Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park

So Close to Nairobi Capital City

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Nairobi National Park, located approximately 7 kilometres (4 mi) south of the centre of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, with an electric fence separating the park’s wildlife from the metropolis. Nairobi’s skyscrapers can be seen from the park. Nairobi National Park is the only National Park in the world located to close to the city. The proximity of urban and natural environments has caused conflicts between the animals and local people and threatens animals’ migration routes.

Still, despite its proximity to civilisation and relative small size for an African national park, Nairobi National Park boasts a large and varied wildlife population. Migrating herbivores gather in the park during the dry season, and it is one of Kenya’s most successful rhinoceros sanctuaries.

Nairobi national park covers an area of 117.21 square kilometres (28,963 acres) and is small in comparison to most of Africa’s national parks. The park is located about 7 kilometres (4 mi) from the Nairobi’s centre. There is electric fencing around the park’s northern, eastern, and western boundaries. Its southern boundary is formed by the Mbagathi River. This boundary is not fenced and is open to the Kitengela Conservation Area (located immediately south of the park) and the Athi-Kapiti plains. There is considerable movement of large ungulate species across this boundary. The fence that separates Nairobi National Park from the city runs along a high way leaving the airport, this is one fact many Kenyans are proud of – this park is the only natural safari park that has a city scape background that can be seen from almost any part of the park, as seen in the picture of the giraffe and the sky scrapers.

Nairobi National Park Wildlife

The park has a large and diverse wildlife population. Species found in the park include Cape buffaloes, baboons, eastern black rhinos, gazelles, zebras, Tanzanian cheetahs, Coke’s hartebeest, hippopotami, leopards, Masai lions, elands, impala, Masai giraffes, ostriches, vultures and waterbucks.

Herbivores, including wildebeest and zebra, use the Kitengela conservation area and migration corridor to the south of the park to reach the Athi-Kapiti plains. They disperse over the plains in the wet season and return to the park in the dry season. The concentration of wildlife in Nairobi National Park is greatest in the dry season, when areas outside the park have dried up. Small dams built along the Mbagathi River give the park more water resources than these outside areas. They attract water dependent herbivores during the dry season. The park is the northern limit for wildlife migrations in the dry season. The park has a high diversity of bird species, with up to 500 permanent and migratory species in the park. Dams have created a man-made habitat for birds and aquatic species.

Nairobi National Park is sometimes called Kifaru Ark, which means “Rhinoceros Sanctuary”. It is one of Kenya’s most successful rhinoceros sanctuaries, and it is one of only a few parks where visitors can be certain of seeing a black rhinoceros in its natural habitat.

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Kenya Safaris Quick Travel Info
Official LanguagesKiswahili, English
Population45 M (2014)
CurrencyKenyan Shilling (Ksh)
Time ZoneEAT (UTC +3)
Traffic DrivesLeftt Side
Dialling Code+254
Best Time to travelLow Season (Mar–May)
Shoulder (Nov & Dec)
High Season (Jul-Oct, Jan & Feb)

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