The history of the institution dates back in 1910 when a Museum was established in Nairobi by the then East Africa and Uganda Natural History Society [currently the East African Natural History Society (EANHS)]. The group consisted mainly of colonial settlers and naturalists who needed a place to keep and preserve their collections of various specimens. Its first site was at the present: 'Nyayo House'. The site soon became small and a larger building was put up in 1922, where the Nairobi Serena Hotel stands.
It was not until 1929 that the colonial government set aside land at the Museum Hill and construction work started at the current site. It was officially opened on the 22 September 1930 and named Coryndon Museum in honour of Sir Robert Coryndon, one time Governor of Kenya and a staunch supporter of Uganda Natural History Society. On the attainment of independence in 1963, it was re-named NMK. Since the 1960's, NMK has expanded its services and assets to include Regional Museums. The Museum has also acquired under its jurisdiction; Sites and Monuments, which the Government has set aside as Monuments of National Heritage. Each of the Regional Museums has its own identity and develops its own programmes.
This museum’s beautiful architecture and modern interior design set the ambience for bountiful exploration. It focuses on four aspects: culture, history, contemporary art, and nature. All are well represented and celebrated. Statues and artworks are peppered in among the collections. Visitors can explore at their own pace, using self-guided tour options.