Last Saturday we went camping inside the Nairobi National Park courtesy of The Kenya Wildlife Service. We were a mixed group, most of the people were from travel and tours agencies and we were 3 travel bloggers. I have to admit I was abit nervous. I wasn’t sure how close we would be to the animals.
We didn’t have to worry. The Twiga campsite is located 500 meters from the park’s East Gate off Mombasa Road (opposite Sameers Business Centre, behind Libra House). It is actually a serene environment which has hot showers (the men’s had hot waters. The ladies showers did not have hot water at the time). There is also a modern kitchen area which has electricity so you can charge your gadgets as you prepare food. After getting off the bus we had introductions then went to check out the site.
We were surprised to find an empty field. The surprise was on us. We were given tent bags and told we had to put up our own tents. Some of us had never put up tents before; I had personally only done it once before about 10 years go. This is where strategic alliances came into play and we (the ladies mostly) got the guys who knew how to put up the tents to help us. Shiko and I were lucky to have Kevin who showed us how to put up the tents.
After putting up our tents, getting our mattresses and dumping our gear in the tents we headed out for an evening drive. We went to some of the picnic sites and even had a sundowner at one of the picnic sites. The sundowner was supposed to be short but we ended up staying at the spot for an hour and a half. The park is truly a beautiful place and it is great to have a place to get away where the air is clean, you can see some animals and you can still still see the city lights.
By the time we got back dinner was ready and we had some great but simple food. Then we headed over to the bonfire where we played a couple of games and had some laughs as people had their drinks of choice (cash bar). If you have a great crowd you can have fun wherever you are. And we did. The last of us left the bonfire at 3 pm after dancing for abit after most went off to sleep by 1 am.
We were to have an early game drive that morning at 530 but it was moved to 8 am after people went to sleep pretty late. The next morning we brought down our tents then had breakfast. After breakfast we went for a game drive and then went to the club house for a snack before leaving.
If you are planning on camping at the Nairobi National Park here is what you need to know.
Tents for hire. The park has 10 two man tent. Each tent goes for Kshs 500 per night. Only the tent is provided. Campers have to bring their own mattresses and/or sleeping bags. Booking for the tents is done at East gate or at the park’s main gate along Langata Road.
The camping fee is Ksh. 200 for a Kenyan adult. You still have to pay the park fees of Ksh. 500 per Kenyan adult for 24 hours. Vehicles are also charged depending on seat capacity (not number of occupants).
- Team building
- Game drives
- Events in the wild
- Nature walk
- Star gazing
Picnic & Event Sites
An ideal day trip venue or green escape from the city, this versatile park offers the following selection of picnic and event sites.
1. Impala observation point: High on a hill just minutes from the main gate this site offers a stone-built rondavel with panoramic views and a picnic area (with latrines). Popular for sundowners and birthday parties.
2. The ivory burning site: Famous as the place where 12 tonnes of ivory were burnt by former President Moi in 1989 to show Kenya’s commitment to the conservation of elephants and our emphasis on zero trade in ivory, the site offers a spacious and convenient venue for picnics and bush functions.
3. Kingfisher picnic site: Located in a lower ground, this green shaded area with picnic tables, ideal for early morning bush breakfasts.
4. Mokoiyet picnic site: An open cliff top site with shaded tables, latrines and extensive parking. Close by is Leopard cliff observation point, looking down into the Mbagathi river gorge below.
Events Sites charges (for exclusivity)
Site booking fees: Kshs 80,000
Security fees: Kshs 87,000 (for events going beyond 1800hrs)
The park entry fees per person is applicable
For small events such as sun-downers, these charges are not applicable. Guests pay the applicable park entry and vehicle fees. In such cases, the sites are not exclusive for the guests.