A National Park in the City. Nairobi National Park

Zebra in NairobiZebra in Nairobi National Park. Next to the City

You can go on safari in the Nairobi National Park in Kenya and take photos of wildlife with the city skyscrapers in the background - it's the only place in the world where you can do this!

Nairobi National Park covers just under 120 square kilometres and is located within a few minute's drive of the city centre. Although the park is relatively small in comparison to other national parks it has a diverse landscape and includes a river, woodland, savannah, wetlands with pans and swamps, man-made dams and high ground.

It is a seasonal park and what can be seen depends on the migratory patterns of the game. The southern section is unfenced which allows the free movement of the animals. There are a number of view sites and places to go for observing animals in various habitats. The park holds the most wildlife during the dry season when water resources are scarce elsewhere.

The park is home to 4 of the Big Five (Buffalo, Leopard, Lion, Rhino) and also Cheetah amongst many other mammal species, although the predators are seen less often. The recorded bird species has reached more than 400, with seasonal migrants adding to the variety.

Facilities

There are 6 public entrance gates and a number of great picnic facilities that can double as venues for functions such as corporate events and weddings or photo shoots. Visitors can also have a meal in the restaurant which has views of the park.

Breeding Centre for Black Rhino

Visitors are sure to see a Black Rhino in its natural environment in the Nairobi National Park. These highly endangered animals are being successfully bred at the centre and then reintroduced to areas where they previously roamed as well as trans-located to other sanctuaries.

Nairobi Animal Orphanage

This sanctuary is the oldest of its kind in Kenya and the only one located in a city. The educational and training facility essentially provides care and rehabilitation for wild animals that have been found injured or abandoned. There can be as many as 20 different bird and animal species being cared for at any time.

Visitors could see Cheetah, Lion, Buffalo, Leopard, Hyena, Baboon and other primates, Jackal , Ostrich, Serval or even the extremely rare Sokoke Cat and Warthog as well as many types of birds such the Crowned Crane.

Nairobi Safari Walk

On the Nairobi Safari Walk visitors can learn about conservation and the natural environment in Kenya. The walk features simulated wetlands, forests and grassy plains or savannah and displays of rare animal and plant life with comprehensive interpretation.

The walk is essentially an overview of what visitors could see on safari in Kenya and gives valuable insight into conservation and the flora and fauna of the country. Naturalists are available to give talks and there is a Children's Museum.

Activities

Visitors can enjoy game viewing self-drives in the park and follow designated walking trails such as the Hippo Pool Walk (where mostly Crocodiles can be seen). View sites include Black Rhino Point, Narogoman Dam, the Highlands and Hyrax Point, Leopard Cliff, Baboon Escarpment and Impala Point.

Animals that are commonly seen include Giraffe, Black Rhino, Buffalo, Zebra, Gazelle and Impala, Eland, Waterbuck, Warthog and Baboon.

Wildebeest are present in the park during migration in August and September. You will probably be able to spot a number of bird species such as Eagles and Vultures, Ostriches and Crested Francolins plus lots of water birds including the beautiful Grey Crowned Crane.

by Heather Willowmore

Read more about Nairobi

African Safaris Guide to South and East Africa
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