You don’t necessarily have to travel far to get enjoy a weekend getaway. Nairobi is strategically located almost in the middle of Kenya making it easy to get away for a weekend of relaxation. Many of these getaways are budget friendly and quite affordable. No matter your activity, a romantic getaway, game drives, outdoor activities, day trips, camping trips, weekend getaways this list should easily cover your desires.
1. Banana Farmhouse, Kiambu
A great hideaway to escape Nairobi. Lush green lawns full with shades of Jacaranda and spreading Acacias, an extensive garden, it can very easily be your weekend oasis. It’s just a beautiful and lovely place. Your hosts will be Juliah and Phil. Activities include: swimming, golfing, walking trails, leisure viewing of Ngong hills and best of all just pure relaxing!
2. The Ark, Aberdares
A magical place in and amongst the wildest surrounding. Located in the heart of the Aberdare National Park The Ark is crafted to resemble Noah’s Ark. If you love the outdoors and the wild you will definitely be at home here. Activities include: Wildlife viewing, Safari Drives, Guided bush/ nature walks, Bird watching, Visiting the Moorlands and Fishing. “In this intimate recess one can almost, but not quite, pat the animals, hear their sounds and smell the aroma of the night. This is a magical corner, where there is close contact with the essence that tells of an unexplored Africa, and where, very often, the visitor may enjoy in solitary state the beauty of it all.”- Monty Brown’s book, That pretty much surmarises why you need to visit here.
3. Rapid’s Camp Sagana
Team building, rafting/kayaking, picnics, water sports and camping are the main activities here. It is easily accessed from the Thika Super Highway. It is a truly wonderful outdoor activities destination. The interior and the campsite not only surprise you but also bind your interest. The place is special with breathtaking surroundings. The grounds are well maintained, waterfalls are exhilarating, staff are super, washrooms are clean! Fantastic place for great fun!
4. Rolf’s Place
Delightfully set up as a medieval fortress on the edge of a cliff edge of a cliff overlooking the gorge with access provided by an adventures suspension bridge. Just 30mins away from Nairobi it is a good place for a relaxing Sunday afternoon. The food is of International standard yet affordable and the setting is just meticulous. The place is ideal for enjoying a good lunch with serene views of the land.
5. Acacia Camp
Acacia camp is a hidden gem that not many people know of. You probably have driven past it without even noticing something exists there. Less than an hour’s drive from Nairobi on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway lies the delightful acacia camp. There are a number of activities you can take on when here. Camping is my favorite near any of the dams/lakes. You will be pleasantly surprised by the wild life that casually walks by your tents in the morning to have a drink. Wilder beasts and Zebras are plenty with a few Giraffes and an occasional Hyena. Game drives are thrilling and you is a perfect place for racing with your friends. There is also an Airstrip in the vicinity. Fishing is also allowed in a few of the dams. If you don’t want to camp there are 13 bandas available. The camp is really huge approximately 80km2
6. Lewa Safari Camp, Laikipia
Kenya offers so many options for spectacular wildlife viewing and Lewa safari camp just happens to be a unique one. There are numerous safari lodges offering the best, food, exquisite comfort e.t.c but Lewa is amongst the few that do a bit extra with those little touches that make it so memorable and enjoyable. It offers unlimited acres of wilderness and some of the best wildlife experience. Home to lions, leopards, jackals, grey zebras over 130 black and white rhinos e.t.c The big five are easy to spot here. It has large tented camps with en-suite bathrooms offering authentic comfort. The conservancy is famous with celebrities, photographers and writers.
7.Ol Talet Cottages
How about a place where you can just leave everything behind and just simply getaway? Take your loved ones with you and and enjoy a great holiday. Just about 40kms from Nairobi and near olepolos it is a great spot for a weekend getaway. The best part of this place is the bathroom, while taking a hot shower with a wide 170 degrees view enjoy and admire Africa!
Looking for a quick getaway from the city? Olepolos Coutry Club is just 28km from Nairobi. Famous for its traditional nyama choma and breathtaking views, you will not go wrong with this one.
A monolith extinct mountain in the great rift valley, south east of Lake Naivasha. About an hour’s drive away from Nairobi the mountain is good for a one day hike. The crater’s rim provides incredible views of the rift valley. A thick forest lies within the crater of the mountain. The hike is no joke though, it takes 4-5 hours and the initial uphill is brutal. Be sure to take lots of water, snacks and sunscreen.
Another hiking location, with even more scenic views than Mount Longonot. You can enjoy the wonderful views of the city and the Great Rift Valley. This hike is all about the views. A trek on this hill is a great get-away from the bustle of the city and just a place to chill, picnic and have a 360-degree view of Nairobi and its environs! The air is fresh and the walk is great.
11.Amboseli National Park
Sprawling over Kiambu County just a 2 hour drive from Nairobi sits the profilic Amboseli National Park. A 40,000 hectare national park, the 2nd most famous national park in Kenya after Maasai Mara. The park is famous for its large herds of elephants with scenic backdrops of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Nature at its finest. Perfect place for diving if you have the guts. Good for boating as well. The base of the falls has big rocks and you will hear the powerful sound of rushing water as it majestically rushes down. The guides entertain visitors by jumping from the top of the falls. To make of the most of your visit hire a local guide who will take you to the most appealing spots.
13. Chania Falls
Another waterfall just outside of Nairobi. It offers breath taking and scenic attraction of the water falls. Apart from being a birding site, Chania Falls sets up a great picnic, camping and retreat site. Ideal spot for Bbq as well.
14. Paradise Lost
Set in the deep greenery of Kiambu you will find Paradise Lost. The park is well maintained and clean. It has lots of activities on offer; camping, cave viewing, waterfall viewing, boat riding, nature trails, horse and camel ridings as well. Ideal picnic spot and just ok for camping as most of the activities can be covered in a day.
15. Tigoni Waterfalls
A peaceful rustic paradise, just 30 minutes away from the urban life. Located at the top of Serene and green tea farm of Kiambethu, it has magnificent lush green views of tea farms in the area. It is also home to a secluded 18m waterfall. Ideal for camping and a weekend getaway from Nairobi. This is top spot for picnics as well.
16. Giraffe Center
Just after Nairobi national park a mere 5 km from the city center sits Giraffe Centre. The main activity is feeding the giraffes from a high platform. Other animals in the Centre are warthogs and hares. It’s not ideal for a weekend getaway but definitely recommended for a day trip.
17. Nairobi National Park
Nairobi is the only capital city in the world to also host a national park. Just a short drive from the city center, it offers panoramic views of wide open savannah grass plains, a backdrop of the tall city buildings and scattered acacia bush is home to a variety of wildlife; the big 5 excluding elephants, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, deer, antelopes and many others. The park also has picnic and camp sites.
18. Karura Forest
Not really a getaway from Nairobi but within Nairobi. If you generally like outdoors and nature you will be at home here. The forest has over 50kms of nature trails for walking/running/cycling. You can also play tennis in the tennis courts. It is also home to over 200 bird species and a variety of animals as well including, monkeys, baboons, squirrels, rabbits, porcupines and a few others.
19. Hells Gate National Park
Located south of Lake Naivasha, the park is famous for its wildlife and scenery. The park has 3 basic camp sites. Wildlife such as Lions, Cheetahs and Leopards although present are harder to spot. Baboons, Zebras, Hyenas and Gazelles are common. There are also over 100 bird species in the park. The Lion King movie borrows heavily from this park. Just like Lake Naivasha it is easily accessible from Nairobi. Camping a weekend at the park is a great idea.
20. Lake Naivasha
Famous for its hippos you just can’t go wrong on this one. So many places to stay, so many activities to do for both leisure and active travelers. From boat rides in the lake, to fishing, to game drives to cycling at Hells Gate National park, Lake Naivasha has it all. Just 1 hour away from Nairobi it is easy to get there and spend a relaxing weekend. My personal favorite is camping at Fisherman’s camp.