Developed and donated by Alibhai Mullah Jeevanjee to the Nairobi residents in 1906, this small slice of heaven is situated in the heart of the Nairobi CBD. The park has been faced with a lot of trials and tribulations, including its possible extinction by the Nairobi City Council; however, the persistent and, fortunately, convincing objections by Jeevanjee’s granddaughter Zarina Patel and the Wangari Maathai Green Belt Movement have shelved such proposals.
Truly a treasure enjoyed by all, the garden consists of buoyant tree coverage that provides the perfect shade from the scorching Kenyan sun. It is also dotted with artistic benches and authentic sculptures that invites both young and old to relax in all its splendor. The park is free to the public and is seldom empty.
Uhuru Park is a popular assembly ground in which great and controversial political and religious gatherings have occurred, such as the promulgation of Kenya’s current constitution. The park also has several national monuments that celebrate and honor Kenya’s heroes during the fight for independence.
The park is located adjacent to the Nairobi CBD and is open to the public at no charge. The park offers various recreational activities such as boat rides — perfect for bonding with family and friends — a lunar amusement park and great, quiet reading spots. You can also enjoy the beautiful landscape and well-maintained garden that is graced with an artistic fountain.
Central Park, much like all the other parks in Nairobi, is adorned not only with a beautiful landscape but also one of the most historic monuments in Kenya. Built in 1988, this monument celebrates Daniel Arap Moi, the former president of Kenya, and his ten-year rule. It is the first thing that greets you as you enter the park.
The park is also fitted with a great playground for children as well as great spots to enjoy the company of others over a picnic basket. There are no entry fees; therefore, it is a wonderful place to visit and explore.
This is hands down the mother of all parks in Nairobi. It is the park that commemorates the actual day in history when Kenya gained her independence. All that history is summed up beautifully in the various and vast monumental statues within the park that reflect Kenya’s struggle and victory for independence, including the 24-meter high monument.
Its expansive grounds provide the perfect place to enjoy a picnic with family while reminiscing on Kenya’s heritage. It is also situated adjacent to the Nairobi National Park — one can occasionally see, at a distance, a few wildlife animals grazing.
If you ever find yourself in Nairobi, be sure to visit these parks if in need of some cultural heritage. They will definitely make you love and appreciate Kenya and her history. Happy Mashujaa Day!
By Valerie Karuwa Wabungo