Nairobi National Park


  19 reviews
Lion on signage at Nairobi National Park, Kenya
Lion on signage at Nairobi National Park, Kenya
About Nairobi National Park
Country found in:
Parks total area:
117 km² (45mi²)
Year established:
1946
Anti-malarial:
Not required
Park wildlife:
  • World’s only wildlife park located so close to a city; easily reached from Nairobi.
  • Home to four of the big five, including black rhinos and lions.
  • Major rhino and elephant sanctuary close to the main entrance.
  • Spectacular wildebeest and zebra migrations.
  • Over 400 species of endemic and migratory birds.

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.

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 to go?

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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Showing the 10 most recent reviews See all reviews

(2/5 stars) Written on: Dec 02, 2015   |   Visited: Oct 2015.
Nairobi National park happens to be the only park in the world where animals roam freely in their natural habitat and surprisingly located just next to Nairobi city. read more
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Oct 08, 2015   |   Visited: Jan 2015.
Nairobi National Park is a short drive out of Nairobi’s central business district. This park has a wide variety of wildlife including the endangered black rhino, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, buffalo, giraffes and diverse bird life with over 400 species recorded. Visitors can enjoy the park’s picnic sites, three campsites and the walking trails for hikers.
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(4/5 stars) Written on: Jul 24, 2015   |   Visited: Apr 2015.
Nairobi is the only city boasting of a national park next to its door step.
The park is located 15kms away from the city centre and despite this proximity, there are many species of mammals including four of the Big Five. The best time to visit the park is early in the morning or late afternoon everyday read more
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(4/5 stars) Written on: Jul 07, 2015   |   Visited: Nov 2014.
Nairobi is the only city in the world with a wildlife park within its borders. A short drive from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, its an ideal way to come off of a long journey and be instantly exposed to Africa's majestic wildlife. During my most recent visit, I opted to stay in the park rather than in the city or in a suburb like Karen. Within minutes of ent... read more
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(5/5 stars) Written on: May 26, 2015   |   Visited: Apr 2015.
Nairobi National Park is one of the rare places that you will have opportunity to see the wildlife within the lights of the city. I enjoyed every bit of my game drive with all the wild animals that I spotted. I would recommend this park for every visitor. read more
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Mar 21, 2015   |   Visited: Mar 2015.
Halo to all of you whom shall be able to have the chance to read this text.

Nairobi National Park, it has changed to the best of the current parks we have in Kenya at this moment.
Wildlife are back in this park like floods brought by rain. I saw 12 lions (7 young ones),buffalo were just so many that you can count them as they stroll to drink water in the dams w... read more
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(3/5 stars) Written on: Mar 13, 2015   |   Visited: Jan 2015.
A park that allows you to be on safari within minutes of leaving Nairobi Airport.
The National National Park boasts a wide diversity of game including lion and rhino, so why not start your safari from the moment you touchdown?
Amazing read more
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(4/5 stars) Written on: Mar 12, 2015   |   Visited: Feb 2015.
The park is unique by being the only protected area in the world close to a capital city with rich/diverse bird life. Animals to be seen include lion, leopard, hyena and cheetah. read more
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(4/5 stars) Written on: Mar 12, 2015   |   Visited: Feb 2015.
Nairobi National Park is located approximately 7 km south of the centre of Nairobi, Kenya's capital city with an electric fence separating the park's wildlife from the metropolis.
This park gives all what you desire to see in the wilderness close to nature. In terms of birds there is a large variety of species in this park. It is also to rhinos.
If someone has ... read more
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Mar 12, 2015   |   Visited: Feb 2015.
A safari in Nairobi National Park is only kilometres from the city centre. It is a very nice park you cant afford to miss if connections of flight on transit are Nairobi to JRO. Or while on a short business trip. read more
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Safari suitability: 7 / 10
Perfect for city dwellers and short stayers wishing to meet rhinos on their doorstep.
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Articles about the Nairobi National Park

Nearby parks and game reserves

Animals you can find

Rhinoceros
Rhinoceros
Cheetah
Cheetah
Leopard
Leopard
Lion
Lion
Giraffe
Giraffe
Wildebeest
Wildebeest
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Getting to Nairobi National Park

Activities you can do

Bird watching
Bird watching
Bush walks
Bush walks
Game drives
Game drives
Photography
Photography
Trekking
Trekking

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