16 Fun Things to do in Nairobi during Lockdown
* 2021 Update*
I hope you are all staying safe as we continue dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. If you are anything like me, you are probably getting cabin fever and are looking for ways to stay sane. In this spirit, I have put together a list of things to do in Nairobi during the lockdown.
I have categorised the activities into two; indoor and outdoor activities so as to also include people living outside Nairobi. I hope this inspires you to try something new and to seek some joy in the midst of this gloomy season. If you do decide to go outside please remember to keep your distance, wear a mask and sanitize.
P.S you can still do these things now that lockdown has been lifted.
Things to do in Nairobi during lockdown
I wrote down some things you can do to cope with wanderlust at home a few months ago. Find that here.
- Watch Sports
Football fans in the house, this is the best time to catch your favourite clubs battling out for the league titles. The English Premier League and La Liga are back. Make some snacks and enjoy the game at home.
- Create an at-home cinema experience
Dim the lights, make some popcorn, drinks, and stream series or movies. If you have no plans for the weekend, have a movie marathon or binge-watch an entire season of your favourite shows. Here are some movies and series recommendations.
- Book a cinema session at Nyumba Cinema
For those who prefer to watch movies in theatres, Nyumba Cinema reopened. Get your family and/or friends and book a session. Find more information about Nyumba Cinema here.
- Virtual Historic Sites, Museum, Art Gallery Tours
History and art buffs, enjoy free virtual tours of museums and art exhibits from around the world. Take a virtual tour of the most popular cultural heritage sites in the world from your phone. Browse through their website to see the available tours. You can also download the Google Arts & Culture app to enjoy the tours.
- Online Airbnb Experiences
Learn a new skill or go on a virtual tour through Airbnb Online Experiences hosted by people from all over the world. Get a glimpse of other countries as you enjoy food tours, nature tours, club-hopping tours, making art, cooking tutorials, photography tutorials and so much more from the comfort of your home.
- Play Board Games and Video Games
Gather your family and friends and compete in a friendly game. This is the best time to up your competitive spirit. Check out these board games made by Kenyans; Kumiliki The Property Game, Kenya Counties Puzzle, 5050, Drink and Know Kenya and Quizpicable. You can also play board games with friends as you enjoy your meal at Bao Box Cafe.
- Have a Picnic
Have a picnic in the beautiful outdoors as you enjoy a quiet escape in nature. Karura, Arboretum, Uhuru Park, City Park, Uhuru Gardens, and Oloolua are all affordable places you can go to to escape busy city life. Check this post for more details. Arboretum charges Kshs 50, so take advantage of the low prices.
You can visit Paradise Lost, Evergreen Gardens or Paradise Gardens all along Kiambu Rd.
- Go on a morning jog/walk with your friends at Karura Forest
Catch some fresh air and burn some calories as you jog or cycle in Karura forest. Treat yourself to some breakfast afterwards at the River Cafe.
Catch killer views of Nairobi city from Ngong Hills or join group hikes to Limuru, Kikuyu, and Wangige areas organised by Lets Drift. I went to Tigoni, Limuru back in March with them. Read more about my experience here.
- Go Horseback Riding
Book an hour or thirty minutes riding session at any of the stables in Nairobi if you fancy horse riding. Xina Horse Riding School Ridgeways, Achi Stables in Karen, and Kitisuru Horse Stables are affordable options in Nairobi. The price range is between Kshs 1500-2000 per hour.
For those living in or around Limuru, visit Kawamwaki Farm to ride in the beautiful lush countryside.
- Go on a Safari
Game Drive at Nairobi National Park
Go on a safari right here in Nairobi, the world’s only wildlife capital. While you are at it, learn more about the animals you spot. Who knows, you might see some of the big five. Take your loved ones with you, rent out a land cruiser or van and enjoy your safari.
P.S. This would be a hit with the kids.
Safari Walk or Animal Orphanage
Take a walking safari at the Safari Walk or see orphaned baby animals at the Animal Orphanage. Both of these are located at Nairobi National Park. Read this post for more details.
- Drive Inn Cinema
Miss watching movies in cinemas? Enjoy movies with your loved ones on a big screen from the comfort of your car at a drive inn cinema. Xpose Limited in conjunction with Galleria Mall hosted a Drive Inn cinema last weekend. Check out their Instagram page for regular updates.
- Book a Staycation
Most of us are tired of staying home and waking up in the same bed every day. If this sounds like you, book yourself a staycation.
At a hotel
Most hotels in Nairobi are reopening and have discounts and offers on staycations. If you have missed waking up in a hotel room and ordering room service, check out these deals. If you are booking directly, make sure you call the hotel in advance to ask for the best rates.
At an Airbnb
Airbnb offers a home away from home experience that is often more affordable than booking a hotel room. Here are some of my top picks of beautiful homes in Nairobi that would make for a lovely staycation experience.
- Go on a Scenic Flight
Catch aerial views of Nairobi city and its environs from above for an hour. If you miss flying, this is a great experience. This is also a really good date idea. Get your loved ones and hop on a plane. Note that the minimum number of people for the experience is three, if you are flying solo, you will be added to another group of people. For more information contact Turnup Travel.
- Go on a Hot Air Balloon Flight
Enjoys views of the city from up in the air by going on a hot air balloon ride from Central Park Nairobi. Reach out to Air Balloon Services for bookings.
Rates are from Kshs. 6,000 per person for flight photography and a champagne breakfast.
- Eat out at Restaurants
** April 2021 update: Dining in restaurants is currently prohibited but you can still order take out from your favourite restaurant **
Most restaurants in the city are reopening. You can finally go for brunch, breakfast, or lunch to your favourite spots. This is a good time to try out new restaurants. I am currently eyeing Sunday brunch at Mawimbi Seafood Restaurant or at Fire Lake Restaurant in Radisson Blu Arboretum, breakfast at Honey and Dough, Lunch at PepperTree, and Dinner at Inti.
Go Go-Karting, try Paintballing and ride Quadbikes in Lukenya.
Visit Africa’s first and biggest aqua park, Maji Magic in the Waterfront Mall Karen. Full of fun activities, you are in for a wet and wild day.
Enjoy an immersive tour of the galaxy at the Nairobi Planetarium.
I hope that this helps you cope with wanderlust during this lockdown period. Travel within your city and explore the activities around you.
Which activities are you going to try? Let me know in the comments down below.
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Stay safe guys and until next time, Bye!