Uhuru Gardens Memorial Park is a commemorative park in Nairobi, Kenya that celebrates independence from the British Empire in 12 December 1963. The word “uhuru” is Swahili for “freedom”. It contains three points of significance:
- The Mũgumo tree (Ficus sycomorus), purportedly planted in the exact location the Union Jack, or more likely the former Flag of the Colony of Kenya, was removed and the Flag of Kenya was placed. The tree is also of significance to the Kikuyu people.
- The independence commemorative monument, built in 1973, is a twenty-four meter high column, supporting a pair of clasped hands and a dove of peace. This point celebrates the declaration of independence at midnight, 12 December 1963. It also celebrates the inauguration of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, in the same night. On one side of this monument is a statue of soldiers raising the Kenyan flag.
- A fountain celebrating “Twenty-Five years of Uhuru – peace, love and unity monument”
Uhuru Gardens Geographical Location
Located along Langata road, 15 minutes drive from the city center, is Uhuru Gardens, Kenya’s largest Memorial Park. Uhuru is a swahili word meaning freedom. And while you will do plenty of walking on a guided tour, some operators offer hotel pickup and drop-off.
Uhuru Gardens Historical Background
The gardens were officially declared a National Monument in 1966 because of their historical importance. Of importance to note is that it is Kenya’s birthplace. This is where the first Kenyan flag was first raised and thus marking the very first year of independence on the 12th December 1963. Within the garden are two monuments commemorating Kenya’s independence, and a Mugumo (fig) tree.
The Mugumo tree is symbolic as it was planted on the spot where the Union Jack (British flag) was brought down and Kenya’s national flag was first hoisted. The site was a diversity of native flora and fauna of savannah woodland.
In addition to the historical significance, Uhuru Gardens continues to attract various events as a recreational park. It is popular as a rest area for families and friends, a must visit for schools and in recent times has gained popularity as an events venue for corporate launches, concerts, weddings, film location just to name a few.
For those who are looking for a secure jogging spot, this is the perfect location for keeping fit.
Future plans will include improving the park to have a wider variety of leisure activities for all. The Mashujaa/ heroes Corner will also be adjacent to this beautiful park which will mark as a reminder to celebrate our Kenyan heroes.
So next time you pass by Langata Road, walk or drive in to enjoy our rich heritage that lives on through this park.
Open Daily at 8:00am – 6:00pm.
To make your bookings for an event you’d like to host in the park, please send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Things to know before you go
*While the park is a nice place to go for a walk, it is still an urban spot and opportunistic thefts have been known to happen. Consider carrying only a small amount of cash and pay extra attention to your surroundings. *The president holds political rallies from time to time in the gardens, so check the event schedule before proceeding to the park *Many walking tours make a pit stop at Uhuru before exploring the rest of Nairobi.
Attractions near Uhuru Gardens Memorial Park:
- Bomas of Kenya
- Nairobi National Park
President Uhuru Kenyatta drives himself to Uhuru Gardens for the KDF Museum Air Show (Video) – NTV Kenya
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