Nairobi National Park – Kenya

Nairobi National Park is Kenya’s oldest park established in 1946 and named after the country’s capital city which is only a stone’s throw away. It is one of the few national parks in the world located within a capital city’s borders. This gives you the rare opportunity to experience wildlife against the backdrop of a city skyline.

The park covers an area of 117 square kilometers characterized by savannah grasslands, acacia woodlands, riverine forests, and rocky outcrops which are home to over 100 species of mammals and 400 species of birds.

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Things to do in Nairobi National Park

1. Wildlife viewing

You can go on a safari game drive through the park to spot iconic African wildlife such as lions, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, rhinos, and more.

For a more intimate wildlife viewing experience, you should try the guided nature walks. During these walks, you will explore the park on foot, get up close to nature, and even spot some creatures you wouldn’t see from a car like colorful butterflies and tiny bugs.

During the game drives and nature walks, experienced guides will be leading you and sharing their knowledge about the wildlife and ecosystems of the park.

2. Birdwatching

Nairobi National Park is an Important Birding Area (IBA) with many bird species like the common ostrich, white-backed duck, knob-billed duck, Egyptian geese, spur-winged geese, crested flamingos, common quail, lesser and greater flamingos, laughing dove, speckled pigeon, Namaqua dove, among others.

Bring your binoculars and camera to spot and capture amazing photos of the birds.

3. Picnics and Nature Walks

You can take advantage of the designated picnic areas within the park to enjoy a leisurely lunch surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature.

4. Visit the Nairobi Animal Orphanage

This orphanage provides a home for orphaned and injured animals, including lions, cheetahs, and elephants. Here, you can learn about wildlife rehabilitation efforts in Kenya and witness firsthand the care provided to these animals.

Best time to visit

Nairobi National Park can be visited at any time of the year but the dry seasons are best for wildlife viewing. The dry seasons occur from May to September and January to February and during these periods, wildlife is easier to spot because they gather around water sources. There is also better visibility of the animals since the vegetation is less dense during this time.

How to get there

Given that the park is in the city, you can just drive to the park’s main entrance, which is located just off Langata Road. The journey takes around 30 minutes from the city center, depending on traffic conditions.

If you’re staying near the park or in the Langata area, you can walk or cycle to Nairobi National Park

Where to stay when visiting Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park doesn’t offer accommodation within its boundaries but there are several options for lodging nearby where you can stay during your visit. Some popular choices include Ololo Safari Lodge, Emakoko Lodge, Nairobi Tented Camp, and The Boma Nairobi.

If you are looking for self-catering accommodation or unique and boutique-style stays, you can look for Airbnb rentals in the surrounding neighborhoods like Langata or Karen, which are close to Nairobi National Park.

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