Located just south of the city, Nairobi National Park is Kenya’s first game reserve and the only protected area in the world that sits so close to a nation’s capital. Visitors to the vast wildlife park are likely to spot black rhinos, lions, giraffe, and zebra, as well as some 400 bird species.
Nairobi National Park ranks among Africa’s most accessible wildlife experiences, offering the chance to spot some of the continent’s most iconic species in as little as a half-day trip from downtown Nairobi. Explore on a safari tour, enjoy picnic sites and campsites, and hike an assortment of walking trails in this nature escape. Half-day and full-day tours allow visitors to drive through the park’s grass plains with the capital’s skyscrapers as a backdrop, spotting endangered animal species in their natural habitat. It’s also possible to visit on a more comprehensive Nairobi tour to also see nearby highlights such as the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, the Giraffe Center, the Karen Blixen Museum, and the Nairobi National Museum.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Nairobi National Park is a must-see for animal lovers and first-time visitors to Kenya’s capital.
- A guided day tour of Nairobi National Park can last anywhere from five to nine hours.
- Bring plenty of drinking water and a picnic lunch to enjoy within the park.
- Don’t forget to bring binoculars, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
How to Get There
Nairobi National Park lies roughly six miles (10 kilometers) south of Nairobi’s city center. Visitors must enter the park in a vehicle, and a guided safari tour is the easiest (and most rewarding) way to visit. Most tours to the park include hotel pickup and drop-off in the capital city. The closest major airport is Jomo Kenyatta International.
When to Get There
The dry season (July to September) is the best time to spot animals within the park. Avoid April through June, when heavy rains can make spotting wildlife difficult and a 4-wheel-drive vehicle is necessary for visiting certain areas of the park.
Four of the Big Five in Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park is home to four of the Big Five safari animals: lions, buffalo, leopards, and rhinos. In fact, the park contains the highest density of black rhinos anywhere in Kenya. What you won’t find here are elephants. While the park once had an African elephant population, the animals were relocated to reduce unnecessary contact between humans and wildlife.