Why Visit Nairobi National Park

Why Visit Nairobi National Park

Located seven kilometers south of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi National Park is home to hundreds of different wildlife species, including lions, leopards, giraffes, and zebras. Its proximity to the capital city makes it a popular place to visit for visitors arriving in Kenya via Nairobi airport. In fact, it’s the only park in the world within the boundaries of a bustling city, yet it has all the wild animals you would expect to see on a safari.

Here are more reasons why you should consider visiting Nairobi National Park.

Astonishing Variety of Wild Animals

Nairobi National Park occupies an area of 117 square kilometers, making it one of the smallest protected areas in Kenya. But don’t let its small size fool you. The park is home to over a hundred different species of animals, including four of the Big Five – lions, rhinos, buffalos, and leopards. You’ll also find hyenas, cheetahs, zebras, crocodiles, giraffes, hippos, and more. Since the park is not too big, you’ll have a higher chance of seeing these wild animals up close, in their natural habitat.

The Nairobi National Park is one of Kenya’s most successful rhino sanctuaries, home to both black and white rhinos. It’s one of the few places in the world where visitors are guaranteed sightings of critically endangered black rhinos. The animals are more active in the morning and evening, especially the big cats. So, try to come early in the morning or late in the day for a better chance of seeing some of the world’s most incredible wildlife.

Ivory Burning Site

The Ivory Burning Site is another reason to visit the Nairobi National Park. It’s a historic area where former Kenyan President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi burned twelve tons of ivory in 1989. It was to show Kenya’s commitment to conserving elephants. African elephants are at risk of extinction due to poaching that feeds the ivory trade. The site was used to burn several tons of ivory in the past years, with the latest in 2016, when the Kenyan government burned 105 tons of ivory.

Today, you will find a monument in the area, ashes from burnt ivory, and a spacious lawn that serves as a picnic site. There are also benches and toilets in the area. The Ivory Burning Site is a popular stopping point for those on a safari in Nairobi National Park.

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Another highlight in Nairobi National Park is the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an elephant rescue and wildlife rehabilitation center established in 1977 by Dame Daphne Sheldrick. The project was set up to care for orphan elephants who lost their mothers due to poaching, habitat destruction, drought, and other threats.

The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust welcomes visitors to visit for an hour every morning, around 11 AM, and witness baby elephants being bathed and fed by carers. It’s entertaining and educational and a must-visit when exploring Nairobi National Park. You also get the chance to listen to

fascinating lectures about the project’s goals, history, and the issues faced by elephants in the wild. Take plenty of photos with the elephants and visit the small gift shop selling souvenirs of all kinds.

Incredible Camping Experience

If you want to sleep surrounded by nature, consider spending the night in a tent in Nairobi National Park. Offering some of the world’s most incredible camping experiences, it has three public campsites equipped with hot showers, electricity, and communal kitchens. You can bring a tent or rent one from the park.

For visitors who want to experience a more glamorous way of camping in Nairobi National Park, consider staying at the Nairobi Tented Camp, a glamping site located within the boundaries of the park. It has nine fully furnished tents, each with ensuite bathrooms and solar lighting. Guests can indulge in delicious gourmet meals, and you can dine in the bush, in a dining tent, or under the stars!

Knowledgeable Tour Guides

Many visitors to Nairobi National Park will choose to hire a car and self-drive around the park. However, for the ultimate wildlife safari experience, consider hiring a tour guide. The Nairobi National Park has knowledgeable tour guides who will be with you as you explore the entirety of the park and know where to find even the most elusive animals. They communicate with each other regarding animal sightings, giving you the best chance of seeing wild animals. With their knowledge and skills, it won’t be long before you can spot your favorite animals.

If you’re traveling in big groups, you can hire a Land Cruiser with a driver and guide from the main gate. But if you’re on a budget, you can join the Kenya Wildlife Service’s shuttle safari. You can ride the shuttle from the Development House in Nairobi’s city center or from the main gate of the park. These coaches will come with knowledgeable guides for the ultimate safari experience.

Proximity to Nairobi

Another good reason to visit Nairobi National Park is its proximity to Kenya’s capital city, which makes it a convenient place to visit. As mentioned, it’s the only park in the world within the boundaries of a capital city and where you’ll see wild animals in their natural habitat.

The Nairobi National Park is only about 15 minutes from Nairobi’s Central Business District. While most visitors prefer to drive to the park in a rented car, it’s also possible to take public transport. Take the bus Matatu 125 or 126 from the Nairobi Railway Station and get off at the park’s main gate.


The Nairobi National Park is a fantastic place to visit if you want to go on a safari in Kenya without the hassles of traveling long distances. If you are arriving or departing from Nairobi’s

airport, it’s worth stopping by the park. It is the best place to get a taste of Africa’s national parks without ever leaving the city.

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