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Hiking in and around Nairobi with kids (PLUS SAFE)

Rochester, mn
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Hiking in and around Nairobi with kids (PLUS SAFE)

I have been trying to do some research to find a safe and relatively easy place that is on the South side of Nairobi. We will like to break a Mara to Amboseli drive and are looking for a an relatively easy place to hike with 2 little kids. This place could be anywhere on way to Amboseli from Mara.

I see some reference to Ngong Hills and Karura Forest but our biggest concern will be SAFETY and EASY TRAILS. Not that worried about park enterance price per se....

Mombasa, Kenya
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1. Re: Hiking in and around Nairobi with kids (PLUS SAFE)

Are you staying a night in Nairobi? Where? There are no hiking routes in Karura forest or in Ngongs, you also have to get to Ngongs which are not really on the way to Amboseli.

If you want a day or two break and do some hiking, forget Nairobi and look at staying in Naivasha on the lake. There you can go to Hell's Gate park or Cresent Island, take a boat ride on the lake and enjoy a bit of activity in safety.

If you are still planning to stay in Nairobi, most places in Nairobi do not even have pavements, so walking with kids from place to place is not an option really and as I mentioned there are no public hiking routes/places. Therefore in Nairobi think about visiting David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust - elephant orphanage (from 11am to 12noon stricktly unless you forster an elephant and the you can make an arrangement to see them at 5pm); giraffe centre where kids can enjoy feeding girrafes; Nairobi National Park Nature Trail at the entrance to the Nairobi National Park - a nice walk and you can see some animals in enclosures.

Drive from Mara to Amboseli in one day is a definite no-no.

Have a lovely trip!

Larissa

Tijara Beach Hotel

Edited: 12:19 am, April 28, 2013
Rochester, mn
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2. Re: Hiking in and around Nairobi with kids (PLUS SAFE)

That all makes sense. Actually, we are more or less thinking of Naivasha too but then I wonder if it is worth going from Mara all the way to Naivasha (8-10 hours) and not be able to do much hiking wuith the kids at Hell's gate. I saw some youtube videos for Hell's gate and am getting concerned now if our kids will be able to do it. So, I am re-thinking our decision. Currently, we have 2 days Kakamega, 2 days Mara Triangle, 2 days Naivasha and 2 days Amboseli. We are thinking, if it will make more sense to do 2 days Kakamega, 3 days Mara, 1 day somewhere (WHERE I NEED SUGGESTIONS....) in and around Nairobi and then 2 days Amboseli.

Will appreciate ANY guidance. Thank you VERY much.....

Mombasa, Kenya
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3. Re: Hiking in and around Nairobi with kids (PLUS SAFE)

Well, Naivasha is not as far from Mara, give it approximately 5 hours from Mara, not 8-10. Naivasha is an hour from Nairobi + apprx 5 hours to Amboseli + give it an hour to go around/through Nairobi. So you can still look at Naivasha as your break.

However, if you feel that Hell's Gate is too much for your kids, look at staying at Fairview Hotel in Nairobi for the night and do what I described earlier in Nairobi. For more budget version of staying in Nairobi look at Aeroclub of East Africa - it is inside Wilson, lots of small planes landing and taking off, nice pub, quite pleasant basic but comfortable accommodation, and is on the side of Giraffe Centre, Elephants and Nairobi National Park. It is also on the right side of Nairobi for your morning drive to Amboseli.

From the other hand, by the time you get to Nairobi from Mara, settle down and with your next day early ironing drive to Amboseli, you will most probably have time to just refresh, have supper and an have early night, not for all the trips around Nairobi. Whichever way you look at it, I would not swap a potential extra night on safari for an extra night in Nairobi to do all the above. So add an extra night to Mara, have Nairobi as just overnight R&R break for a night only and leave for Amboseli early in the morning - that would be my advice.

Happy planning!

Larissa

Tijara Beach Hotel

Edited: 1:38 pm, April 28, 2013
London, United...
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4. Re: Hiking in and around Nairobi with kids (PLUS SAFE)

abc,

As a matter of interest, how old are the '2 little kids'?

GJ

Rochester, mn
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5. Re: Hiking in and around Nairobi with kids (PLUS SAFE)

Our kids are 4 and 7

London, United...
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6. Re: Hiking in and around Nairobi with kids (PLUS SAFE)

Hell’s Gate probably isn’t suited to a 4 year old in my opinion. Larissa has given you some idea of ‘other things’ in Nairobi much better suited to their ages. Sheldrick, the Giraffe Centre and Nature Walk adjacent to the NP would be ideal for them, an there is a nice spot for lunch there too, with monkeys running around the roof, it always makes the kids giggle, but remember they are wild, so don’t allow the kids to go after tem.

That said, I would shy away from The Norfolk, and opt for a place in the Karen area, due to the traffic, which can drive the little folk insane. Another alternative to the Aero is the Wildebeest Eco Camp, very well priced and has a communal feel, the owners actually have a couple of kids too, one about 5 or 6, so that may make life easier for you too, he’ll doubtless be keen to run them around the large garden and give you a break!

GJ

Kenya
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7. Re: Hiking in and around Nairobi with kids (PLUS SAFE)

Larissa

I beg to differ with your suggestion of no hiking routes in Karura forest and Ngong hills.. We go there for hikes and there are trails every other wknd. There're very good trails in both places

Ngong hills is a very nice hiking trail though maybe not exciting for the little kids as it can be a little challenging,and you must take an armed forest ranger at the KFS(Kenya Forest Service) post at the start of the hike for a small fee

Karura also has very nice trails,both for hiking and biking,with waterfalls et al.. and good even for kids. We hike and bike by ourselves at Karura,but maybe for you being a visitor,you could take a ranger at the entrance. Take a taxi from where you'll be staying in Nairobi and ask them to take you to the Karura forest gate

Another place i would recommend is the Oloolua forest in Karen. It's very ideal for a family walk. It's near the Karen blixen and managed by the National Museums of Kenya

The safari walk near the main Nairobi National Park entrance is great and the kids will Love it!

Enjoy your time in Kenya!

Mombasa, Kenya
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8. Re: Hiking in and around Nairobi with kids (PLUS SAFE)

Shiruz, thank you :)

Karura forest is the place my husband knows from his childhood and I know for the last 20+ years as Muthaiga is home. I know Ngongs not as well but used to go there often for for various activities when we lived in Nairobi. If you are a "local", you would know all do's and dont's of those places, you know where to go and which route to take, but still there are no public hiking routes where visitors can come and do their hiking or walking in comfort without making any special arrangements. Also, one has to know where to go to start the route, you have friends to call in case of anything, etc. It is not quite what you would have in Europe or in the US for example. So I personally would not suggest it to visitors who have only one day and do not know Nairobi. It is of course a matter of opinion :)

Larissa

Tijara Beach Hotel

manchester, United...
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9. Re: Hiking in and around Nairobi with kids (PLUS SAFE)

And who wants to take an armed guard when hiking with 4 and 7 year olds!

Kenya
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10. Re: Hiking in and around Nairobi with kids (PLUS SAFE)

Thanks Larissa

Come to think of it, there's really no place where a visitor can go hiking alone around Nairobi then, all of them you need a guide!

Never thought of it that way :)