nairobi national park

Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park: Background Info

Situated just 7 miles from the center of Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi National Park is a pretty special phenomenon. Where else can you view critically endangered rhinos against a backdrop of downtown skyscrapers, or spot giraffes from your window seat as you land at the city’s international airport? For those about to embark on a tour of Kenya’s more famous safari destinations (think Amboseli, Tsavo, Samburu, and the mighty Maasai Mara), Nairobi National Park offers a worthwhile introduction to the country’s animal and birdlife. For those passing through the capital, the park is an opportunity to get a taste of the wild without ever leaving the city limits.

Nairobi National Park: Destination Preview

nairobi national park


Nairobi National Park has a decent variety of wildlife. Aside from elephants, all of the Big Five are present. There is a good population of both black and white rhino and the latter are often seen grazing on the open plains. Leopards are shy, but lion, cheetah and hyena are regularly spotted. In July and August, a mini migration of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle crosses into the park from the surrounding areas.

Lion, cheetah, Masai giraffe and buffalo are just some of the animals you can encounter on a half-day trip in Nairobi NP. It is also a good place to see some of the more unusual antelope species, including oribi, a grassland special. Coke's hartebeest is quite common, and if you are lucky, a herd of shy eland will come into view. Pairs of little Kirk's dik-dik can be spotted as well.


With nearly 500 bird species recorded, Nairobi National Park probably gives Kenya’s capital the longest bird list of all cities in the world. The park’s substantial area of undisturbed grassland is of great importance for species such as the restricted-range Jackson’s widowbird, which breeds here regularly after good rains. Other grassland birds include ostriches, secretary birds and bustards. Nairobi NP is a popular birding destination and it’s easy to book a full- or half-day guided birding trip at short notice.

Nairobi NP offers good bird watching throughout the year, but the best time is from November to April when the migrants from Europe and North Africa are present. Many species are nesting at this time as it coincides with breeding season. The spectacular Jackson’s widowbird displays from March to May. Although good for birding, April tends to be very wet and is a less productive time for general wildlife viewing.

Nairobi National Park: Location

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Nairobi National Park

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Tsavo East National Park

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Tsavo West National Park

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