Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park is a vastly underrated, full wildlife resort of 117 square kilometers located just outside Nairobi, with 4 million inhabitants a huge city, next to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.



It’s one of the few places on the world where you can be in the middle of Kenya’s wild nature with a 30 minute taxi ride from a capital’s city centre.

Giraffe at Nairobi National Park, Kenya


Giraffe at Nairobi National Park
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Overview

This park is the oldest of all the Kenya national parks and reserves. It consists mainly of savannah, swampland and forest around the river. The highest point of the park, Impala Hill, is ideal to scan the park with a binocular for wildlife, and is also a picnic site. The Mbagathi river forms the southern border of the park.




Animal Spotting

The animals seem rather undisturbed by the nearby city and the airplanes coming over from Kenyatta airport. The park has the biggest concentration of black rhinos in the world – more than 50 have been recorded.

They can be easily spotted in the forest glades in the west side of the park. The park also has the second biggest annual migration of herbivores – after the ‘Wildebeest Migration’ of Masai Mara National Reserve.

male impala at nairobi national park


Male impala in Nairobi park
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Furthermore, lions, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, wildebeests, hyenas, and of course many antelopes and zebras. Also over 550 species of birds have been recorded in the wetland areas. However, elephants are absent.

The park isn’t fenced – except on the northern border, before the Nairobi suburbs – and animals can go from the park to the Rift Valley through a narrow wildlife corridor. As there is always plenty of water in the park – especially in the northern part – many additional animals come into the park in the dry seasons.

Activities

Game viewing, walking.

Facilities

Near the park is the Masai Safari Lodge, but inside the park there’s no accommodation. (Nairobi has plenty, of course.) However, there are 6 places for picknicking.

Access

Entry fees are $40 for adults, $20 for children (non-Kenyans). You can only pay with a smartcard. There are 6 gates, of which 4 are meant for visitors: the main gate at the KWS office, Eastern Gate, Cheetah Gate and Langata Gate.

On Sundays there’s a public KWS bus from Nairobi city centre to the park. Most safari and tourist shops in Nairobi organize 4-hour tours to the park for between $45 and $90. The only downside is that they typically leave at 10 AM and 2 PM, while it’s better to go either much earlier in the morning or later (right after sunrise or the last hours before sunset, which is around 6 or 7 PM in Kenya).

Related pages:

From Nairobi National Park to the overview of Kenya wildlife resorts
Introduction to Kenya National Parks

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