If you’re in Nairobi and love the great outdoors and wildlife in particular, there is enough facilities to indulge your passions at the Nairobi National Park which is located just 8Km from the city center. This is one easy safari as you move from city life to wildlife in just a matter of minutes. Visitors are in the wild alright, but with the backdrop of the Nairobi sky line.
Whether your preference is camping, picnicking, game drives, events like beauty pageants, sundowners, team building, end year parties or any other, the open savannah is a unique and big enough place to do it all. Better still, it is outside the norm and with the various sites having capacity to hold between 50 pax to 1,500 pax, event organizers have a wide range of choices of sites.
For this article I look at Twiga camp site which I had to pleasure of camping at last weekend courtesy of Kenya Wildlife Services. The campsite is just 500 meters from Nairobi National Park’s East Gate, and 15km from the main gate on Lang’ata road. The East gate is off Mombasa, opposite Sameer Business Park. The campsite has a capacity of 200 campers.
Twiga camp site has modern facilities like electricity, piped water, hot showers, and a sufficient kitchen area. If you do not have your own camping gear there are some for hire at the cost of Kshs. 500/- for a two man tent. You will need to bring your own beddings or a sleeping bag. You can book the tents either from the main gate along Lang’ata road or at the East gate of the park.
Other than the budget for hiring the tents, you will also need to pay Kshs.200/- for the camp at the campsite, as well as the park of Kshs.500/- per adult Kenyan citizen. This park fees covers 24 hours. Vehicles will be charged separately and the amount will depend on seat capacity. Please note that you’re charged according to seat capacity and not the number of occupants in the car.
The large, open, and clear grounds at Twiga campsite are excellent for team building activities, picnicking, star gazing and of course the ever interesting late night bonfire and all the fun games and activities that go with it. From the campsite, visitors can also have game drives, nature walk and other events in the wild.
For exclusive events, the charges for Twiga Campsite are Kshs.80,000/- booking fee, Kshs.87,000/- for security fees for events that go on beyond 6.00pm, and the normal park entry fee per person. Small events like sundowners do not attract these charges. Those will only attract the usual park entry and vehicle fees. For this later arrangement there is no exclusivity though.
There are other fun places that can be accessed from Twiga Camp.
Ivory Burning Site
In 1989, history was made when the former President Daniel Arap Moi burnt 12 tonnes of ivory in a show of Kenya’s commitment to conservation of elephants. The gesture was meant to underline emphasis on Kenya’s stand – zero trade in ivory. The site where the ivory was burnt has been preserved and if offers an open and beautiful venue for picnics and other bush functions. This site will accommodate events for upto 1,500 people.
Impala Observation Point
The Impala Observation Point is perched high on a hill a few minutes away from the main gate. It affords visitors a panoramic view of the game park. There is a stone built rondavel and there are latrines nearby. It has a capacity of 250 people and is excellent for birthday parties, sundowners or just picnics in the wild.
King Fisher Picnic Site
This site is at a green shaded area and is ideal for early morning bush breakfasts. It is 10 km from the main gate and has a capacity of 300 people.
Mokoiyet picnic site
Mokoiyet picnic site is an open cliff top site that features a large parking area, shaded tables as well as latrines. It is close to leopard cliff observation point, looking down into the Mbagathi river gorge.