Nairobi national park
Nairobi national park “the world’s only is wildlife capital” is an incredible Kenya wildlife destination located in Nairobi the capital city Kenya and situated in a short drive from Nairobi’s central business district, the park is adorned with a magnificent backdrop of the city’s sky scrapers.
The park covers an area of 117 square kilometers and three sides of the park(northern, eastern and western) are fenced with an electric fencing and the southern boundary is open, this open southern boundary is used as a migrating route for animals migrating between the park and the adjacent Kitengela plains. Nairobi national park is dominated by open grass plains and scattered acacia bush and is crossed by Mbagathi River which forms the southern boundary, the park is the only protected part of the Athi-Kapiti ecosystem.
History of Nairobi national park
Nairobi city where Nairobi national park is found were formally known as the Athi plains east and south, these plains were used as grazing plains for the nomadic Maasai for their herds amongst the wildlife. The Kikuyu people inhabited and farmed in the forested highlands, as Nairobi grew by 1910, its population increased which resulted into conflict between humans and wildlife. The residents of the city had to carry guns at night as a way of protecting themselves against lions and other wildlife animals.
At the return of Mervyn Cowie the conservationist who was born in Kenya after 9 years absence, he was alarmed by the reduction in the amount of wildlife in the Athi plains and this was due to expanding of farms and increase in the number of the livestock. Mervyn Cowie reminisced about the paradise this area was and at that time it was disappearing quickly, by that time the area was part of the Southern Game reserve and hunting was not permitted. Apart from hunting, other activity such as cattle grazing, dumping of wastes and bombing by the Royal Air Force was allowed.
Mervyn Cowie started a campaign for the establishment of a national park system in Kenya and the British government who was the ruler of Kenya by then formed a committee to examine the matter. In 1946, Nairobi national park was established becoming the first national park in Kenya and Mervyn Cowie was named the director a position he held until 1966.
Wildlife in Nairobi national park
The park is a habitat to a diverse wildlife and birdlife population, animals in the park include lion, leopard, African buffalo, black rhinos, giraffes, hippos, spotted hyena, blue wildebeests, plains zebra, grant’s gazelle, common eland, common warthog, hartebeests, olive baboon, black-backed jackal, Nile crocodile, impalas among others.
Birdlife in Nairobi national park
The park is a very thriving Kenya bird destination as well as habitat, the park has a total of 500 recorded bird species and they include Abyssinian thrush, Corncrake, Fischer’s lovebird, Grey crowned crane, Hartlaub’s bustard, Jackson’s widowbird, Kori bustard, Lappet-faced vulture, Lesser kestrel, Martial eagle, Pallid harrier, Secretary bird, Sharpe’s longclaw, Sooty falcon, White-bellied bustard, White-headed vulture among others. These birds in Nairobi national park include resident and migratory species.
Kenya safari activities to do in Nairobi national park
Game drives is one of the highlight Kenya tour activities done in the park, game drives are offered as morning and evening game drives, morning game drives are best for watching many animals such as rhinos, giraffes, blue wildebeests, plains zebra, grant’s gazelle, common eland, common warthog, hartebeests, olive baboon, black-backed jackal, Nile crocodile, impalas and many more in big numbers. Evening game drive is also perfect for watching these animals as the come out of their hiding as the sun goes down.
The park is a perfect destination for Kenya walking safaris, the park is endowed with a backdrop of the city sky scrapers thus making walking safaris an amazing and mind blowing activity. Walking safaris are done on various walking trails/routes running through the park and while on your walk expect to enjoy watching various animals such as giraffes, hippos, elands and many birds species such as white-bellied bustard, white headed vulture, secretary bird among others.
Nairobi national park is listed among the best Kenya destinations for Kenya birding safaris and this is due to the huge population of birds found in the park, the park inhabits over 500 bird species. Bird watching in the park is a very thrilling activity to bird enthusiasts and it is done under the guidance of a birder guide, some of the birds you will have pleasure to spot during this Kenya tour activity include Grey crowned crane, Hartlaub’s bustard, Jackson’s widowbird, Kori bustard, Lappet-faced vulture, Lesser kestrel, Martial eagle, Pallid harrier, Secretary bird, Sharpe’s longclaw, Sooty falcon, White-bellied bustard, White-headed vulture and many more.
Accommodation in Nairobi national park
Accommodation in Nairobi national park is got a wide range of safari lodges, safari hotels and camps which are categorized as luxury accommodation, midrange accommodation and budget accommodation. These accommodation facilities include
- Luxury accommodation – Ololo safari lodge, Nairobi tented camp, Ole safari hotel and African Heritage house.
- Midrange accommodation – bush house and camp, Anga Afrika luxury boutique camp Nairobi, Tawala homes and Stardom hotel.
- Budget accommodation – Royal tulip Canaan Nairobi, Town lodge uphill, Fairview hotel, After 40 hotel, Lotos inns and suites Nairobi, Double tree by Hilton Nairobi, Radisson Blu hotel Nairobi, Fairview Hotel among others.
How to get to Nairobi national park
Nairobi national park is situated in Nairobi the capital city of Nairobi, 7 kilometers south of the city center and is accessed using numerous entry gate such as Maasai gate, Mbagathi gate, Banda gate, Lasngata gate and KWS headquarters. To get to Nairobi national park both road and air means of transport are used,
By road: by road it is approximately 7 kilometers south of the city center and about 10 kilometers from Jomo Kenyatta International airport.
By air: by air international tourists fly to Jomo Kenyatta International airport and tourists on a combined safari can use domestic chartered flight to Wilson airport then drive to the park.