You are currently viewing Your Ultimate Guide to Nairobi Arboretum

Your Ultimate Guide to Nairobi Arboretum

The Nairobi Arboretum founded in 1907 spans approximately 30.4 hectares of lush greenery, serving as a serene sanctuary nestled near the bustling core of the city. Located in the Kilimani neighborhood, roughly 3 kilometers from the city center and adjacent to the State House, it offers a verdant retreat for visitors seeking natural beauty and tranquility.

Nairobi Arboretum Board
Nairobi Arboretum

An arboretum is an area where a diverse array of living plants are cultivated for scientific study, preservation, public exhibition, and educational purposes.

The Nairobi Arboretum was Initially created as a trial site for exotic plants, it has evolved into a cherished recreational park and a center for botanical research. To many locals, it is more of a recreational site than a research center.

Access is permitted from 6:00 am until 6:15 pm, providing ample opportunity for exploration and enjoyment of the surroundings.

Nairobi Arboretum Entry Fee Charges
Nairobi Arboretum Entry Fee Structure

The current entry fee is just KSh 105 for adult citizens and KSh 50 for citizen children

For resident locals, it is KSh 200 for adults and 100 for children

For non-residents, it is KSh 600 for adults and 300 for children

Tips for Visitors

Nairobi Arboretum

Bring Essentials: Don’t forget to carry essentials such as water, and comfortable walking shoes. And optionally sunscreen. But remember only reusable water bottles are allowed and disposable bottles will be confiscated at the gate checkpoint.

Respect Nature: Help preserve the Arboretum’s natural beauty by refraining from littering and avoiding damage to plants and wildlife.

Stay Safe: While the Arboretum is generally safe, it’s advisable to avoid isolated areas, especially after dark. Stick to the main trails and be mindful of your surroundings.

This is a cash-free place: The accepted payment mode is M-PESA which involves providing your number and a prompt STK push is sent to your phone where you enter your PIN to complete the transaction

Arboretum Ground Rules

Nairobi Arboretum Rules
Arboretum Rules

Getting to Nairobi Arboretum

Getting to the Nairobi Arboretum offers a few travel options, each with its charm and convenience.

If you’re up for it, hopping on a ride-sharing service like Uber or Bolt is a breeze. Just tap your destination into the app, and you’re on your way.

Also Read: Bolt vs Uber in Kenya; Which App Should You Use?

Or, if you’re feeling the call of the open road, driving yourself there is always an option.

However, it’s worth noting that buses or matatus don’t have access to the Arboretum, so it’s either ride-sharing or your wheels.

But hey, don’t discount the good ol’ power of your own two feet! If you’re feeling adventurous and fancy a bit of exercise, walking from Nairobi’s CBD is doable.

It’s not as far as you might think! Just set your sights on the University of Nairobi, either through Muindi Mbigu Street or Koinange Street. From there, follow the University wall until you hit Uhuru Highway. Then, it’s a simple jaunt down State House Road and Arboretum Drive, and voila! You’ve arrived in nature’s paradise.

University Way, Uhuru Highway
University Way intersection with Uhuru Highway

Now, if you’re crunching numbers in your head, wondering about the cost of a ride-sharing trip: On average, a trip from the CBD to the Arboretum will set you back somewhere between KSH 200 and 300, depending on factors like time of day, weather, and how many other folks are clamoring for a ride at that moment.

If you arrive by car, you’ll need to register it and may be required to pay a parking fee upon ticketing. This involves providing your vehicle’s number plate to the attendants on duty.

Things to Do

The Nairobi Arboretum isn’t just a green space—it’s a hub of activity and relaxation for all kinds of visitors. Whether you’re flying solo, hanging out with a group, or enjoying a romantic rendezvous, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

For the Social Butterflies: If you’re rolling with a crew, the Arboretum is prime picnic territory. Gather your friends for a laid-back lunch amidst the greenery, or join in on one of the many events or team-building activities that often take place here.

Nairobi Arboretum | Eat African Greenheart

For the Lone Wolves: Flying solo? No problem! Embrace your solitude with a solo picnic under the canopy of trees, or switch up your workspace and bring your laptop for a refreshing change of scenery.

If you prefer analog entertainment, lose yourself in the pages of a book, crank up a podcast, or let the raw energy of black metal lyrics fuel your thoughts.

If you are a nerd you can as well do what the arboretum is all about; learn about different trees from the fact sheets stuck on them!

Hidden Gems: Even on the busiest days, you can still find a slice of serenity. The Arboretum boasts plenty of open spaces and secluded trails, perfect for finding your oasis amidst the bustling greenery. Whether you’re sprawled out on the grass or lounging on a bench, there’s always a spot waiting just for you. I find the sisal staircase to be the best place for me, there is virtually no one there and it is all relaxing and peaceful

Nairobi Arboretum
Sisal Staircase

With its diverse landscapes and vibrant flora, the Arboretum is a dream come true for photographers. Just be sure to snag a camera pass at the gate if you’re bringing your gear along. And while the bird population may not rival that of an aviary, keep your eyes peeled for the occasional feathered friend—or mischievous monkey—darting through the trees.

Fitness Fanatics: Rise and shine with a morning jog along the Arboretum’s tranquil trails. With the paths opening bright and early at 6 am, it’s the perfect way to start your day on the right foot.

Regrettably, biking and ziplining activities are not available at the Arboretum. However, if you’re itching for a cycling adventure, Karura Forest is your go-to destination. At the Arboretum, the vibe is all about unwinding and embracing a laid-back atmosphere.

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