Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park


Kenya’s oldest National Park and the first to be established in East Africa is Nairobi National Park. It is the crown jewel of Kenya’s conservation drive, and is very unique in its offering. No other city in the world can boast of a natural wilderness. Teeming with wildlife and home to over400 species of birds, just ten Kilometers from the city center.

Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park

With an oasis of lion-gold plains, acacia-fringed rivers, leopard- stalked cliffs, plunging gorges and murky hippo pools, this versatile park hosts its own wildebeest migration and is the only place on earth where you can find black and white rhinos grazing against the silhouettes of office blocks and skyscrapers.

Lion-gold plains, dappled shade and cool valleys

With long, sloping plains of black cotton soil scoured by deep river valleys and gorges, Nairobi National Park is full of unexpected beauty and diverse habitats which include rolling grassy plains, riverine woodland, dense thickets, rocky gorges, dry upland forest and man-made dams & pools.

The wildlife watching experience

Most of the woodland is concentrated on the Western end of the park, right near the main entrance, making it a good location to spot giraffes and leopards (at dawn). The various man-made dams and ponds draw concentrations of animals especially during the dry season ranging from Zebra, Maasai giraffe, buffalo, antelope etc. The thriving prides of lions in Nairobi National Park prefer the open country, while visitors can spot cheetah families sunbathing on top of the directional signs. The plains are home to the cheetah, and occasionally, the elusive leopard is spotted at dawn.

A thriving rhino sanctuary

The Park is one of Kenya’s most successful rhino sanctuaries and has received wide acclaim all over the world. The park has the highest density of black rhino in the country and is also .1 home forthe white rhino.

An ornithological paradise

The park’s exceptional birdlife records a remarkable 400 species; their numbers swell up in March-May when a host of European migrants make the park their home. Look out for the marabou storks, vultures and hawk eagles perched high in the acacia trees and on the grasslands for secretary birds, bustard, ostrich and the gorgeous Jackson’s widowbird.


An ideal day trip venue or green escape from the city, this versatile park offers the following selection of picnic and event sites.

– IMPALA OBSERVATION POINT: High on a hill just minutes from the main gate this site offers a stone-built rondavel with panoramic views and a picnic area (with latrines).

The Ivory Burning Site gained fame as the place where former President Moi burned 12 tonnes of ivory in 1989, showcasing Kenya’s commitment to elephant conservation and its strong stance against ivory trade. The site provides a spacious and convenient venue for picnics and bush functions.

– KINGFISHER PICNIC SITE: A green shaded area with picnic tables, ideal for early morning bush breakfasts.

– MOKOIYET PICNIC SITE: An open cliff top site with shaded tables, latrines and extensive parking. Close by is Leopard cliff observation point, looking down into the Mbagathi river gorge below.

HIPPO POOLS AND NATURE TRAILS: A short self-guided nature trail (Patrolled by KWS rangers) leads out of a shaded picnic area (latrines and running water available) along the Athi River and offers the opportunity of viewing hippo, crocodile, monkey, terrapin and a large variety of birds.


Nairobi Safari Walk

The Safari Walk (just before and to the right of the main gate) offers the rare chance of viewing different animals behaving as they would in their natural habitat. Traversed by panoramic raised timbered boardwalks it also makes for an informative walk and an enjoyable family outing.

The Animal Orphanage:

This small enclosure shelters a shifting population of orphaned, abandoned or wounded animals, most of whom are regaining their strength before being released back into the wild.

Dinning and shopping facilities

Shop for essential items before your game drive or unwind after you experience a drive in the national parks in these cool facilities. Whether you need a souvenir, snack or meal in the breeze, the choice is yours. Take a break in the shops and two restaurants conveniently located within the KWS headquarters. Your visit to Nairobi National Park will not be complete without a visit to these facilities.

Kifaru shop:

The shop holds a variety of souvenir items such as maps, postcard, diaries, wildlife DVD’s and reference books as well as providing visitors items required during a game drive.

The Club House

Located only lkm from the main park entrance, the facility offers a visitor a serene and quiet environment to unwind after a game drive. Meals and drinks are also available at reasonable prices. Hire of the grounds can be done for social and corporate functions with a capacity of 350 persons.

Rangers’ Restaurants:

this one ofits kind traditionally built and nestled between Nairobi safari walk. The restaurant overlooks the national park and gives you the feeling of being in the bush away from the hustle and bustle ofthe city centre.

SEBASTIAN CAFE: A self service café named after the famous Sebastian chimpanzee, this fabulously shaded restaurant lets you enjoy a meal at a reasonable price against the backdrop of Nairobi safari walk.

MEGA GIFT SHOP: A shop providing various services including a mall café a major gift with various items.


Twiga campsite:

Located just 500meters off Mombasa Road is the parks Twiga campsite. A camper will find a serene environment with modern facilities including hot water showers and electricity.A modern kitchen area is also provided. Located within the forest area is a special campsite that is fully equipped.


Nairobi city offers an abundance of accommodation options. For Further information please consult your travel agent.


The park is accessible all year round.


Drinking water and picnic items. Also useful are: Camera, binoculars, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, insect repellent and guidebooks.



Daily 6.00am-7.00pm including public holidays.

Note: no entry is allowed on foot and visitors will not be allowed entry after 6.00pm.

Current entry charges:

Obtainable via KWS HQ Tel 🙁 Nairobi) +254 (20) 6000800, 6002345.

Email: – Website:

‘Safari Card’ required?

Entry is by Safari Card may be obtained and loaded at the main Gate off Lang’ata Road. A loaded safari card allows access through the parks main entrance, East gate (along Mombasa Road), Maasai gate and Langata gate (along Magadi Road)



Ro. BOX 42076, Nairobi. Tel: (Nairobi) +254 (20) 6002121, 6003769.

Fax: +254 (20) 6000324 – Email:

About Author

Sabina Kamene