Nairobi is defined by an ever-changing skyline, with new buildings and skyscrapers coming up. As such, camping in Nairobi may sound like an oxymoron, but then again this is the only capital city in the world with a national park.
If you’re looking for an adventure this Easter holiday, you could try camping in the city and its environs. Here are a few of the popular camping spots that will reconnect you to nature all the while staying connected online.
1. Nairobi National Park
The park is popular for early morning or evening game drives. The Twiga Campsite allows visitors to the park to enjoy game drives without feeling rushed. Stargazing is possible on rare nights when the city is hit by a power blackout. The park is run by the Kenya Wildlife Service.
Nairobi Tented Camp
Nairobi Tented Camp is a glamping spot within the park with luxuries like hot showers, flush toilets, and a queen-size bed. The Meru tents are placed at the heart of the riverine forest, ensuring an authentic safari experience.
2. Oloolua Forest
Oloolua Forest is just a 20-kilometre drive from the city centre. Inside the forest is a public campsite that is well equipped with running water and pit latrines to make your stay among the local primates relatively comfortable. The 250 hectares of indigenous forest has a mapped nature trail, spectacular waterfall, picnic site, caves, and a viewing tower.
A haven for hanging out with friends, soul searching or reconnecting with your partner.
The National Museums of Kenya helps to conserve and protect the forest.
3. Kisames Giraffe Camp
On the eastern slopes of the Ngong Hills is Kisames Giraffe Camp, a 13-acre giraffe habitat. The campsite is ideal for those who love outdoor activities like ziplining, rope obstacles, hiking and cycling through nature trails. You can hike to the top of the Ngong Hills for a spectacular view of the city.
Get cozy in the evening over a bonfire as you watch the sun set with giraffes dotting the background as they have a drink at the dam. The area has little light pollution which makes star gazing a pleasure.
4. Fourteen Falls
The 27-metre high Fourteen Falls is an hour’s drive northeast from the city. You can camp at the 14 Falls Lodge. The traditional thatched cottages are available for a night’s stay complete with self-catering facilities.
For a memorable night under the stars with your children, you could light a bonfire, roast marshmallows and narrate stories. The 30-acre lodge also has a fairly-priced restaurant for those who would rather not cook.
5. Ol Donyo Sabuk
Ol Donyo Sabuk means “big mountain” in the Maasai language since it towers at 2,100m. The Akamba call it kiima kya mboo meaning “buffalo mountain.”
A visit to Ol Donyo Sabuk (Kilima Mbogo) Park can be easily combined with a trip to Fourteen Falls as they are only 10km apart. The park has three camping grounds; Turacco Public Campsite at the entrance gate, Rock Hyrax, which is 2km from the gate, and Summit Camp located 9km from the gate.
To prepare for camping out, remember to carry your camping gear, a GSM phone, lighter, torch, insect repellent and lots of drinking water. The fun part about camping in Nairobi and its environs is in experiencing the remote, while being close to the city.