Set on the city's southern outskirts, Nairobi National Park is located about 7 km (4.3 mi) from the Nairobi's centre and covers an area of 117.21 sq. km . The park's altitude ranges between 1,533 and 1,760 m (5,030 and 5,774 ft). The park was officially opened in 1946, and was the first park to be gazetted not only in Kenya but also in east Africa. The park is unique by being the only protected area in the world with a variety of animals and birds close to a capital city and is a principal attraction for visitors to Nairobi.
The park is one of the most successful of Kenya’s rhino sanctuaries with over 100 mammal species and 400 migratory and endemic bird species. Some of the animal found in the park include; buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, baboon, zebra, wildebeest and cheetah. The park has a unique ecosystem, the open grass plain with scattered Acacia bushes are predominant. The park has 7 gates, 2 gates being for KWS service use only. The gates are; KWS headquarters, Langata road, Langata Gate, Maasai Gate, Mbagathi Gate(service gate),and Banda Gate(service gate).
Nairobi National Park has a large and diverse wildlife population. Animals easily spotted in the park include; African buffalo, baboon, eastern black rhinoceros, gazelle, Grant's zebra, cheetah, Coke's hartebeest, hippopotamus, African leopard, lion, common eland, impala, Masai giraffe, ostrich, vultures and waterbuck. The park also has high diversity of bird species with over 400 endemic and migratory species. Inside the park there is a santuary run by David Sheldrick Trust, that hand-rears orphaned elephant and rhinoceros calves, and later releases them back into secure sanctuaries. The sanctuary is located close to the park's main entrance. It was opened in 1963. It was set up by Daphne Sheldrick after the death of her husband David Sheldrick, the anti-poaching warden of Tsavo National Park. Click here to read more about Kenya Safari Animals and Wildlife.
Nairobi has a cool and temperate climate. Temperatures are reasonably constant year-round, and it cools off considerably at night. There is very little rain in the Dry season between June and October. November to May, the Wet season, has two periods of rain. The ‘short rains’ are heaviest in November, and the ‘long rains’ are at their peak in April.
Nairobi National Park is open all year round and can be visisted any time, but the dry season from June to September is generally the best time for wildlife watching, when animals can easily be seen around water sources. Wildlife watching is usually difficult during the raining season ( between March and May and October to November ).
Nairobi National Park has several high quality lodging options, located both inside and outside the park at distinct areas to suit every budget. Nairobi Tented Camp is the only lodging that is situated inside the park. The other hotels, camps and lodges are located outside the park. Below is a simple list of some of the more outstanding accommodation options.
Typical Tent Interior at Nairobi Tented Camp.
Typical Double Room Interior at Ole Sereni Hotel.