Uhuru Park, Nairobi’s most famous recreational park, has a rich history of conflict and celebration in Kenya. Uhuru Park is a 12.9-hectare recreational park in Nairobi, Kenya, next to the city’s central business sector. On May 23, 1969, the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta opened it to the general public. It has an artificial lake, many national monuments, and an assembly ground that has become a popular weekend skating area as well as a venue for local skateboarding contests (best trick contest 2017), catering to Nairobi’s developing skate community.
Aside from skateboarding, boat riding, kids games, and camel riding, the assembly area hosts political and religious activities on occasion. It is well-known as the location where the Moi administration forcefully dispersed anti-illegal land grabbing protests. The park was criticized in 2021 for an attempted makeover that involved the removal of elderly trees. Due to environmental concerns, the project was blocked by a national court.
Soldiers dressed in bright uniforms marching to lovely music played by a military band are as typical in this Park as the violent interruption of political protests. In 1989, Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai led demonstrations against the proposed construction of a 62-story headquarters for former President Moi’s governing political party, KANU, on the Park.
Wangari Maathai’s influence in the protection of Uhuru Park
It is home to the freedom corner, where Wangari Maathai led a group of women in seeking the release of their sons who had been arrested for political reasons by former President Moi’s dictatorship in 1991.
In 1996, Archbishop Maurice Otunga led a group of Catholics in burning a pile of condoms at this location. However, it is mostly used as a gathering place for national festivals, political rallies during election seasons, and religious organizations’ prayer services.
How to Get to Uhuru Park
The Park is located across from the Nairobi InterContinental Hotel on Uhuru Highway. It is bordered on the north by Kenyatta Avenue, on the west by the Community area, and on the south by Haile Selassie Avenue. Because of its prominent location in Nairobi’s core business center, folks from all around the city may readily reach it.
The park is available to the public at no charge. The Nairobi City County, on the other hand, charges for boat excursions and the use of the park’s restrooms.