Top parking spots in Nairobi CBD and how to find them

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Parking spots in Nairobi CBD. (Courtesy)

Finding parking in Nairobi CBD can be a daily challenge due to limited spaces and high demand. Whether you're a local or visitor, navigating the bustling streets to find a secure spot for your vehicle can be daunting. Here’s a guide to some of the best parking options in the heart of Nairobi and how to find them;

Zone System

Nairobi CBD falls under Zone I, which has the highest parking fees in the city. Here, you'll pay more but have a higher chance of finding a spot compared to other zones.

Public vs. Private Parking:

  • Public Parking: Managed by Nairobi City County, these are generally cheaper but fill up quickly. Rates vary depending on the vehicle type and duration. Here's a sample for Zone I:
    • Saloon Cars: Sh300 (daily)
    • Vans & Pickups: Sh500 (daily)
    • Lorries/Minibuses (up to 5 tons): Sh2,000 (daily)
  • Private Parking: These offer more convenience and guaranteed spots but come at a premium. Rates can vary significantly.

Popular parking options in Nairobi CBD;

Zone I - Secure and spacious:

  • Holy Family Basilica Parking: This modern silo boasts ample space and security, accommodating over 500 cars. Expect rates ranging from Sh100-500 depending on parking duration. They also offer a monthly parking rate of Sh15,000. (Location: Next to Parliament Road- City Hall Way Junction)
  • KICC Car Park: A large and secure public option with friendly attendants, perfect for peace of mind. Rates typically follow the Zone I public parking structure. (Location: Parliament Road)
  • Intercontinental Hotel Parking: This 24/7 secure lot offers convenience right in the heart of the action. Expect rates on the higher end for private parking. (Location: Parliament Road)
  • Serena Hotel Parking Lobby: This luxurious option offers peace of mind with spacious parking. (Location: Embassy Building, Nyerere Road)
  • St Andrews PCEA Parking: Ample space, friendly staff, and modern payment systems make this a convenient choice. Rates are likely in line with other private secure options. (Location: Nyerere Road)

Zone I - Budget-friendly options:

  • Law Courts Car Park: This public lot, which accommodates over 200 cars, offers good security at a reasonable price following the Zone I public parking structure. (Location: Taifa Road)
  • Sunken Car Park: Another public option with decent security with over 200 car capacity, following Zone I public parking rates. (Location: Taifa Road, Aga Khan Walk, Next to Re-insurance Plaza)
  • Utalii Street Car Park: This private open-air lot is a good balance between affordability and security. Rates are likely to be lower than secure options but higher than street parking. (Location: Opposite Utalii House)
  • Kenyatta Avenue Car Park: Another private open-air option that's easy on the wallet. Rates are likely comparable to Utalii Street Car Park. (Location: Loita Street, Opposite Kipande House)

Considering alternatives:

For occasional CBD visits, consider parking outside Zone I in areas like Zone II (commercial centers) where rates are generally lower. You can then take a matatu or taxi for the final leg into the CBD. Here are a couple of Zone II options:

  • Yaya Centre parking: This large mall offers ample parking with potential validation for mall shoppers. Rates might be lower than Zone I and offer additional shopping convenience. (Location: Argwings Kodhek Road, Kilimani)
  • Highpoint Shopping Centre parking: Similar to Yaya Centre, this mall offers validated parking for shoppers, potentially at lower rates than Zone I. (Location: Bishop Road, Kilimani)

Remember:

  • Opening hours: Some public parking lots, like Koinange Parking, have limited hours (typically 6am-8pm). Check before you go.
  • Events: Major events in the CBD can quickly fill up parking spots. Consider alternative transportation like carpooling or ride-sharing apps.
  • Apps: Apps like KERB can help you find real-time parking availability, potentially saving you time circling the block.

Bonus tip:

Explore street parking options if you're on a tight budget and have patience. However, be aware of street parking regulations and time limits to avoid getting towed.

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