Close-up of an African buffalo's head with prominent curved horns, against a blurred natural background.

About Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park is located just south of central Kenya right next to and within the Nairobi city region. Travelers landing at the Nairobi airport can see the park and potential wildlife as they fly over the park.

There is nowhere else in the world where such a collection of wilderness and wildlife sits adjacent to a major city.  Only 4 miles (6.4 km) separate the city center from the wildlife in the reserve.

The national park encompasses 45.26 square miles (117.2 sq km) and was the first national park established in Kenya. The park is smaller than most Kenyan and other African national parks.  Although it is so small, it is quite diverse in habitats.  Most of the habitat is dominated by open plains, grasslands, and scattered acacia trees.

Other parts of the park include a highland forest, rocky gorges, a broken bush company, and a riverine forest. The varied habitats bring a variety of mammals and bird species.

The city patrons and national park wildlife are literal neighbors almost habituating in the same space. There is an electric fence that separates the city area from the national park wilderness area.

The park sits at just over 5,000 feet (1,524 m) ranging from 5,030 feet to 5,774 feet (1,533 to 1,760 m) and although limited features a range of habitats and wildlife species.

Almost everyone traveling to Africa sits in the hope of seeing the predator species.  Nairobi National Park does not disappoint with predators including lions, leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas.  Other large mammal species include buffalo, black rhino, baboon, eland, gazelle, hartebeest, hippopotamus, impala, giraffe, wildebeest, and waterbuck.  One of the missing species that most people hope to see is the elephant.

The most populous species are found among the ungulates.  Impala, wildebeest, Hartebeest, Thomson’s gazelle, Grant’s Gazelle, and Eland.  It is fair to expect to see each of these species during a visit. The abundance of ungulates also makes the predator species happy knowing that their hunt is very easy.

Bird species are abundant with the vulture and ostrich being two of the larger or more intriguing species. The ostrich is commonly seen along the plains.  Other large species include the Crowned Crane, Kori Bustard, Ground Hornbill, Egyptian Goose, and Black-necked Heron.  There are several songbirds which serve as a complementary experience for the birdwatchers.

Photo Gallery

 

Highlights

Nairobi National Park is committed to protecting the endangered rhino and their efforts are one of the most successful in Africa. Experiencing these magnificent creatures is certainly a highlight. Many people find the proximity of this collection of animals to the industrial city of Nairobi to be the highlight of fascination.

The Nairobi Safari Walk is a great way to breathe the fresh air and take in the wilderness that is a literal neighbor to one of the most industrial cities in Africa.

Apart from that, the abundance of wildlife that is so easily accessible so close to such a large metropolis leaves most people bewildered that the wildlife and wilderness are right there.

 

Nairobi National Park Trails

The Nairobi Safari Walk is a chance to get out and walk in the national park.