Judith KamauJudith Kamau 10 JULY 2020 123 views 6 min. read

5 best museums in Nairobi

123 views 6 min. read
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Nairobi, Kenya's capital, prides itself as a top custodian of its ancient historical information. It has also acclaimed an international stature for being one of the few capital cities home to a big national park. The city’s distinct positioning as a top economic hub also plays a central role in spearheading the magical Kenya brand, which is towering above other African top tourist destinations. The country’s richly guarded historical and cultural diversity makes it difficult to resist the allure of stopping by and having the best travel moments of life.

Why You Should Travel to Nairobi Museums? Why are museums important?

Zebra

The city's fair share of publicity on the African continent as your ultimate travel destination says it all. Endowed with an illustrious history of exhibitions spanning from science, art, and cultural interests, visiting the top Nairobi museums is worth your time. These best museums in the world allow you to learn about the 42 Kenyan tribes' different cultures and the outstanding commonalities that make them one big tribe. A tour of the museums in Nairobi will also allow you to have a piece of first-hand information on our country's history. This art defines some early economic activities and the exceptional knowledge of why Kenya regards itself as humankind's cradle.

I have tried to develop a compilation of five top museums in the world, which you need to visit whenever you make a brief stopover. They are easily accessible and surprisingly cost you relatively cheaper. Take a look at these magnificent top Nairobi Museums.

The Bomas of Kenya

Elephants

The Bomas of Kenya, derived from a Swahili word ‘Boma,' meaning a home depicts the traditional homesteads belonging to different Kenyan tribes. The Museum was incepted in 1971, and it boasts itself as a top destination welcoming more than 10 million visitors throughout this period. This tourist village located in Nairobi’s Langata area has a serene environment that is quite welcoming and comforting. A variety in aspects of Kenyan culture is at display here at the Bomas, with the preservation, maintenance, and promotion of the rich and diverse cultural values of Kenya's various tribal groups.

What Should I Expect at the Bomas of Kenya?

A visit to the Bomas will allow you to enjoy sumptuous meals such as nyama choma and mukimo that are as diverse as Kenya's traditional cultures. You also learn about the living styles, crafts, and cultural dances from the many Kenyan tribes like Luhya, Kikuyu, Luo, and Kamba. Occasionally, visitors get treated to traditional dances guided by the Bomas Harambee dancers who are always available to take you on an expedition through Kenya’s past and present.

The Museum also offers conferencing activities for events on an international standard, live concerts, and games. Hit the road and have a lifetime experience at this remarkable destination on Lang'ata road, 20 minutes' drive from Nairobi's central business district.

The Nairobi National Museum

Balloon in Kenya

If you are an enthusiast traveller interested in Kenya's rich heritage, this is the perfect place for you. The National Museum serves both as a place for leisure and a hub of knowledge to dig out loads of experience on educational content. Established in 1930 by the colonial government under the name Coryndon museum, it was later renamed Nairobi National Museum after Kenya’s independence. The Museum is home to Kenya’s heritage displayed through nature, a rich history, culture, and contemporary art. These exhibitions are all linked to the pillars of Kenya’s heritage.

What to Look forward to at the Nairobi National Museum

There is an excellent display of artwork on two floors, with a collection of outdoor sculptures. The presence of the nature trail winds through the available grounds and the botanical gardens makes the Museum one of its kind. It also has unique events that aim at promoting and appreciating the Country's heritage. The exhibits include more than 1000 stuffed birds and mammals, fossil remains from Lake Turkana, ethnic displays from the Kenyan tribes, and local art exhibitions. East African history is also displayed in the upper story.

The Nairobi national museum has kid-friendly exhibits, which makes it ideal for a family tour. It is located at Museum Hill, where there is an easy reach using public transport means or a taxi. Its location makes it a perfect stopover when you visit the Snake Park, which is right next door and other government offices all in its neighbourhood. It is usually open daily from 8.am to 5.30 pm, and you don't need to worry about food as its flanked by restaurants that offer you the best meals. You can also enjoy your picnics in the Museum's gardens when you are finally satisfied with the exhibits.

The Kenya National Archives

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An act of parliament in 1965 established the Kenya National Archives. The Museum boasts for holding more than 40000 volumes in public records and archives. It serves to offer consultative management of documents to the public and acquire and preserve records towards upholding national documentary heritage. Some of the materials on display are of political history, financial and administrative value. The National archives stand out because of the immense knowledge stored there, and how the information gives a chance to international visitors to learn of our history in details. It also has a collection of contemporary artwork from the East African communities, all at one stop. The National Archives Museum is located in Nairobi's Central Business district opposite the Hilton hotel.

What to Expect at the National Archives?

The place offers various collections, such as a generated microfilm collection on different aspects of new histories. You’ll also find a Well-equipped search room for local and international researchers. You'll also have a rare view of Murumbi art collection on the ground floor of the beautiful artistic building on the list. The art collection has stone carvings and sculptures from countries such as Ethiopia and DRC. The weaponry collection, African textiles and jewellery, musical instruments, and many African tools are all available. With only 150 Shilling, the National Archives is a place you need to visit with an entrance fee. The Sarova Stanley Hotel, Diamond hotel, and Galitos are all in your vicinity if you feel overwhelmed by hunger inside your tour of this magnificent place. 

Karen Blixen Museum

Giraffe

Karen Blixen Museum is one of the best museums in Nairobi. The Museum is located in the suburbs of Karen, an upscale neighborhood in Nairobi city. It is in a farmhouse on Ngong hills' foot, where a celebrated Danish author once lived practicing coffee plantation. The farmhouse received international recognition of the release of an Oscar-winning movie 'out of Africa.' The film largely borrows from the book with the same title written by Karen about his personal life. Much of the house's original items have been preserved, hence offering a captivating glimpse into a typical colonial-era home.

What You Need to Expect at the Karen Blixen Museum?

The farmhouse museum is open daily and can be accessed from the CBD either by public transport or a taxi. The Museum is suitable for history enthusiasts and book lovers. It also boasts as one of the locations where the movie out of Africa was filmed mainly. On your visit to the Museum, you'll take part in nonstop offered guided tours of the farmhouse and the then coffee plantation. The house has rooms featured in original decors. The available grounds also have valuable original equipment from the coffee farm. It is also located near other top Nairobi attractions like the Giraffe centre, Beads factory, and Kenya's Bomas, where you can combine destinations just for conveniences.

The Nairobi Railways Museum

Trees in Africa

The Museum has a lot of information regarding the history of Kenya's railways and its overall development. It was set up with a commitment to preserve and share the incredible history of railroads in Kenya and the impact brought along. The Museum is located in Nairobi's city centre near the railway station and is open daily from 9 am-5 pm. Non-local Kenyans pay only an entrance fee of 600 shillings.

What to Expect at the Nairobi Railways Museum?

The Railway Museum is dedicated to the history of Kenya’s rail network.  You'll find an intriguing collection of artefacts with a plethora of displays that illustrate the railway's initial construction. The exhibits include the reestablished locomotives and carriages, and the steam train used in the Oscar-winning film “Out of Africa," filmed in Kenya. From the Museum, you'll also learn about the Man-eaters of Tsavo's exciting details that terrorized the railway constructors. You'll also have the chance to see the ancient models of railway engines operated on the line, and exclusive photography of the railway running all its history. Another notable thing present at the Museum is the motorized railway bicycle introduced in Kenya during the colonial era.

A visit to Kenya, especially it's capital of Nairobi, offers you the most excellent tourist experience of your lifetime. The museums here are established to expand your knowledge and increase your cultural capital. You'll find a more comprehensive understanding of the regions living history, art, and intangible heritage of the people's humanity. Head out now and enjoy the Magical Kenya offerings, hidden in the extraordinary Nairobi Museums.

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Judith Kamau Writer

Judith is a Kenya based writer. Writing is her passion. She is the consummate professional with boundless enthusiasm. 

With a style that is spare and to the point, she delights in presenting facts accurately but also strives to lead readers into unknown worlds, worlds filled with ideas to explore and information to digest. 

Impossible meets the achievable, as she takes any challenge presented and makes sure that nothing is left to chance.

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