Nairobi National Park, Kenya
The World’s only wildlife capital
Nairobi National Park is Kenya’s oldest National Park and the first to be established in East Africa. It is the crown jewel of Kenya’s conservation drive, and is very unique in its offerings. No other city in the World can boast a natural wilderness, teeming with wildlife and home to over 400 species of birds, just ten kilometers from City Centre.
With an oasis of lion-gold plains, acacia-fringed rivers, leopard-stalked cliffs, plunging gorges and murky hippo pools this versatile park hosts its own wildebeest migration and is the only place on earth where you can find a black rhino against the silhouettes of office blocks and skyscrapers.
What to See
Lion-Gold Plains, Dappled Shade and Cool Valleys
With long sloping plains of black cotton soil scored by deep river valleys and gorges, Nariobi National Park is full of unexpected beauty and diverse habitats, which include rolling grassy plains, riverine woodland, dense thicket, rocky gorges, dry upland forest and man-made dams& pools.
The Wildlife Watching Experience
On the WEstern end of the park right near the main entrance, is where most of the woodland is concentrated making it a good location to spot giraffes and (at dawn) leopards. Teh various man-made dams and ponds draw concentrations of up to 25000 wild herbivores especially during the dry season ranging from Zebra, Maasai Giraffe, Buffalo & various Antelope Species. The Nairobi National Park’s thriving prides of lions prefer the open country while the Cheetah families can be spotted sunbathing on top of the directional signs. Leopards are found in their quite familiar spot lying along the branches of the riverine acacias.
A thriving Rhino Sanctuary
Enclosed in the National Park is one of Kenya’s most successful rhino sanctuaries that has received wide acclaim world over. Nairobi National Park has the highest density of black rhinos in the country.
An Ornithological Paradise
The Park’s exeptional birdlife records a remarkable 400 species; their numbers swell between March-May when a host of European bird migrants make the park their home. Look out for the Marabou Storks, Vultures and Hawak Ealgles perched high in the acacia trees and on the grasslands for Secretary Birds, Kori Bustard, Ostrich, Crowned Crane and the gorgeous Jackson’s Widowbird. For bird lover’s, there is so much more than can be mentiond herein.
Impala Observation Point: High on a hill a few meters from the main gate this site offers a stone built rondavel with panoramic views and a picnic area (with latrines)
The Ivory Burning site: Close to the main gate. This is the venue where former President Daniel Arap Moi, Kenyas second President, set fire to 12 tons of Ivory in a bid to eleminate the mass slaughter of Africa’s elephants in 1989. The site offers a popular venue for Corporate and social functions such as product launches, anniversaries, celebrations, weddings and others.
Kingfisher Picnic Site: A reen shaded Area with picnic tables, ideal for early morning bush sunrise breakfasts and sundowners. This site is also ideal for lunchtime relaxtion after an exhaustive game drive.
Mokoyeti Picnic Site: An open cliff top site with shaded tables, latrines and extensive parking. Close by is Leopard Cliff observation point, looking down into the gorge below. This site is ideal for families or large groups any time of the day.
Hippo Pools and Nature Trails: A short self guided nature trai. (Patrolled by KWS Rangers) leads out of a shaded picnic area (latrines and running water avilable) alon the Athi River and offers the opportunity of viewing Hippo, Crocodile, Monkey, Terrapin and a large variety of birds. The nature trails are connected via a foot bridge to Olmakao Maasai Cultural Village where visitors have an opportunity to interact with the indigenours Maasai Community.
Nairobi Safari Walk
The Safari Walk (just before and to the right of the Nairobi National Park main gate) offers the rare chance of viewing different animals behaving as they would in their natural habitat. Traversed by panoramic raised timbered boardwalks it also makes for an informative walk and an enjoyable family outing.
The Nairobi Animal Orphanage
This small enclosure shelters a shifting population of orphaned, abandoned or wounded animals, most of whom are regaining their strength before being released back into the wild.
Fact File Nairobi National Park:
Altitude: 1540 – 1780 meters above sea level
Area: 117 sq.Km
Location: Nairobi province
Distance from Nairobi: 10 km from City Center
Gazetted: December 1946 (Kenya’s first National Park)
Climate: January – March is hot and dry, April – June is hot and wet, and July – October is very warm and wet
Vegetation: The Park has three main zones: Dry highland forest at the western end, Riverine-forested areas to the south and Rolling grasslands which cover 99 % of the Park.
Wildlife: Over 80 recorded species to include rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, crocodile and hippo (there are no elephants)
Birds: More than 400 recorded species