It’s probably the most unique national park in the world. Where else can you spot lions, rhino, buffalo and giraffe just minutes from a national capital city? Only 7 km (4 mi) from the heart of downtown, Nairobi National Park is a wonder of wildlife in a grassland setting but framed by the skyscrapers of bustling Nairobi in the background.
It’s Kenya’s first national park and so accessible that you can take a 1 or even ½ day trip there, see more wildlife than most places in the world, and be back in town for dinner.
Within view of airliners coming in on their final approach, it is possible to spot 4 of Africa’s “Big Five”, plus cheetah, leopard, gazelle, hyena, impala, zebra and ostrich… all in the wild.
Birdlife in the park is plentiful – especially in the wetlands with over 400 species amidst pods of hippos.
The park also features the highest density of black rhino in Kenya as it functions as a rhino sanctuary. In fact, the park has been nicknamed “Kifaru Ark” – kifaru is Kiswahili for rhinoceros.
It is not unusual to see the locals enjoying their nearby park, and it’s a regular stop for Nairobi schoolchildren on class trips.
You too can easily partake of the numerous hiking trails, picnic spots and even campsites in this unusual refuge so close to the city.
And there are some very special reserves within the park that you won’t want to miss. At the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, baby elephants and rhino calves are rescued and cared for. Feeding times here are always an exciting and joyful event for man and baby animals alike.
The park is only about 30,000 acres or 117 sq. km (45 sq. miles), one of the smallest of Africa’s parks. But the great amount of wildlife here is surprising considering its proximity to a major city.
Just 7 km south of Nairobi, it’s a quick getaway from the capital city.
The park is generally dry except during the rainy season. Average day time temperature is 22oC/72oF.
When to go:
The park is open year-round and always accessible. Visitors must enter the park in a vehicle.
Best time to visit:
The best wildlife viewing is during the dry season (July – March). The rainy season (April – June) presents some difficulties on the wet roads.
The park is open from 06:00 hrs. to 18:00 hrs. daily.