The Insider’s Guide: Nairobi National Museum, Kenya … To visit with Kids, or Not?

Generally, a trip to the ‘big smoke’ with the ankle-biters can be extremely daunting and not a lot of fun at all, especially when they are a little free-range, with no sense of spatial awareness and the noise-levels they produce … but we gave it a go …

Our Visit

Well, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised, the museum itself is impressive, our kids loved the whole experience and it ended up being a great family day out. The best moment for us was when they saw Ahmed the elephant… or was it the dinosaur outside? or was it the snake park (maybe just to gross me out :)? or the huuuuge array of beautiful birds? or the huge catfish? or was it the first time they had ever tasted candyfloss at the end? Gosh … it’s hard to choose! nevertheless, it was a great day!

Ahmed, the famous elephant with massive tusks became a symbol of Kenya at the height of the poaching crisis in the 1980s. He was placed under 24-hour guard by President Jomo Kenyatta. At the museum, they have a life-size replica of this impressive fellow.

There are a lot of birds, bones and beasties that have been collected over the years and they are fascinating to people of all sizes. Their cultural section is fascinating and maybe the most interesting section to me. We suggest you also have a roam around the gardens as there are some sculptures that the kids will love.

If you have time to see some live animals, there is also an adjoining snake/reptile park close to the museum. Undoubtedly you will all learn a lot from a trip to this place of historical collections and discovery, it is definitely worth your time…. we highly recommend it as a day out in Nairobi if you’re a Kenyan resident … or if you’re travelling to Kenya on holiday, as a family .. it’s a great place to start so you know about the country before exploring it!

The Museum is modelled around nature, culture and history – the three pillars of Kenya’s national heritage. The pillar on nature consists of five exhibitions (geology, human origins, natural diversity, ecology of Kenya and mammalian radiation). Culture includes creativity, cycles of life and cultural dynamism. History has exhibitions on the cycles of life, history of Kenya and cycles of life, and Kenya Before 1850. It offers a one-stop for visitors to sample the country’s rich heritage. In addition to the museum, visitors are treated to a variety of shopping and dining facilities. There are also some wonderful botanical gardens filled with sculptures, which are fun to look around when the kids get bored of being inside.

The Museum History

Dating back centuries, the stories and traditions of the peoples of Kenya are some of the most fascinating in the world.

The Museum was initiated in 1910 as the flagship museum for the National Museums of Kenya. It houses celebrated collections of Kenya’s History, Nature, Culture, and Contemporary Art.

In 2008, the Nairobi Museum opened its doors to the public after an extensive modernization and expansion project, the outcome of which was an impressive curated building that puts it in competition with other world-class museums. The Nairobi National Museum has collaborated with Google to create an incredible online curated collection highlighting the galleries of the Museum.

The Details…

The Museum is open on all 356 days throughout the year
Admission Hours: Monday to Sunday: 8.30 a.m–5.30 p.m
Nairobi National Museum is located at the Museum Hill, approximately a 10 minute drive from Nairobi city centre
Accessible both by public and private means.

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