Located just 7 miles from the center of East Africa’s largest city, Nairobi National Park is one of the most accessible safari destinations in Kenya. The park is unique and covers an area of approximately 117 km2 – mainly dominated by abundant wildlife, a background of urban scrapers, grassy plains and acacia bushes scattered across the pack. The park is a popular destination around the world and is known to be the most urban national park in the world! Being the heart of the East African nation, many visitors and locals consider this park to be the safari capital of Kenya. In the park, visitors can see the rare black rhinos, leopards, cheetahs, gazelles, zebras, warthogs and endangered birds. Over 400 species of birds thrive in this park, which is a higher figure compared to the whole of the UK. This destination is accessible to everyone, regardless of the physical challenges.
Getting to the park
Getting to the park is easy as minibuses pass through the park’s main entrance gate. One can also order an Uber or Bolt online through the apps of the respective services. Most safari companies in Nairobi offer half-day tours and guarantee an unforgettable safari experience.
- Price of minibuses (Matatus) to the main entrance: KES 50
- Duration: 30-45 mins
Of course, there are other entry points into the park, including the Athi River entrance and the one on the Magadi road. The Athi River Gate is more convenient for visitors planning to leave Mombasa or Amboseli from Nairobi. Looking for the most affordable way to get to Nairobi National Park? Target the Kenya Wildlife Service shuttle bus which leaves the entrance at 2:00 p.m. for two and a half hours every Sunday. Reservations are made at the main entrance to the Park before 1:30 p.m.
Timings for visiting Nairobi National Park through KWS changes. Call ahead to properly plan the visit.
Things to do in Nairobi National Park
Park game drives are the main activity of a safari in Nairobi National Park, whether you drive yourself or join a group tour. This park does not top the list of authentic parks in Kenya, but it is home to various species of wildlife in an urban setting, making it a major attraction in the country.
You can drive to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an organization that rescues orphaned baby elephants in the wild. This organization was established in 1977 by Dame Daphne Sheldrick and is located in the Nairobi National Park. Travelers from anywhere are welcome to tour the area seeing the rescued elephants in their new home. You can watch these animals feeding and bathing. Although getting off vehicles is prohibited, visitors can still stop at the marked points and walk around. The park’s walking trails take visitors to the hippopotamus pools. Here, one can spot these animals in large numbers. Travelers will even find a beautiful picnic spot at Impala Lookout, where they can hang out and grab some snacks.
Kenya’s 2nd President, the late Daniel Arap Moi, in 1989 ordered confiscated elephant ivory to be burned in Nairobi National Park – a symbol of zero tolerance for ivory trafficking. The monument at the ivory burning site celebrates this day every year, and travelers interested in conservation efforts can make it part of their safari.
Where to camp in the park
Nairobi National Park has three public campsites where visitors can pitch their tents. Travelers without a tent can still rent at the park’s main gate. All campsites in this park have communal kitchens, reliable power sources and hot showers. For a glamorous camping experience, camp at Nairobi Tented Camp located on the west side of the park. In addition to not having to pitch a tent, Tented Camp offers luxurious tents with fancy bathrooms and lighting. The delicious African dishes are professionally prepared and served in a dining tent or in the bush where visitors can enjoy their meals while counting the stars.
Other places to stay nearby
Nairobi National Park is located near Langata and Karen, the affluent suburbs of the city, which offer a variety of accommodation options, depending on what one is looking for. Start at the Giraffe Manor located on the grounds of the Giraffe Center in Langata. Enjoy the view of Rothschild’s giraffes as they stroll through the park. Staying here puts nature lovers within easy reach of the city’s major tourist attractions.
The Palacina Residential Hotel offers visitors an exceptional safari experience through its warm and friendly services. It is just 20 minutes drive from Nairobi National Park. Visitors looking for a bush safari experience can stay at Emakoko, which has 10 rooms and is located at the southern end of the park.
Emakoko allows visitors to disconnect from the noise of the city and gives them the chance to experience the natural side of the city.
Travelers primarily explore Nairobi National Park from a vehicle. This means that visitors with disabilities can also access and explore the beauty of this park. Nairobi tour operators such as Spot Kenya Safaris and Go Africa Safaris are dedicated to helping travelers with disabilities have the most fantastic safari experience in Kenya. Additionally, Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the orphan elephant nursery, is wheelchair accessible.
Located a few kilometers from the city center and accessible from many points, Nairobi National Park is one of the most accessible safari destinations in Kenya.
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