Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park one of the smallest national parks in Africa and is found in Kenya near Nairobi the capital city of Kenya. Nairobi national park is the most beautiful place in Africa and the only location where you will experience both city life and wilderness at a go. The national park is the only park bordering a city and it covers an area of 117.21 square kilometers. The park is approximately 7 kilometers a 33 minutes drive south of the city business center of Nairobi.
Nairobi national park nicknamed as Kifaru Ark due to success as a rhinoceros sanctuary famous for being an ivory burning site in 1989. The then-president of Kenya president Moi set 12 tons of elephant tusks and rhino horns to fire in this park which drew the world’s attention to the country’s conservation image. Nairobi National Park is one of the most accessible national parks in Kenya offering a phenomenon experience of wilderness as you watch the animals with a back drop of the city tallest skyscrapers. Nairobi National Park is home to a variety of wildlife population such as lions, giraffe, Cape buffalo, baboon, eland, waterbuck, ostrich, Masai giraffe, African leopard, grant’s zebra, coke’s hartebeest, vultures, African leopard, wildebeest, zebra, and cheetah.
Nairobi National Park’s stretch consists of numerous swamps which are home for various bird species approximately 500 species such as Lesser Kestrel, martial eagle, pallid harrier, secretary bird, Sharpe’s long claw, sooty falcon, white-bellied bustard, and white-headed vulture. Occasionally the park experiences the wildebeest migration with zebras using Kitengela migration corridor. These animals move in and out of the park mostly during the wet season where they move south to Anthi-Kapiti plains to graze and in dry season they return to the park mainly due to permanent water sources on the banks of Mbagathi River. Mbagathi River in the park is home to hippos, Nile crocodiles and a variety of birds
Nairobi National Park is famous for harboring a large population of black rhino is governed by Kenya Wildlife Services. The park is predominately made up of a wide-open grass plains and scattered acacia bushes, the western uplands are dominated by dry forest consisting off Olea Africana, Croton dichogamous, Brachylaena hutchinsii, and Calodendrum and the lower slope has glass land species such as Themeda, cypress, Digitaria and Cynodon species which facilitating easy view of the animals. The wildlife park can be accessed using road or by air using Jomo Kenyatta international airport and Wilson airports, entrance to the park is made at any of 7 gates. Two gates of the park designed to be used only by Kenya wildlife service buses only, the main gate is at Kenya wildlife service headquarters, another gate Langata Gate, Maasai Gate, Mbagathi Gate and Banda Gate. The park’s land is separated from the city using an electric face in northern, eastern and western boundaries, the southern boundary of the park is created by the Mbagathi River. While on your plane widow’s plane as you land into Nairobi at Jomo Kenyatta international airport you can see the animals grazing in the short grass of the park.
The land used as a park was previously habited by the Masai nomads who grazed their cattle in the Athi plains and the Kikuyu people who carried out farming in the forested highland above Nairobi. The lands contained numerous wildlife animals with 14000 residents, by 1910 conflicts between humans and the animals intensified as the local people carried guns to safeguard themselves from the animals. When the colonials came to Nairobi they set the areas as a game reserve as a way of confining animals from destroying farmlands of the people. On conservationist Mervyn cowie’s return to his motherland Nairobi in 1932 after the absence of nine years, he was disappointed to see the decreasing number of animals in the Athi plains mainly due to poaching by the locals. Poaching in the research was not allowed but was illegally done and some dangerous practices like dumping and bombing by the Royal Air Force were allowed which was devastating. Cowie campaigned for an establishment of the national park to save the disappearing animals species, his request was granted by the forming of a committee to examine the matter by the government. In 1946 Nairobi national park the first national park in East Africa and Kenya was established, this resulted into the evacuation of Masai nomads from the park’s land and Cowie was declared the director of the national park which he administered until 1966.
Apart from wildlife in the park, there are other attractions in Nairobi like Nairobi safari walk tours and the ivory burning site monument
Nairobi national park is a perfect destination for Kenya safaris Tours offering amazing safari activities such as:
- Game drives: Game Drives in Nairobi national park are very exciting as you get to spot numerous animals as they freely roaming around the park, with the city boundaries this park is an amazing place to see zebras, giraffe, leopard, lions with a magnificent view of the city’s sky scrapers. On game drives in Nairobi national park, you can use a private 4wd car or you can prefer to use the cheapest way of using the big Kenya wildlife safari shuttle which makes trips to the park daily for a 2 and half hour safari. The best time to go for game drives in this park is during the dry seasons.
- Bird watching: Nairobi national park is a home to a variety of bird species approximately 500 bird species such as Abyssinian thrush, corncrake, Fischer’s lovebird, grey crowned crane, Hartlaub’s bustard, Jackson’s widowbird, Kori bustard, lappet-faced vulture, lesser kestrel, and martial eagle. Birds in the park are seen feeding on Mbagathi River and on trees. The best time to go for bird watching tours is in the months of November and April when they migrant into the park from Europe and North Africa.
- Camping and picnic: Camping and picnic in Nairobi national park is very exciting and fulfilling, picnics in this park offer endless wonders from unpolluted fresh air, beautiful scenic sights of the wilderness and the city structures, the park has various picnic sites like mokoiyet picnic site, ivory burning site, impala picnic site and kingfisher site which are perfect for weddings, sundowners. Camping takes place in Twiga campsite which is composed of a serene environment.
- Guided Nature Walks: Nature walks in Nairobi national park takes place in walking trails like a hippo and throw the Nairobi safari walls which allow tourists to see animals from a raised wooden boardwalk giving the tourist uninterrupted views of animals. On this walk, rare animals like the rare bongo, white rhino and albino zebra, as well as big cats, antelopes, and primates, are seen.
- Visiting David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage: David Sheldrick elephant orphanage is situated at the park’s main gate, in this orphanage tourists get a chance to bond with orphaned baby elephants and rhinos.
Visit Nairobi national park to get an exciting experience filled with both modernity and wilderness.
While at Nairobi national park accommodation can be got from Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Hurlingham, Crowne Plaza Nairobi, Swiss Lenana Mount, the Headquarters Inn, Silver Springs Hotel, Radisson Blu Hotel, Nairobi Upper Hill among others.