The Nairobi National Museum began as the Coryndon Museum, named for Sir Robert Coryndon, a prominent patron of the Uganda Natural History Society. On September 22, 1930, the site was opened as the Nairobi National Museum, a repository that preserves the history and cultures of Kenya. Later, Dr. Louis Leakey successfully raised funds to expand the museum, and many of the gallery names honor prominent personas of the past, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Aga Khan, Winston Churchill and others. During the 1960s, the Nairobi Snake Park was added to the museum, and in 1969, the Kenya government setup new museums in Kisumu, Meru, Kitale, Lamu and Fort Jesus in Mombasa, and the Leakey Memorial Building was added in 1976 to include a section of archaeology and paleontology. Expansion continued to include research programs in ethnography and cultural anthropology in cooperation with the University of Nairobi and Institute of African Studies, as well as a close association with the Institute of Primate Research. Between 2005 and 2008, there have been significant fabricated and collection expansions of the museum to keep up with highest standards of excellence.
Making time for a visit to the Nairobi National Museum is both an educational and relaxing experience as you spend your time exploring the art gallery and varied exhibitions, discovering the richness of Kenya and her people. Located less than two miles from the city center at Museum Hill, the venue is open year-round and also offers a tranquil setting of lush botanical gardens, as well as dining and shopping venues Collections within the museum include culture, nature and history pillars, and many exhibits are of particular interest to children. The culture pillar covers creativity, cycles of life and cultural dynamism, and in the nature pillar you learn about geology, human origins, natural diversity, ecology of Kenya and the mammalian radiation. The final pillar, history, covers the cycles of life history in Kenya. One of the most recent additions to the museum is the Peace Path, a collection of stones that have been carefully laid upon the green lawn. At first glance, the area does not seem to have any significance, but the design is actually a labyrinth, a design that has been used by many cultures to mark a place of meditation, healing and prayer.