NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK
Wild Lions & Leopards – Minutes from Downtown
Lions? Leopards? And Chimps
In what other world capital could you breakfast at your hotel and then minutes later be amongst lion, buffalo, giraffe, and rhino in the wild. Nairobi National Park lies just 7 km (4 mi) from downtown Nairobi but hosts a vast array of wildlife – cheetah, gazelle, hyena, impala, zebra, ostrich, and more – all in their natural environment.
But unlike any other wildlife park, your sightings of the wildlife are set against a background of skyscrapers and even airliners on final approach to the Nairobi airport. This unique nature reserve is a startling blend of two different worlds, both equally accessible for your enjoyment.
The park is so close you can take a one-day or even a ½ trip here and easily be back in town for afternoon drinks.
What is Kifaru Ark? Kifaru means “rhinoceros” in Kiswahi.
The park is known for its dense population of black rhinos. They are well-protected here and are so abundant the reserve provides rhinos to other parks throughout Kenya.
The Great Wildebeest Migration
If you should be here in July and August be prepared for another unusual sight – the migration of thousands of wildebeests and zebras throughout the park. This is the yearly journey of great herds roaming through the wildlands in search of ever taller grasses. Set against the cityscape in the distance, it’s an unforgettable sight.
This is a wild natural park, but in some respects, it offers the easy comforts of a city park as well. You’ll enjoy the many easy walking trails which also feature picnic sites. And not all the action is on terra firma – look about to take in the more than 400 bird species adorning the sky and trees. You may also find lots of Nairobi schoolchildren enjoying the park with you.
Through these spaces, your safari will also bring you close to giraffe, monkey, baboon, impala, gazelle, zebra, hippo, and hyena. While in the trees above, the sanctuary’s 300 bird species will entertain with their busy activity and colors. And all this exciting wildlife is framed by towering Mt. Kenya in the distance.
Endangered Black Rhinos – Offering one of Kenya’s densest populations of black rhinos, they will be hard to miss! The protected breeding program here is a testament to best conservation practices and guarantees you sightings of the endangered creature.
Four of the “Big Five” – Take a game drive to see lions, leopards, buffalos, and rhinos. Not to mention giraffes, zebras, hippos, impalas, hartebeests, baboons, elands, and more.
David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage – Another one-of-a-kind treat. This sanctuary within the park rescues and adopts injured and orphaned baby elephants and rhinos. Come here at feeding time to see masses of the adorable youngsters running for their giant baby bottles!
Ivory Burning Site Monument – History was made here when Kenya’s leaders oversaw the symbolic burning of tons of contraband ivory. These periodic burnings memorialized Kenya’s commitment to the abolition of the ivory trade and the protection of its elephants.
Wildebeest & Zebra Migration – From July to October, thousands and even millions of grazers cross into Kenya on their timeless search for sustenance. If you’re at the park in July or August you can’t miss this incredible display of wildlife.
These reserve-based projects help the livelihoods of the nearby rural communities.
- Education for local students, including computer skills training
- Healthcare – providing medical supplies to the local health centers and mobile clinic
- Energy – providing hundreds of local families with energy-efficient stoves – reducing the need for firewood.
A Little History
This is Kenya’s oldest national park, officially opened in 1946. Prior to that time, the settling of Nairobi pushed the animals further away from the growing city. This resulted in a thinning of the herds and calls for their protection. In response, the 30 thousand acres national park was established as a haven and a respite for the nearby city.
Survey: Nairobi National Park
This smallish park of 30,000 acres or 117 sq. km (45 sq mi) is home to great concentrations of wildlife in proximity to a major world capital.
Location: The park is 7 km south of Nairobi, taking no more than 15 minutes to get there from downtown.
Climate: Except for the rainy season of April through June, the park is generally dry. The average daytime temperature is 22oC/72oF.
Best time to visit: The dry season is best for viewing the wildlife (July – March). April – June is the rainy season with muddy trails and more challenges for seeing the animals. Visitors can watch the migration unfold during July and August.
Operating Hours: The park is open from 06:00 am to 06:00 pm daily.
Getting there: By road – from Nairobi’s center travel via Langata Road. You can book a full-day or half-day excursion with Africa Kenya Safaris.
This is Nairobi National Park
Amazingly accessible, yet surprisingly dense with wildlife, this is one of the most unique animal parks in the world. Sightings of lions are not uncommon, and you’re guaranteed to see rhinos as well. With the cityscape serving as an unusual background, your photos will become a most unique memento.
Join Us at Nairobi National Park
Let Africa Kenya Safaris whisk you over to this special park. We offer ½ or 1-day excursions leaving from the site of your choice. This is an easy intro to the excitement of safari life and the beginning of your exploration of Kenya’s other great parks.
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