Top Picks for Spectacular Safaris Nairobi Adventures: Ultimate Guide & Tips!

Lion - safaris nairobi

Ready to embark on safaris Nairobi and unsure where to start? From the thrill of a lion’s roar in Nairobi National Park to the grand spectacle of Mount Kilimanjaro rising above the savannah in Amboseli, this article demystifies safaris in Nairobi. Find out where to go, what marvels await, and get expert tips for a journey into the wild that suits your schedule and style, all just a drive away from Kenya’s capital.

How to Book Our Nairobi Safari Tours

For booking, inquiries, or questions about our Maasai Mara National Reserve safaris, please contact us at  or or WhatsApp/Call +254-748-258-880.

Our Most Booked Safari Tours from Nairobi

Our Popular Packages  See the Detailed Itinerary Safari Price/Quote
6-Day Amboseli, L. Naivasha, & Masai Mara Safari View the Itinerary From USD  1950  
6-Day Amboseli, Lake Nakuru, and Masai Mara Safari View the Itinerary  From USD 1665 
6-Day Hell’s Gate, Lake Naivasha, Lake Nakuru, & Masai Mara Safari View the Itinerary From USD 1745
6-Day Hell’s Gate, L. Nakuru, & Masai Mara Safari View the Itinerary  From USD 2050 
6-Day Nairobi & Masai Mara Family Safari View the Itinerary  From USD 2500
6-Day Nairobi, L. Nakuru, & Masai Mara Safari  View the Itinerary  From USD 2870
7-Day Amboseli, Hell’s Gate, L Naivasha, & Masai Mara Safari View the Itinerary  From USD  1945
7-Day Amboseli, L. Nakuru, & Masai Mara Safari View the Itinerary  From USD 1800
7-Day Amboseli, Naivasha, Hell’s Gate, and Masai Mara Safari  View the Itinerary  From USD 2395
8-Day Masai Mara, L. Nakuru, & Diani Safari View the Itinerary  From USD 1778
8-Day Honeymoon Safari in Kenya View the Itinerary  From USD 2309
9-Day Helicopter Tour Safari in Kenya  View the Itinerary  From USD 9068
10-Day Classic Safari in Kenya  View the Itinerary  From USD 3990
10-Day Kenya Wildlife Safari View the Itinerary From USD  3890
12-Day Safari in Kenya  View the Itinerary  From USD 4050
18-Day Safari in Kenya  View the Itinerary  From USD 7800
3-Day African Safari in Kenya  View the Itinerary  From USD 1600 
3-Day Masai Mara Budget Safari View the Itinerary From USD 1705

Key Takeaways

  • Nairobi safari tours offer a vast range of wildlife experiences in various national parks and reserves, with opportunities to see the ‘Big Five’ and other unique species, and special events like the Great Migration in the Masai Mara Reserve and white rhinos at Lake Nakuru National Park.
  • For those short on time, safari tours from Nairobi allow for quick, yet immersive safari excursions like day trips to Lake Nakuru or Hells Gate National Park, and the Giraffe Centre provides interactive opportunities with giraffes.
  • Multi-day tours and luxury experiences with exclusive activities like hot air balloon safaris provide extensive wildlife exploration and high-end comfort, and careful planning regarding tour selection, packing, and understanding fees is crucial for an optimal Nairobi safari.
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Lionesses at Masai Mara in Kenya

Discover Nairobi’s National Parks and Wildlife

Nairobi Kenya safari packages grant you access to some of the most acclaimed wildlife parks, sanctuaries, and game reserves, each offering a distinctive prospect to witness a wide-ranging array of animal species. The most sought-after destinations in a Nairobi Kenya safari include Nairobi National Park, Amboseli National Park, and Masai Mara National Reserve. Each presents a singular fusion of landscape and wildlife that includes the renowned ‘Big Five’ game animals: the African elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, and rhinoceros.

Whether it’s the thrill of a close encounter with a lion on a game drive, the sight of a sea of flamingos at Lake Nakuru, or the breathtaking experience of watching the sun rise over Mount Kilimanjaro, Nairobi’s national parks and game reserves offer an array of unforgettable experiences that cater to every visitor’s desire for adventure and discovery. Some of the top attractions include:

  • Nairobi National Park
  • Maasai Mara National Reserve
  • Amboseli National Park
  • Lake Nakuru National Park
  • Tsavo National Park

With so many incredible options to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect adventure in Nairobi’s national parks and game reserves.

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Topi at Maasai Mara National Reserve

Nairobi National Park

Established in 1946, Nairobi Game Park is Kenya’s inaugural national park and stands as a symbol of the country’s dedication to wildlife conservation. The park is home to a rich assortment of fauna, including the Big Five, over 400 bird species, and it is one of Kenya’s most successful rhinoceros sanctuaries. The park’s landscape is characterized by open grass plains and scattered Acacia bushes, combined with highland dry forest, riverine forest, and areas of rocky valleys.

Spanning 117 km2 near the city, Nairobi National Park offers:

  • Efforts in wildlife conservation and visitor regulations to ensure the protection of its ecosystem
  • A unique holiday experience for families, wildlife viewing, and wildlife photography
  • An unforgettable journey into the heart of Africa’s diverse ecosystems and natural habitat

Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher, a wildlife enthusiast, or a family seeking a unique holiday experience, Nairobi National Park has something for everyone. You get to visit this park when staying at the best Nairobi hotel and is only a few kilometers from Nairobi airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

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Giraffe at Nairobi National Park

Amboseli National Park

Situated roughly 240km from Nairobi, Amboseli National Park is a destination you shouldn’t miss on your Nairobi safari tours. The park is famous for:

  • Its stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Large herds of elephants and different wildlife species
  • Over 600 bird species
  • An array of wildlife including elephants, Cape buffalo, impala, lion, cheetah, and others
  • Five-star tented camps and luxury lodges for the best safari adventure
  • Masai village

Amboseli is a prolific habitat for game viewing and spotting the Big Five. The park itself encompasses five different habitats:

  • Dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli
  • Wetlands with sulfur springs
  • Savannah
  • Woodlands

Adjacent to the park are local Maasai communities, providing visitors a chance to experience and learn about Maasai culture. Embark on a journey through Amboseli, one of the top-rated Kenya’s national parks, diverse landscapes and get up close and personal with some of Africa’s most iconic wildlife.

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Amboseli National Park Elephant

Masai Mara National Reserve

The Masai Mara National Reserve is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Masai Mara is not only home to the ‘Big Nine’ but also features a diverse array of species such as:

  • bat-eared fox
  • bushbaby
  • bushbuck
  • over 90 other mammal species

Masai Mara is also a habitat for the Masai giraffe, known for its unique jagged spots and swift running speed, which can reach up to 50-60 kilometers per hour. The Masai Mara park entry fees is USD 100 from Jan-June and USD 200 from July-Dec.

The Great Migration is an iconic event where millions of wildebeest, zebra, and other herbivores cross Mara River into Masai Mara, pursuing fresh grazing lands and water – a truly spectacular sight during the dry season. To enhance your Kenya safari tours from Nairobi to Masai Mara experience, consider partaking in unique activities like hot air balloon safaris which provide an unrivaled aerial vantage point to witness the dynamic spectacle of wildlife, including the possibility of observing cheetah hunts or wildebeest river crossings.

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Leopard at Maasai Mara National Reserve

Short Safari Excursions from Nairobi

While multi-day safaris provide an intensive exploration of Kenya’s wildlife and landscapes, short safari excursions from Nairobi are ideal for those with time constraints. These day trips provide the opportunity to experience the breathtaking landscapes of the Great Rift Valley, the thrill of birdwatching, and the excitement of big game viewing all within a day’s adventure. Popular one-day tour destinations from Nairobi include Lake Naivasha, Lake Nakuru, and Hell’s Gate National Park, each offering a unique blend of wildlife encounters and natural beauty.

You could marvel at a herd of elephants grazing under the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, experience the excitement of a boat ride on Lake Naivasha, or feel the adrenaline rush of a cycling adventure through Hells Gate National Park. These short excursions offer a glimpse into Kenya’s diverse ecosystems and wildlife. So, if you’re in Nairobi for business or a short visit, don’t miss out on these quick yet enriching safari experiences.

Lake Nakuru National Park
Flamingo Watching at Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park Day Trip

A day trip to Lake Nakuru National Park is a feast for the eyes. The park, known for its large flocks of flamingos lining its shores, offers a unique wildlife adventure to visitors. Besides flamingos, Lake Nakuru provides sanctuary to a variety of animals including:

  • black and white rhinos
  • lions
  • leopards
  • giraffes
  • the rare Rothschild’s giraffe

In addition, Lake Nakuru National Park is a home for birds. Birdwatchers will be equally enthralled with over 500 bird species, including pelicans and kingfishers, making the southern end of the lake a prime spot for birding. The park’s elevated sites, such as Baboon Cliff, Lion Hill, and Out of Africa lookout, offer picnickers breathtaking views, making for a relaxing and picturesque day trip.

Masai Mara Game Reserve and Lake Nakuru National Parks are often combined to provide the best Kenya safaris. You can also combine Lake Nakuru with the best national parks in East Africa like Aberdare National Park, Ol Pejeta Wildlife Sanctuary, Samburu Game Reserve, Amboseli Park, Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Tsavo East & Tsavo West National Parks, Lake Manyara, and Serengeti National Park. You can enjoy boat safaris during a tour of the lake and the park entrance fees is USD 100.

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Rift Valley Lakes - Wildlife & Flamingos

Hell’s Gate National Park Adventure

If you crave a more adventurous safari experience, a private tour or group safari to Hell’s Gate National Park is indispensable. Unlike most national parks in Kenya like Samburu Game Reserve, Ol Pejeta Wildlife Sanctuary, Maasai Mara, Tsavo West, and Tsavo East, Hell’s Gate allows visitors to leave their safari land cruiser jeep and explore on foot or by bike, offering a unique and up-close encounter with the surrounding wildlife. The only other place you get to get out of your land cruiser jeep is Crescent Island and Lake Naivasha, one of the best Great Rift Valley lakes, making Naivasha the best place for walking safaris.

The park features a range of dramatic landscapes including soaring cliffs, stunning gorges, rock towers, volcanoes, and visible geothermal activity with plumes of steam. Adventure-seekers can participate in exciting activities such as biking, rock climbing, and walking safaris within the park.

Hell’s Gate offers a unique and thrilling wildlife experience with a variety of animals, including:

  • Hartebeests
  • Baboons
  • Gazelles
  • Buffaloes
  • Elands
  • Zebras
  • Antelopes
  • Reedbucks

This Hell’s Gate experience is usually combined with Rift Valley lakes and sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. Hell’s Gate is only a few kilometers from Nairobi city, located only 130 km from Nairobi airport.

Hell’s gate national park
Cycling at Hell’s Gate National Park

Giraffe Centre Visit

Nestled within Nairobi city boundaries, the Giraffe Centre provides an engaging and interactive experience for animal enthusiasts of all ages. Here, visitors can experience feeding, petting, and even kissing the giraffes, with the option to adopt one or more giraffes a few minutes after landing at Nairobi airport or checking in Nairobi hotel.

To add to this unique Kenya safari experience, participants are advised to bring their passport or ID card when visiting the Giraffe Centre. A visit to the Giraffe Centre is often recommended to be paired with a morning game drive at the Nairobi Game Park for a full day of wildlife Kenya safari adventure. This combination not only offers a unique wildlife encounter but also a fun and educational experience, making it a perfect Kenya safari day trip for families and solo travelers alike.

Giraffe center - safaris nairobi
Feeding Giraffe at Giraffe Center

Multi-Day Nairobi Safari Tours

If your schedule allows for a more thorough exploration of Kenya’s wilderness, consider taking one of the multi-day safari tours from Nairobi. These tours range from shorter 3-night experiences, exploring parks like Meru National Park, Tsavo East, Tsavo West, Lake Naivasha for a boat safari tour, Maasai Mara, to longer experiences such as 7 to 12-day safaris which cover extensive areas, including a combination of national parks using a 4×4 safari vehicle.

These tours can take visitors through a variety of destinations, from the Aberdares National Park and Solio Ranch to the renowned Masai Mara Game Reserve, and include experiences like mountain range wildlife sightings and rhino conservation. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast looking to immerse yourself in Africa’s breathtaking landscapes or a wildlife lover seeking up-close encounters with the Big Five, multi-day Nairobi safari tours offer an all-encompassing adventure that’s sure to leave an indelible impression.

Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks Tour

The Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks Tour combines the stunning views of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Amboseli National Park with the enchanting landscapes of Tsavo West National Park for an unforgettable safari tours experience. A range of safari package durations are offered, from a 2-night excursion focusing on Amboseli National Park to a 3-day tour combining Tsavo East and Amboseli, each providing unique vantage points of Mount Kilimanjaro and opportunities for big five wildlife sightings.

The Kenya safari packages typically include:

  • Park entrance fees
  • Unlimited game drives
  • Accommodation with meals in safari lodges and tented camps
  • Transport in an open roof safari vehicle
  • Pickup and drop-off services

The tour also enhances the game viewing experience with amenities like stops at key features such as Aruba Dam and Mudanda Rock. With flexible accommodation options ranging from economy to luxury, this tour ensures a personalized safari experience that aligns with your preferences and budget.

Masai Mara Game Reserve and Lake Naivasha Safari

Experience the best of Masai Mara Game Reserve and Lake Naivasha on a Masai Mara safari tour that combines game drives, luxury camps, and tranquil boat rides. The Masai Mara safari tours from Nairobi offer a chance to observe the Big Five during game drives and visit various luxury camps for high-end experiences and cultural encounters.

Lake Naivasha, on the other hand, provides a tranquil setting for leisure activities, including boat rides where one can see giraffes, zebras, and hippos, along with the option to explore Crescent Island on foot. From economy to luxury, the accommodation options for the Lake Naivasha Kenya safari cater to various preferences and budgets, ensuring a seamless and memorable adventure.

Tsavo national Park at Tsavo Kenya

Luxury Safari Experiences in Nairobi

For those desiring a luxurious Kenya safari experience in the wild, Nairobi presents a variety of high-end safari options. From lavish tented camps and lodges to exclusive activities like hot air balloon safaris, horseback safari tours, and scenic helicopter flights, these experiences are designed to provide the ultimate in comfort and luxury while immersing you in the rich diversity of African wildlife.

Luxury safari lodges in Nairobi are celebrated for their:

  • elegantly appointed rooms
  • fine dining options
  • comprehensive spa facilities
  • attentive service

From the opulence of Hemingway’s Nairobi, the safari capital, to the rustic charm of Elsa’s Kopje in Meru National Park, these lodges offer a unique blend of comfort and wilderness, making your Kenya safari experience truly unforgettable.

Luxury Tented Camps and Lodges

Among the myriad of accommodation options for your Nairobi safari, luxury safari lodges and tented camps offer an unmatched blend of comfort, elegance, and proximity to nature. These accommodations, such as the Finch Hattons Luxury Tented Camp in Tsavo National Park and the Sarova Shaba’s Surpelei Restaurant, offer meals with spectacular views, providing a luxury dining Kenya safari experience amidst nature.

While staying in conservancies may increase Kenya safari costs due to high fees, the exclusive access to private conservancy lands may justify the expense for a more secluded and unique experience. From the spacious villas with private pools at Ol Donyo Lodge to the serene lodge setting of Loldia House in the Lakes District, these luxury accommodations offer a range of experiences to suit every preference.

Exclusive Activities and Adventures

To further enhance your luxury safari tours experience, a range of exclusive activities and adventures are at your disposal. Some of the best Kenya safaris activities include:

  • Hot air balloon safaris, which offer an unforgettable aerial perspective of the Masai Mara’s vast landscapes and wildlife
  • Garden-to-table lunches at Angama Mara
  • A waterfall swim at Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp

These activities will add an extra level of excitement and enjoyment to your Kenya safari experience. Guests seeking unique Kenya safaris experiences can enjoy the following activities during a stay at luxury camps like Lentorre Lodge and Sasaab Camp:

  • Tubing on the Ewaso Ng’iro River
  • Scenic helicopter flights
  • Climbing craters
  • Adventurous sleepouts under the stars

These exclusive activities, combined with the breathtaking African landscapes and diverse wildlife, are sure to make your Nairobi safari a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Giraffe at Amboseli National Park

Tips for Planning Your Nairobi Safari

Organizing a Nairobi safari can be both thrilling and intimidating, particularly for newcomers. With so many options available, from choosing the right tour to packing essentials and understanding park fees and regulations, it’s important to be well-prepared to ensure a seamless and memorable adventure.

Here are a few guidelines to aid in planning your Nairobi safari. First, consider using a local tour operator for arranging your Kenya safari, as they typically have better rates for accommodations and transportation due to local connections and own their vehicles. This not only keeps costs down but also ensures high service standards.

Second, pack smart for your Kenya safari tours. This includes neutral-colored clothing, layers for cool mornings and evenings, sun protection, and personal hygiene necessities. Lastly, understand the park fees and regulations. Familiarize yourself with the payment methods, entrance fees for different parks, and vehicle entry fees to avoid surprises during your Kenya safaris

Choosing the Right Safari Tour

Selecting the appropriate safari tour is vital for a pleasurable and unforgettable experience. While a self-organized safari may seem tempting, it may not offer significant savings over using a tour operator and could compromise the wildlife viewing experience. So, it is recommended to use a local tour operator for arranging your Kenya safaris, as they typically offer better rates for accommodations and transportation due to local connections and owning their vehicles.

When choosing a safari company, look for one that provides knowledgeable guides and reliable vehicles. Also, consider the locations to avoid lengthy travel times, thus maximizing game viewing opportunities. It’s also important to ensure the safari company is legitimate. You can consult the Kenya Association of Tour Operators website and consider booking directly with a local Kenyan company to avoid markups from foreign agencies.

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Mount Kilimanjaro View with Giraffe at Amboseli

Packing Essentials for Your Safari

Preparing your luggage for safari tours differs from packing for a typical vacation. The key is to pack light yet smart. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Opt for soft, lockable bags for easier handling and space efficiency on light aircraft.
  • Avoid packing plastic bags, as they are prohibited in Kenya.
  • Be mindful of the luggage weight restrictions for in-country flights, which are typically capped at 15kg to avoid excess baggage fees.

When going on a nature hike, it’s important to be prepared. Here are some essential items to bring:

  • Neutral colors like khaki or green to blend in with the environment
  • Layers such as a fleece or warm sweater for cool mornings and evenings
  • Protective footwear for rugged terrains
  • Personal hygiene necessities like a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and any medications

By packing these items, you’ll be ready for a comfortable and enjoyable hike in nature.

Understanding Park Fees and Regulations

Comprehending the park fees and regulations is essential to prevent unexpected occurrences during your safari. Payment for park fees in Nairobi’s national parks is accepted via Visa, Mastercard, or the local Kenyan M-Pesa phone payment system; however, cash payments are not accepted. For non-residents, Nairobi National Park charges entrance fees of USD 40 per adult and USD 20 per child during the low season, while in the high season the fees are USD 60 per adult and USD 20 per child.

Vehicle entry fees to Nairobi Game Park vary, as follows:

  • Safari vehicles with less than 6 seats: Ksh 300
  • Safari vehicles with 6-12 seats: Ksh 600
  • Safari vehicles with 13-24 seats: Ksh 1,200
  • Safari vehicles with 25-44 seats: Ksh 3,000
  • Safari vehicles with 45 seats or more: Ksh 5,000

In addition, students up to 23 years of age, who are on an educational trip organized by a recognized learning institution, can access special rates if permission is secured two weeks in advance.

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Nairobi National Park - Wildlife

Summary & Frequently Asked Questions

Embarking on a safari in Nairobi promises an adventure like no other. From the diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes of Nairobi’s national parks to the thrill of short excursions and the luxury of multi-day tours, Nairobi has something to offer every traveler.

As you plan your safari, remember the tips shared in this blog post. Choose the right safari tour that suits your preferences and budget, pack smart, and familiarize yourself with park fees and regulations. As you set off on your Nairobi safari, remember that the adventure lies not just in the destination, but in the journey itself. Here’s to a safari experience that promises unforgettable encounters with Africa’s magnificent wildlife, stunning landscapes, and captivating cultures.

1. How much does a safari cost in Nairobi?

A safari in Nairobi can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000 per person, per day, depending on the level of accommodations and services you choose.

2. Is there a safari in Nairobi?

Yes, there is a safari in Nairobi. Nairobi Game Park is the obvious choice for a day visit or as part of a longer Kenyan safari.

3. Which month is best for safari in Nairobi?

The best months for safari in Nairobi are June through October, during the long dry season, for an authentic safari experience.

4. How far are safaris from Nairobi?

Safaris from Nairobi are approximately a 4-5 hour drive, making the Maasai Mara National Reserve a popular and accessible destination to witness the Great Migration.

5. What are the most popular national parks to visit on a Nairobi safari?

Nairobi recent traveler reviews shows that the most popular national parks to visit on a Nairobi safari are Nairobi National Park, Amboseli National Park, and Masai Mara National Reserve. These parks are frequently featured in safari itineraries, offering diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes. You can combine them with other parks in East Africa like Serengeti National Park.