Exploring the Hidden Gems of Nairobi

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Trees at Karura Forest. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Karura Forest

Karura Forest offers a lush, green haven perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. This urban forest features scenic walking and cycling trails, waterfalls, and picnic spots. It is an ideal place for bird watching, with over 200 species recorded, and you might even spot monkeys and bushbucks along the trails.

Kibera Art Centre

While Kibera is often recognised as one of Africa’s largest informal settlements, it also harbours a thriving art scene. The Kibera Art Centre is a beacon of creativity and hope, showcasing the work of local artists who use their craft to tell powerful stories and inspire change. Visitors can explore the art gallery, participate in workshops, and purchase unique pieces.

Matbronze Wildlife Art Gallery and Foundry

Located in the Lang’ata area, the Matbronze Wildlife Art Gallery and Foundry is a hidden gem for art enthusiasts. This unique space is dedicated to bronze sculptures of African wildlife, crafted by local artists. Visitors can tour the foundry to learn about the bronze casting process, browse the gallery, and even purchase beautiful sculptures and jewellery as souvenirs.

Kazuri Beads Women’s Cooperative

For a meaningful shopping experience, head to the Kazuri Beads Women’s Cooperative in Karen. Kazuri, which means “small and beautiful” in Swahili, is a social enterprise that produces hand-crafted ceramic beads and pottery. The cooperative employs over 340 women, providing them with sustainable income and empowering their communities. Visitors can tour the workshop, watch the artisans at work, and buy exquisite jewellery and pottery.

The Nairobi Railway Museum

Tucked away near the Nairobi Railway Station, the Nairobi Railway Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into Kenya’s railway history. The museum houses an impressive collection of vintage locomotives, carriages, and memorabilia from the colonial era. 

Ngong Hills

Located about an hour’s drive from Nairobi, these rolling hills offer a challenging but rewarding hiking experience. The trail along the ridge provides stunning panoramic views of the Great Rift Valley and the Nairobi skyline. It’s a great spot for picnics, photography, and connecting with nature.

Brown’s Cheese Factory and Farm 

A short drive from Nairobi, in Limuru, lies Brown’s Cheese Factory and Farm, a family-run establishment known for its artisanal cheeses. Visitors can tour the factory to see how cheese is made, enjoy cheese-tasting sessions, and indulge in farm-to-table meals. The farm’s dedication to sustainable practices make it a delightful educational day trip. 

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