The 7 Day Nairobi Travel Itinerary and Guide

The 7 Day Nairobi Travel Itinerary and Guide
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The Best of Nairobi in One Week – A Travel Itinerary


This 7 Day Nairobi and Surrounding travel itinerary is designed keeping the following factors in mind:

  • Fly in and Fly Out from Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Airport
  • Hire a car or book a car and driver (Nairobi roads can be hazardous)
  • Have 8 days in your hand


Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya. It is a buzzing, hustling, vibrant, gritty and chaotic place. It sits in the Kenyan highlands on top of the Great Rift Valley. Populated by colonists in the 18th for its cooler climate, the rains and fertile highlands made it a prime spot for European settlers who suffered under the scorching African sun.


Nowadays Nairobi is no longer a sleepy village, it is the third-largest economy in Africa and the city is expanding at a huge rate. Everywhere you will see tower blocks emerging, restaurants and bars being opened, and swarms of tourists heading to world-famous sights. But Nairobi isn’t a city of ancient architecture and pristine plazas. Nairobi is famous for its animals. And it is the only city in the world with a National Park in the city bounds. Nairobi is also one of the destinations that is perfect for both – a family vacation as there are lots of things to do with kids in Nairobi, most of which are mentioned in this Nairobi Travel Guide as well ; or a budget backpacking holiday ! For some really amazing budget travel hacks for Nairobi and Kenya, do check out this Kenya Budget Travel Guide !


Nairobi National Park is 100 sq km right in the city where wild animals are free to roam and to come and go as they please. 4 of the big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo) are in the park, elephants had to be relocated due to human-wildlife conflict. In Nairobi, animals aren’t just confined to the park, you see giraffes on the way to work, warthogs on the school playing fields and monkeys in your garden. 



Animals and humans coexist in a way that is special and unique to this vibrant African city.


One Week in Nairobi - Ultimate Travel Itinerary | theETLRblog
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Day 1 – Nairobi 

Land at Jomo Kenyatta International airport, make your way to your accommodation in the leafy suburb of Karen. Karen is on the outskirts of Nairobi, close to the wildlife points and filled with many fabulous shops and restaurants. 

Relax by the pool, take a walk in Ololua Forest and have dinner at the unbeatable Talisman restaurants. If it’s a Friday you’ll find locals dancing to the local DJ until the early hours of the morning. The best way to kick off your epic trip to Kenya and Nairobi.



Day 2 – David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Giraffe Manor

Start the Day 2 of your epic 7 day trip to Nairobi, by visiting the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. This charitable organisation rescues orphaned elephants from all over Kenya and Tanzania and rehabilitates them before returning them to the wild. Visit DSWT to meet the most adorable baby elephants, spend time getting to know them and meet their keepers and trust owners who will happily share information on the work that the trust does.

Stop for lunch at craft centre Utamaduni.

Visit the Giraffe Centre and Sanctuary. This charity rescues the endangered Rothschild Giraffe and provides them with a place of safety in the sanctuary. Visit the Giraffe Centre, meet the giraffe and feed them by hand. Get up close and personal to these gentle giants on raised platforms. Although these are wild giraffes they are used to visitors.



Day 3 – Safari at Nairobi National Park 

Highlight of Nairobi Travel Itinerary - Safari

The third day of this 7 day Nairobi Travel Itinerary is reserved for a full day safari at Nairobi National Park. 

The park may be small but it packs a punch; lion, leopard, hyena, cheetah, rhino, hippo, crocodiles, jackals and many more live in the park. As traditional corridors are open and animals are free to come and go, you have the opportunity to see most Kenyan wildlife here, except for elephants. There are various habitats across the park, from savannah to marsh, rivers and lakes to dense woodland. Stop for lunch at the KWS clubhouse and stay in the park for the full day.



Day 4 – Drive to Naivasha & visit Crescent Island 

Walking Safari in Nairobi

Naivasha is a thrilling 90-minute drive from Nairobi. The view as you drive down the Great Rift Valley is awe-inspiring; volcanoes rise from the bottom of the rift and eagles soar across its expanse. 

Spend the afternoon on a walking safari at Crescent Island. This crescent-shaped peninsula sticks out into Lake Naivasha. The lake hosts vast numbers of hippos, which frequently come onshore at Crescent Island. The sanctuary allows animals free access and you will get the opportunity to walk alongside giraffe, zebra, oryx, kudu, eland, Thompson gazelle, wildebeest, impala as well as buffalo and possibly hyena. Be wary of the hippos, hyena and buffalo.

Day 5 – Naivasha – Hells Gate

Hell's Gate National Park - Inspiration for Lion King | Nairobi Travel Itinerary
Hells Gate National Park | Flickr | Ninara

Hells Gate National Park is the park on which the Lion King movie was based. A dramatic volcanic landscape of peaks and valleys, caves, rivers and its infamous gorge. Essentially a wildlife sanctuary – the park is largely filled with Kenya’s more friendly animals; Zebra, Hartebeest Thomson’s Gazelle, Klipspringer, Antelope and Reedbuck, although there are buffalo too and the odd Leopard and Lion may haunt the mountains. Hell’s Gate is named for its geothermal activity; hot springs and plumes of scalding steam are a common site and huffing, puffing, belching park that is an experience not to be missed. 



Day 6 – Naivasha – take a boat tour and visit Crater Lake 

Spend the day on the lake. Take a boat tour and get up close and personal with the hippos. You can tour the entire lake where experienced guides will navigate your stomach clenchingly close to huge hippo families. The lake has amazing birdlife, eagles and herons in huge numbers as well as the fiercely ugly marabou stork. 

In the afternoon visit the dormant crater lake volcano. A jade-green lake fills the pit on the extinct volcano. Visit the sanctuary with its many trails up and around the volcano, the park is filled with game and has views all over the rift and Naivasha surrounds.



Day 7 – Return to Nairobi & visit Spinners Web

Return to the top of the rift and back to Nairobi. 

Spend your last afternoon shopping for souvenirs at the wonderful Spinners Web. A huge house filled with treasures from all over Africa. Pick up Maasai beads, wooden carvings, woven rugs, reed bowls and vibrant clothing and jewellery. Enjoy lunch in the greenhouse before returning to your hotel.



Where to Stay in Nairobi?

Tourists may prefer to stay in the outer suburbs of Karen and Langata where the Elephant Orphanage and Giraffe Centre are situated and there is easy access to Nairobi National Park.

Karen Gables

This Cape Dutch-inspired boutique hotel is situated down a quiet lane at one of the most prestigious addresses in Nairobi. Once inside you are spirited away from city life into a world of tinkling streams and nature-filled gardens. 

Hemmingways Nairobi

Part of a collection of elite hotels it’s hard to imagine that this grand plantation hotel has only 45 rooms. Its elegance and serenity are unmatched in Nairobi. It houses an excellent restaurant, a sundowner bar with views over the Ngong Hills and an onsite spa and pool. 



When to visit Nairobi ?

Nairobi is in the highlands and the weather is considerably cooler than the rest of Kenya. In the long rains – April to June it can become quite cold and the rains can be long and frequent. In the short rains- October to November the rains are more sporadic, often sunny days with rainy evenings and nights. For the rest of the year, the weather is mostly hot and sunny. It can get very warm during the summer months of Dec-March. 


Things to Shop in Nairobi to remind you of your trip to Kenya


# Maasai beaded products- animals, bags and jewellery

 # Maasai Shukas

 # Kanga clothing 

 # Kikoy wraps

 # Aberdares tea

 # Carved wooden animals 



Summary of the 7 Day Nairobi Travel Itinerary

Day 1 – Land in Nairobi 

Day 2 – Explore David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Giraffe Centre

Day 3 – Safari at Nairobi National park 

Day 4 – Naivasha and Crescent Island 

Day 5 – Visit Hell’s Gate Park, Gorge and Hot springs

Day 6 – Boat tour on Lake Naivasha and trip to Crater Lake 

Day 7 – Return to Nairobi +  Visit Spinners Web 

Day 8 – Departure from Nairobi


We hope you found this 7 Day Nairobi and surrounding Travel Itinerary, to be of help to you, as a reliable Travel Resource for planning your Trip to Nairobi and Kenya. Don’t forget to Pin these images, and save this One Week Nairobi Travel Itinerary, for future travel planning.


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12 thoughts on “The 7 Day Nairobi Travel Itinerary and Guide”

  • NO WAY! You visited Nairobi! I’m so envious! This place has LONG been on my bucket list. I cannot explain how envious I am. I really want to go there so badly, but all the trips I’ve looked at are so pricy. I am still saving up for this trip. I with I could see all the big five, that would be so amazing. I love how you say that animals and humans coexist – this is something I don’t see here where I live, it would be so magical to witness this. Wow, what an amazing trip you had! 😀

  • I can’t believe I’ve never been to Africa, going there must be an incredible adventure! This itinerary is super interesting, I love the idea of taking a boat tour to see the hippos! I’m definitely gonna save this for when the right time comes 🙂

  • I have never been to Africa but I have always been fascinated with that place. Nairobi is surely on my list of places to visit, especially the safaris and spending time looking and clicking the pictures of the wildlife. I love the sound of a giraffe sanctuary and would love to visit that place. Thanks for these tips I will make a note of this so I can consider it while planning in the near future.

  • Very helpful guide for visiting Nairobi with all itinerary and tips. I am planning for Nairobi in near future and so saving your post. Stopping for lunch at craft centre Utamaduni is a great idea as I love craft centres too. Visiting the Giraffe Centre and Sanctuary would top my list as I love giraffes and it would great to see them in their natural habitat.

  • Wow! I never knew there was so much to see and do in and around Nairobi. I always thought it was just a brief halt before exiting out of the city to the national parks. And how cool is it to see giraffes roaming around the city! I definitely have to visit this place!

  • Nairobi National Park sounds amazing! I would love to see the baby animal orphanage. The problem is I don’t think that I would ever be able to leave to see more from there. The Nairobi merchandise is just so colorful and bright! What great souvenirs!

  • I had never heard of Nairobi, but now I want to move there! A city where animals and humans co-exist like this is pretty much unheard of. It would be the perfect start of a work day to be able to see a giraffe on the way in. I’m a huge animal lover. A Crescent Island walking tour would be a must as would visiting Hells Gate. The Lion King was one of my favorites growing up so it would be great to visit the place it was based off of.

  • Thanks for giving me so many reasons to consider a visit to Nairobi. Nairobi National Park would be an amazing reason to visit. It would be so cool to see wild animals outside of the confined areas too! A walking safari at Crescent Island sounds exciting. I might be a bit freaked if the animals got too close and I could not escape! I would not be the fastest runner in the group. Maybe seeing the hippos from a boat at Crater Lake may be better. A real wildlife adventure for sure!

  • Such an informative post. I, like rest of the tourists have always associated Kenya to Masai Mara. But this post proves there’s lot more in Kenya. The pictures are so inviting, and makes me want to visit Kenya now. I have plans to do overloading Africa sometime next year, and would definitely use this as a guide. Pinning it for my future use.

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