Day trips outside of Nairobi
"When I landed in Nairobi I was super curious and couldn't wait to check out the city that people told me much negative stuff about. After exploring the city for about 4 days I have to say, that most travellers underestimate Nairobi. Sadly, they only stop in Kenya's capital for one night to start their safari adventure the following day without actually exploring the city. Indeed Nairobi has a lot to explore and putting the city on your bucket list is a must. My Top 10 things to do in Nairobi you are going to find here. Not the capital only offers a lot. The surrounding of Nairobi has super fun stuff that travellers shouldn't miss either. Here you can find my ideas of what to do for a daytrip outside the city:
1. The Forrest
If you don't want to miss out on the adventure stuff to do in Kenya "The Forest" is a must. Basically, it is an adventure centre situated in the green heart of Kenya. Getting there was already an adventure for me. In the morning I arrived from Mombasa. Together with my friend Kevin, a Kenyan and super tour guide, we headed straight to the outdoor spot that is about 1 hour away from Nairobi. The fact that Mombasa is 50 meters above sea level and 'The Forest" is about 2400 meters above sea level made me experience altitude sickness for the first time in my life. What that is you ask? Well, if you change locations with different altitude to quickly you might suffer from fainting and nausea. Fortunately, it didn't take me too long to recover, so eventually I could start doing the fun stuff they offer. I went for zip lining but you can also do paint ball, mountain biking, archery, horse riding and fly fishing.
2. Lake Naivasha
It takes an 2 hours drive from Nairobi to get to Lake Naivasha, the Great Rift Valleys highest fresh water lake. The fact that it is fresh water doesn't mean that it is a perfect spot to enjoy water sports and swimming as you might meet some dangerous friends in there. That's why Lake Naivasha is a perfect destination to spot hippos and crocs on a boat safari. Furthermore, it is ideal for bird watching, fishing, rock climbing, hiking and much more.
3. Hell's Gate National Park
Have you watched "Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life" or "The Lion King"? Then you have basically been to Hell's Gate National Park already. Why you ask? Because this National Park, an about 2 hours drive away from Nairobi, is super popular for film productions. Besides that, the park is known for spectacular sceneries. What was also super different from all the National Parks in Africa I have been so far is that you can rent a bicycle to do a cycling tour in the park. "Going on a bicycle in a National Park? Are they insane?", that was my first thought! "What about the wild animals?" You can calm down! All the animals you are going to see are harmless and used to tourists, so there is no need to worry. It it actually a super nice way of being in nature and close to the animals - way better than just sitting in a safari vehicle. I saw buffaloes, springboks, warthogs, baboons, zebras...
We also visited Lower Gorge, which is a volcano gorge with an super impressive and unique shape (design? structure? @ Nats don't know what is the right word to use). Walking in the gorge is a great experience. You will see hot water springs, stunning rock formations and several hot and cold waterfalls. Did you know that almost 50 % of Kenya’s energy is generated by Geothermal energy that is released due to volcanic activation? There is a geothermal field next to Hells Gate National Park - super impressive to see all the hot steam released by the earth. Even the national park animals knew about this natural heater long ago. On chilly days, they warmed themselves with the hot steam.
Other things that I haven't checked out myself but which I heard are worth a visit:
- Sagana River for White Water Rafting
- Aberdare National Park for hiking