List Of Best Road Trips From Nairobi

Here is a list of the best road trips from Nairobi. Taking a road trip in Kenya is a rewarding way to get to know your country much better. Driving whether self-drive or with a driver also provides the freedom of being able to stop where you like to experience breathtaking sceneries & views and snap a photo.

These are our top and best-recommended road trips to take from Nairobi. These trips guarantee that you will feel a million miles away from the hustles and bustles of the city.

Best Weekend Road Trips From Nairobi

1. Nairobi to Naivasha

Naivasha tops this list as the overall best place for a quick weekend road trip from Nairobi.  It takes you less than two hours to arrive at this beautiful town where you may participate in several activities.

Crescent Island on Lake Naivasha. (Image © Bonita on Safari I Twitter)

On your way there, stop at the Traveler’s Chapel, also known locally as the Mai Mahiu Church, around 50 kilometres from Nairobi on the escarpment. This modest stone Catholic church, built by Italian Prisoners of War in 1942, is thought to be one of the world’s smallest churches. Once in Naivasha, you can engage in  activities such as

  • Walking next to wildlife animals such as giraffes at Crescent Island on Lake Naivasha
  • Go for a Game Drive at Hell’s Gate National Park
  • Take a sunset Boat ride on Lake Naivasha to get close up to the hippos.
  • Swimming at the Olkaria Geothermal spa

Depending on your time and whether you want to stay overnight in Naivasha or not, the extinct volcano Mount Longonot and the dense forest inside its crater offer an excellent stop for views across the Great Rift Valley from the crater rim.

2. Nairobi to Oloitokitok

Mount Kilimanjaro as seen from Oloitoktok early in the morning

Oloitokitok is tucked away on the Kenya-Tanzania border which is 227.3 kilometres from Nairobi and, as one would expect from a southern border hamlet, the spectacular Mount Kilimanjaro is nearby.

This little-known road excursion will take you south of Nairobi, along the Mombasa route, to Emali. The journey continues on the route towards Oloitokitok from here. The journey from Nairobi to the border town will take approximately four hours. While there, make a point of seeing the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro and Amboseli National Park, two prominent attractions in this region.

3. Nairobi to Lake Magadi 

Lake Magadi is located in southern Kenya, about 106 kilometres from Nairobi. However, depending on the vehicle, the journey could take up to five hours. It is strongly recommended to use four-wheel drive or a vehicle with high ground clearance.

Head over to Kenya’s “pink lake,” Lake Magadi, if you don’t want to travel too far from Nairobi but want great rewards with a beautiful lakeside climax. Lake Magadi is a huge but shallow lake that is 33.5 kilometres long and 3.5 kilometres wide.

Image © Maktejah I Twitter

Continue driving by acacia trees and traditional villages toward Lake Magadi’s soda lake, which is home to flamingos and other wading birds. Bring a picnic or dine at the Lake Magadi Sports Club and Tented Camp. It’s a beautiful lakeside site, especially at sunset, and it serves wonderful meals. If you stay, you may select between nice rooms and safari tents. Other activities and attractions here include,

  • Swimming at Lake Magadi Sports Club and Tented Camp for only Kshs 500
  • Enjoy interacting with the Masai living in the area
  • Bird Watching at Lake Magadi
  • Wild Animals
  • Visit Olorgesailie Prehistoric Site visit
  • Take a bath in the Hot Springs

4. Nairobi to Nanyuki

Nanyuki is a town in Laikipia County which is located 195km from Nairobi. Nanyuki is well-known as a vacation to Mount Kenya, Africa’s second biggest mountain. It also provides access to the famous Mount Kenya National Park and the Equator which runs through Nanyuki’s southern section. It’s hard to resist snapping a selfie at the Equator.

Nanyuki town is a lively place and not overly densely populated. It is ideal for picking up nyama choma, grilled corn and other snacks. The town contains a mix of natives and foreigners. Here, you’ll find activities and attractions such as

The Blue waters of Ngare Ndare (Image © thando travels I Twitter)
  • Visit the Ol Jogi Conservancy’s Wildlife Rescue Centre to see the adopted animals living in the zoo.
  • Game drive at Ol Pejeta Conservancy
  • Swim in the blue waters of Ngare Ndare
  • A visit to the Mau Mau caves and Burguret Falls
  • Try wall climbing at Mt Kenya Climbing Gym to stretch your muscles

5. Nairobi to Taita Taveta

Taita Taveta county is located in the coastal region of Kenya. It’s 330km from Nairobi via Mombasa Road.  So what do you do in Taita Taveta county?

Lake Chala by sunrise. Image © Miller G I Twitter
  • Game drive at Tsavo East or West

Tsavo East and West are two of Kenya’s largest parks, famous for their natural landscapes of hills, craters, and rocky scrubland. Tsavo West and Tsavo East National Parks are separated by a 100km highway, so you may see zebras, monkeys, giraffes, and elephants on your journey. Part of the road also runs across the railway line, so if you happen to be driving alongside a train, it makes for a fantastic experience.

  • Mzima springs

Along Mzima Springs, the boardwalk is well constructed. You can obtain some amazing shots of vervet monkeys, hippos, and the many birds that live in the area.

  • A visit to Lake Chala and Lake Jipe

Located between Kenya and Tanzania, Lake Jipe is home to over a hundred hippos and its clear waters reflect the surrounding hills and blue skies like a mirror. Take a boat ride to appreciate the tranquilly that surrounds the Lake. Drive around 1.5 hours from Jipe to Lake Chala, where you will be greeted by a stunning azure lake situated within a volcanic crater. Hike down the side of the crater and cool off in the lake.

5. Nairobi to Sagana

Kirinyaga County’s Sagana is a tiny town. It is located 100 kilometres north of Nairobi on the Nairobi-Nyeri route. It takes its name from Kenya’s second-longest river, the Sagana, also known as the Thagana. Sagana is well-known for sporting events such as,

  • White Water Rafting
  • Water Gliding at Angel’s bowl
  • Kayaking on river Sagana
  • Bungee Jumping

6. Nairobi to Namanga

Namanga is a border town in Kenya and Tanzania, located 163 kilometres from Nairobi. You drive from Nairobi to the border through Kitengela, Isinya, and Kajiado. The road leading there is an express highway with few speed bumps, providing a fantastic driving experience. The road has little traffic, both coming and going.

The longest part of the journey is passing Kajiado Country via Namanga road. Kajiado is a semi-arid region with a succession of hills dotting the landscape. You’ll constantly want to stop and take photos as you drive by. Long lines of trailers on both sides of the road await clearance for entry or exit of either country, much like at any other border town checkpoint. If your main goal is to travel to Namanga town, you will do a U-turn and return.

You might also choose to go over to Tanzania to sample the Swahili cuisine delicacies. Without immigration documents, a visitor can walk or drive in a radius of about eight kilometres (no man’s land) on both sides.

7. Nairobi to Samburu (Mt Ololokwe)

Image © Stephen Musyoka I Twitter

The 340-kilometre journey from Nairobi takes around 5-8 hours over one of Kenya’s smoothest, straightest, and never-ending highways. On this trip, you will most likely encounter more camels than cars.

The 2,000m high Mt. Ololokwe, which towers above the Samburu plains a short way past Archers Post in Northern Kenya, is known for its unusual flat-topped shape and high sheer cliff drops. This mountain, known locally as Ol Donyo Sabache, has recently become a significant magnet for people searching for off-the-beaten-path hiking and rock climbing adventures, and the views of the surrounding semi-arid plains and distant mountains from the top are stunning. Plan a sunrise climb up Mt. Ololokwe to watch the sunrise slowly casting a warm glow over the stunning Samburu plains. It is recommended that you bring a 4×4 vehicle with all-terrain tyres.

8. Nairobi to Aberdare National Park

Aberdare National Park is located about 150km (93 miles) east of Nairobi and is easily accessible from Nyeri and Naro Moru. The Park is 87 km (54 miles) from Naivasha. Majestic peaks, Intriguing waterfalls, thick rainforest & open moorlands characterize the Aberdare National Park.

The topography of the National Park is varied, with deep ravines cutting through the forested eastern and western sides, as well as several clear streams and waterfalls, some of which plunge 300 metres into the dense forest. Gura Falls, Chania Falls, and Karuru Falls are a few waterfalls that produce spectacular beauty. Karuru Falls is the tallest waterfall in Kenya plunging 273M below. The area serves as a crucial water catchment area for the Athi and Tana Rivers as well as a portion of the Northern and Central Rift drainage basins.

Karuru Falls, The tallest waterfall in Kenya plunges 273M below. (Image © Andrey Josephs I Twitter)

The Park is a hiking, picnic, trout fishing, camping and wildlife paradise with the second largest herd of black rhinos in Kenya and home to some rare species such as the elusive black Leopard and the Mountain Bongos (giant antelopes.) The park also provides a habitat for elephants, leopards, spotted hyenas, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, buffalos, warthogs and bushbucks.

Here, you’ll find activities and attractions such as,

  • Bird Watching
  • Camping
  • Game Viewing
  • Photography
  • Trekking


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