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Economic pressure is changing the face of public gardens like Uhuru Park, Jeevanjee Gardens, Arboretum and City Park, which are now perceived as unnecessary financial burdens on the cash-strapped Nairobi City Council. It is against this background that Nairobi families are likely to welcome the Nairobi Botanical Garden as a venue where they can spend time relaxing, savouring the aromas and sounds of the garden and learning about nature.

Getting There

Lies between the Nairobi National Museum and Hotel Boulevard on one side and the University of Nairobi and Norfolk Towers on the other.

Key Attractions

Wamunyu wood carversThe Nairobi Botanical Gardens are designed along themes, each section focusing on a specific conservation subject. Botany and habitat, for instance, are the focus of the Children's Garden which is landscaped with an amphitheatre overlooking the Nairobi River.

This setting enables youngsters to see the forest structure for educational purposes while weddings, picnics, and meditation (quiet times) are also held here. To make the garden even more child-friendly, Hawa Artists have been raising money through their annual Reaching Out exhibition to help beauty the garden with recreational art under the awe-inspiring Sycamore and Amarula trees; this will complement the existing set of wooden and metal sculpture that act as seats and illustrations for learning about food chains.

Hawa, whose goal is to nurture creativity in women, focuses on family issues, hence their aim to create an environment that is friendly to children. To survive, experts contend that botanical gardens must be recognized as integral to a nation's heritage and culture as their collections only differ from those in an art gallery by being alive, hence the choice of the Nairobi Botanic Garden to be located next to the museum which preserves material culture.

The garden aspires to provide more facilities and activities to the public, execute exhibitions on a variety of themes, and change garden design to provide both emotional and intellectual stimulation to Kenyans. Worldwide, botanical gardens are attracting more visitors than ever before. For example, it is reported that more Americans go to botanical gardens than to professional football games while the Royal Botanic Garden in Kew, UK, is attracting at least 1.3 million visitors each year.






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