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Best 7 Reasons To Visit Nairobi National Park

  • Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park is a unique wildlife reserve located just a short drive from Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi. Established in 1946 on the 16th of December, it was the first national Park in Kenya and remains the only one in the world located within a capital city’s borders. The Park covers an area of approximately 117 square kilometers and is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including lions, leopards, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, and more. The history of Nairobi National Park is closely intertwined with the history of Nairobi itself. In the early 20th century, Nairobi was a small railway depot that grew rapidly as a result of the construction of the Uganda Railway. As the city expanded, the need to protect its unique wildlife became apparent, leading to the establishment of the park.

Originally, Nairobi National Park was much larger, extending all the way to the outskirts of the city. However, over the years, urbanization and development have encroached on the park’s boundaries, leading to its current size. Despite its relatively small size, the park remains a vital sanctuary for a wide variety of wildlife.

Today, Nairobi National Park stands as a testament to Kenya’s rich natural heritage and its commitment to conservation. It serves as a vital refuge for a wide variety of wildlife, including lions, giraffes, zebras, and rhinos, and offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience a safari adventure against the backdrop of Nairobi’s skyline.

Best 7 Reasons To Visit Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park in Kenya offers a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors. Here are seven top reasons why you should consider visiting; wildlife species, diverse bird life, ivory burning monument/statue etc.

1. Wildlife Species;

Nairobi National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and rhino). In addition to these iconic species,

The Park is also home to cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, and numerous antelope species. A brief talk about the animal species

Lions;   Nairobi National Park is known for its population of lions, which can often be spotted lounging in the grasslands or on rocky outcrops. The park is home to several prides, providing ample opportunities for lion sightings.

Giraffes;   The Park is also home to a healthy population of giraffes, including the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe. These graceful creatures can often be seen grazing on acacia trees or wandering the savannah.

Zebras;   Nairobi National Park is home to both plains zebras and Gravy’s zebras. These striped beauties can be seen grazing in the grasslands or crossing the park’s dirt roads.

Buffaloes;   The Park is home to a large herd of Cape buffaloes, which can often be seen grazing in the grasslands or cooling off in the park’s waterholes.

Rhinos;   Nairobi National Park is home to both black and white rhinos, with the park’s rhino sanctuary playing a crucial role in their conservation. Visitors can often see these magnificent creatures up close during guided game drives.

Hippos;   while not as common as other species, hippos can sometimes be spotted in the park’s rivers and waterholes. These massive mammals are a sight to behold, especially when they emerge from the water at dusk.

Cheetahs;   Nairobi National Park is one of the best places in Kenya to spot cheetahs. These sleek cats can often be seen hunting for prey in the park’s open grasslands.

Birds;   with over 400 bird species recorded, Nairobi National Park is a paradise for bird watchers. From the iconic African fish eagle to the colorful lilac-breasted roller, the park offers a stunning variety of birdlife.

2. Diverse Birdlife

Nairobi National Park is renowned for its diverse birdlife, with over 400 species of birds (ostriches, vultures, secretary birds, crowned cranes, and eagles, etc.). This makes it a popular destination for birdwatchers who want to observe a wide variety of bird species in their natural habitat.

3. Ivory Burning statue in Nairobi National Park

Ivory Burning Statue is a powerful symbol of Kenya’s commitment to wildlife conservation, the Ivory Burning Statue in Nairobi National Park commemorates the 1989 event when President Daniel Arap Moi set ablaze a massive stockpile of ivory to condemn poaching and the illegal ivory trade.

4. Conservation Efforts

The Park plays a crucial role in wildlife conservation in Kenya, serving as a sanctuary for endangered species such as black rhinos. Visitors can learn about these conservation efforts and the importance of protecting Kenya’s natural heritage.

5. Cultural Experiences

In addition to its natural beauty, Nairobi National Park offers opportunities to learn about Kenya’s rich cultural heritage. Visitors can visit the nearby David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to learn about elephant conservation or explore the nearby Maasai villages to learn about traditional Maasai culture.

Maasai Village Visits;   Many tour operators offer guided visits to Maasai villages near Nairobi National Park. Here, you can interact with the Maasai people, learn about their traditional way of life, and participate in cultural activities such as traditional dances and ceremonies.

Maasai Market;   The Maasai Market, held at the Nairobi National Park entrance on certain days, offers a vibrant shopping experience where you can purchase traditional Maasai handicrafts, beadwork, and artifacts directly from the artisans.

Cultural Performances;   during special events or cultural festivals, Nairobi National Park may host traditional Maasai performances, showcasing their music, dance, and storytelling traditions.

Educational Programs;   Some tour operators and conservation organizations offer educational programs within the park that focus on Maasai culture, wildlife conservation, and environmental sustainability.

Cultural Interactions;   While exploring the park, you may have the opportunity to encounter Maasai herders with their cattle grazing peacefully alongside wildlife a unique sight that highlights the coexistence of traditional pastoralism and modern conservation efforts.

Culinary Experiences;   Some lodges and camps within Nairobi National Park may offer traditional Maasai meals as part of their dining options, allowing you to savor the flavors of Maasai cuisine.

6. The Rhino Sanctuary in Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park is home to a dedicated rhino sanctuary, which plays a crucial role in the conservation of these endangered species. The sanctuary provides a safe haven for both black and white rhinos, offering them protection from poaching and other threats.

The rhino sanctuary in Nairobi National Park is one of the most successful rhino conservation initiatives in Kenya. It is home to a growing population of both black and white rhinos, making it a key player in the efforts to save these iconic animals from extinction.

Visitors to Nairobi National Park have the unique opportunity to see these magnificent creatures up close in their natural habitat. Guided game drives through the sanctuary offer a chance to witness rhinos in their natural environment and learn about the conservation efforts being made to protect them.

In addition to rhinos, the sanctuary is also home to a variety of other wildlife, including lions, giraffes, and zebras. This diversity of wildlife makes the rhino sanctuary a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Kenya’s rich natural heritage.

Overall, the rhino sanctuary in Nairobi National Park is a shining example of successful conservation efforts. By providing a safe haven for rhinos and other wildlife, the sanctuary is helping to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy these magnificent animals in the wild.

7. Game Drives Nairobi National Park

Once you arrive at Nairobi National Park, you’ll start your 4-hour game drive in the same open-roofed van, perfect for getting a 360-degree view of the scenery. Keep your eyes peeled in search of lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, jackal, and many other animals. This is what you should expect;

Wildlife Sightings;   Nairobi National Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including lions, giraffes, zebras, buffalo, and more. During a game drive, you may have the chance to see these animals up close and observe their natural behaviors.

Bird Watching;   The Park is also a paradise for bird enthusiasts, with over 400 bird species recorded. You can spot various species of birds, including the African fish eagle, ostriches, and various herons and storks.

Scenic Landscapes;   Nairobi National Park’s landscapes are diverse and stunning, ranging from open grasslands to acacia woodlands and riverine forests. A game drive allows you to take in these breathtaking landscapes and capture some amazing photographs.

Experienced Guides;   Many tour operators in Nairobi offer guided game drives in the park. These guides are experienced and knowledgeable about the park’s wildlife and ecosystems, enhancing your safari experience.

Night Game Drives;   Some tour operators also offer night game drives in Nairobi National Park, providing a unique opportunity to see nocturnal animals such as hyenas, civets, and genets.

Conservation Education;   During a game drive, guides often provide information about the park’s conservation efforts and the importance of protecting Kenya’s wildlife and natural habitats.

8. First Park in Kenya

Established in December 16th 1946, Nairobi National Park holds the distinction of being Kenya’s first national park. Located just a short distance from the bustling city of Nairobi, the park covers an area of approximately 117 square kilometers and is home to a wide variety of wildlife and habitats.

The establishment of Nairobi National Park marked a significant milestone in Kenya’s conservation history. At the time of its establishment, Nairobi was a growing city, and the park was created to protect the area’s unique wildlife and ecosystems from the pressures of urbanization and development.

One of the key features of Nairobi National Park is its diverse range of habitats, including open grasslands, acacia woodlands, and riverine forests. This diversity of habitats supports a wide variety of wildlife, including lions, giraffes, zebras, and rhinos, as well as over 400 bird species.

9. Proximity to the City

One of the most remarkable aspects of Nairobi National Park is its proximity to the bustling city of Nairobi. Located just a short drive from the city center, the park offers a unique safari experience that is unparalleled in many other parts of the world.

The park’s close proximity to Nairobi makes it incredibly accessible to both local and international visitors. Within minutes, visitors can transition from the urban jungle to the natural wilderness, offering a convenient escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

This proximity also means that visitors can easily incorporate a visit to Nairobi National Park into their itinerary, whether they are in Nairobi for business or leisure. The park’s accessibility makes it an ideal destination for day trips, allowing visitors to enjoy a safari adventure without having to travel long distances.

Despite its proximity to the city, Nairobi National Park offers a true wilderness experience. The park’s landscapes are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including lions, giraffes, zebras, and rhinos, as well as over 400 bird species. Visitors can enjoy game drives, guided walks, and other activities that offer a unique glimpse into Kenya’s rich natural heritage.

When To Visit The Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park, with its rich wildlife and stunning landscapes, is a year-round destination. However, the best time to visit Nairobi National Park is during the dry season from July to October and from January to February. During this time, travelling is convenient and vegetation is sparse, making it easier to spot wildlife.

How to access the Nairobi National Park

The cheapest ways of accessing the Nairobi National Park it is road transport.

Board a bus or matatu from Kenya Bus Station/BS, Mfangano Street or at Kencom House Moi Avenue. The driving distance between Nairobi to the Park is a 15km, it takes approximately 30 minutes to drive from Nairobi to the Park. The other ways are;

Private Vehicle

The most convenient way to access Nairobi National Park is by private vehicle. The park has well-maintained roads and ample parking facilities at the main gates. You can either drive yourself or hire a private vehicle and driver for the day.

 Taxi or Ride-Hailing Services

Taxis and ride-hailing services like Uber are widely available in Nairobi and can take you directly to the park’s gates. This option offers more convenience and comfort compared to public transport.

Tour Operators

Many tour operators in Nairobi offer guided tours to Nairobi National Park, including transportation. This option is ideal for those who prefer a guided experience with a knowledgeable guide.

Hotel Shuttle Services

Some hotels in Nairobi offer shuttle services to Nairobi National Park for their guests. Check with your hotel to see if this service is available.

Self-Drive Safari

If you’re adventurous and have experience driving in African wilderness areas, you can rent a 4×4 vehicle and embark on a self-drive safari in Nairobi National Park. Please note that this option requires careful planning and adherence to park rules and regulations.

By Air means of transport.

The Nairobi National Park is located in Nairobi the capital of Kenya and can therefore be easily reached by taking any flight to Nairobi, the national park is approximately 10 kilometers south of Nairobi city Centre therefore visitors can travel to the national park by air from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Wilson Airports.

Where to stay at Nairobi National Park

The park itself have little accommodation within, but there are plenty of lodging options in and around Nairobi city, which is just a short drive away.


Emakoko;   A luxury lodge located near Nairobi National Park, offering elegant accommodations and personalized service. The lodge also provides guided tours and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Ololo Safari Lodge;   Another luxury lodge located close to Nairobi National Park, offering luxurious accommodations in a serene setting. The lodge also provides guided tours and game drives.

Nairobi Tented Camp;   A tented camp located inside Nairobi National Park, offering luxury tented accommodations with all modern amenities.


Eka Hotel Nairobi;   A mid-range hotel located in Nairobi, offering comfortable accommodations and a range of amenities including a restaurant, bar, and fitness center. The hotel also provides shuttle services to Nairobi National Park.

Nairobi Tented Camp;   this tented camp is located inside Nairobi National Park and offers luxury tented accommodations with modern amenities. The camp provide s an authentic safari experience with wildlife viewing opportunities.

Ole-Sereni Hotel;   Situated overlooking Nairobi National Park, Ole-Sereni offers comfortable accommodations and excellent views of the park. The hotel features a restaurant, bar, and swimming pool.



Hotel Troy Nairobi;   A budget-friendly hotel located in Nairobi, offering simple yet comfortable accommodations. The hotel provides basic amenities and is a good option for budget-conscious travelers.

Midview Central Hotel;   Another budget-friendly hotel located in Nairobi, offering simple accommodations and basic amenities. The hotel provides easy access to Nairobi National Park and other attractions in the city.

67 Airport Hotel;   Located near Nairobi National Park and the airport, 67 Airport Hotel offers affordable accommodations with basic amenities. The hotel provides a convenient stay for travelers needing easy access to both the park and the airport.

In conclusion;

Nairobi National Park stands as a testament to Kenya’s commitment to conservation and offers a unique blend of wildlife, cultural experiences, and natural beauty. Whether you’re a nature lover, a wildlife enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique travel experience, Nairobi National Park has something for everyone. So, pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable journey to this remarkable destination.