nature Reserve offers breathtaking views and a tranquil ambiance, making it an excellent choice for a picnic day trip. The reserve features rolling hills, hiking trails, and picnic spots with panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape. It’s among the best places to go hiking in Kenya.

Set up your picnic blanket, listen to the sounds of nature, and savor the incredible views of the Great Rift Valley.

2. Paradise Lost

picnic sites in and near Nairobi
A picnic table and tents at Paradise Lost in Kiambu County. Photo from the establishment’s Facebook page.

Last but certainly not least, Paradise Lost is a hidden gem located in Kiambu county — about 15 kilometers (9.32 miles) from Nairobi’s central business district. This nature park boasts lush greenery, mystical caves, nature trails, and a lake where you can enjoy boat rides. The park also features designated picnic locations where visitors unwind and enjoy a delicious meal amidst nature’s beauty. Don’t miss the opportunity to try archery and explore the caves.

Nairobi’s charming picnic sites

Besides being vibrant, Nairobi is also a treasure trove of picturesque picnic sites. Whether you prefer a tranquil natural setting, a park with historical significance, or a convenient location within the city, Nairobi has something for everyone. From the serene Oloolua Nature Trail to the panoramic views of Ngong Hills Nature Reserve, each of these top picnic sites offers a unique experience that can elevate your picnic outing. So pack your picnic basket, gather your loved ones, and embark on a memorable adventure exploring the best picnic sites that Nairobi has to offer.

FAQs

  1. Are these picnic sites suitable for families with children? Absolutely! These picnic sites in Nairobi are family-friendly and offer safe environments for the young.
  2. Do I need to pay an entrance fee for these picnic spots? Some sites may have nominal entrance fees to support maintenance and conservation efforts.
  3. Can I bring my pet along for a picnic? While some sites may allow pets, it’s essential to check their specific policies beforehand.
  4. Are there restroom facilities available at these picnic sites? Yes, most of these picnic spots provide restroom facilities for visitors’ convenience.
  5. Is it necessary to make reservations for picnicking at these locations? Generally, reservations are not required for picnicking, but it’s always a good idea to check during peak seasons.
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