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Nairobi National Park

21 reviews

About Nairobi National Park

Country found in: Kenya
Parks total area: 117 km² (45mi²)
Year established: 1946
Park wildlife: 13 animals listed
Anti-malarial: Not required

What YAS members think of Nairobi National Park

Quality of wildlife:
Crowdedness*:
Quality of lodging:
Most-visited month: January
Top animal sighting: Giraffe

* Crowded parks have a lower rating

Nairobi National Park map

Nairobi National Park, sometimes called Kifaru Ark or ‘Rhinoceros Sanctuary’, was Kenya’s first national park, established in 1946. Only 7 kilometers (4 miles) south of the centre of Nairobi, it is the world’s only protected area that lies so close to a capital city. This makes the park very accessible and provides an ideal opportunity to witness some unique wildlife even for those with limited time.

Despite covering a relatively small area of 117 square kilometers (45 square miles) and its proximity to civilization, Nairobi National Park boasts a great variety of flora and fauna. Open grass plains are  home to four of the big five - black rhinos, lions, leopards and buffalos – which can be seen on a regular basis.

The park is not big enough for elephants, but elephant orphans can be seen in the park’s sanctuary ran by the David Sheldrick Trust. Orphaned and sick animals are brought here from all over Kenya with the aim to release them back into the wild when ready. The sanctuary is known to be very successful and provides the visitors with a rare opportunity to see the endangered giants roaming in their natural habitat. They also answer calls from other Parks if elephants or rhinos there need their specialized medical assistance.

Nairobi Park is fenced in its northern, eastern and western boundaries to separate the wildlife from the city. In the south, there is a natural border created by the Mbagathi River, which features a riverine forest. The south border is opened to the Kitenegela Conservation Area and the Athi-Kapiti plains. An important migration corridor is located in this part of the park. It allows the animals to reach the plains in the wet season and then return to the park in the dry season where they are provided with additional water sources in the form of man-made dams built along the river. Many large herbivores can be spotted around this area and spectacular wildebeest and zebra migrations can be observed in July and August.

The park’s permanent river and dams support a large number of bird species and other aquatic biome. Hippopotami reside in the pools and the river area is a paradise for bird watchers who can expect to see many of the over 400 species found here, 20 of them seasonal migrants from Europe.

Nairobi National Park has been praised for its conservational efforts. In 1989, Kenyan president burnt twelve tons of ivory on a site within the park. The scene is now marked as the Ivory Burning Site Monument and reminds the visitors of the tragedy of elephant poaching.

Nairobi National Park activities

The park has a selection of walking trails and you can take the Nairobi Safari Walk. Video shows and guided tours are available from the Wildlife Conservation Education Center. The park is a popular picnic and special events destination for the local city population.

When is the best time to visit Nairobi National Park?

The park can be visited throughout the year. January to March is hot and dry, April to June is hot and wet and July to October is known to be very warm and wet. During the dry season, migrating herbivores gather in the park to access the scarce water.

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Nairobi National Park tour packages

Showing 10 of 456 tour packages. Click here to see all tours.

Tour by: AV Tours and Safaris

During this safari you will experience in a relatively short time a wide range of parks, which are making Kenya ...

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$5500

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Tour by: Sunworld Safaris

This safari takes you to the great wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara ecosystem and to Lake Naivasha.

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$3300

per person

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Tour by: GoWild Africa

Ride well schooled horses into 49,000 acres of undiscovered wilderness

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$1695

per person

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Tour by: Zaruma Safaris

Karibu - Welcome to Nairobi!

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$235

per person

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Tour by: Kenya Walking Survivors Safaris

Amboseli National Park is in southern Kenya. It’s known for its large elephant herds and views of immense Mount ...

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$2984

per person

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Tour by: Tanzania Adventure LTD

This 12 days private safari covers the highlights of the East African National Parks. Depending of the time of t...

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$4650

per person

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Tour by: Beacon Safaris

10 Days Luxury Tented Camp Safaris

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$2500

per person

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Tour by: Beacon Safaris

4 Days Maasai Mara Safari

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$750

per person

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Tour by: BosoDabreo Tour & Safaris

The tour covers the modern city center, the colorful city market, parliament buildings, the railway station, the...

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$130

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Showing 10 of 456 tour packages. Click here to see all tours.
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