Did you know that Kenya’s capital city is home to the highest number of black rhinoceros in the world? Famously known as the Kifaru Ark, the Nairobi National Park hosts 50 black rhinoceros. By providing a safe haven for the black rhino, the park is revered for its anti-poaching strategies to conserve wildlife in East Africa. Wildlife enthusiasts seeking the best wildlife experience in Kenya must visit the Nairobi National Park.
Wildlife Facts about the Nairobi National Park
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has a dedicated nursery at the Nairobi National Park to tender to orphaned and wounded baby elephants and rhinos. That way, the country’s elephant and rhinoceros population gets protected for posterity.
The park is home to other wild animals such as the Grant’s zebra, common eland, Coke’s hartebeest, the African buffalo, baboons, hyenas, Bongo antelopes, cheetahs, lions, gazelles, vultures, Masai giraffes, leopards, wildebeests, warthogs, impalas and the kingfisher. The park is affluent in resources with over 400 species of birds. The birds are both native and migrant species. There is an average of 100 mammal species in the park.
Within the park, visitors are treated to an impressive tour at the Nairobi Safari Walk. On the boardwalk, one can view different mammals, insects, reptiles and birds. Visitors learn about the forestry, wetlands and savanna ecosystems that thrive in the country.
The country’s focal point in animal rehabilitation is the Nairobi Animal Orphanage. The orphanage is within the park’s environs. The orphanage is currently hosting and treating a diverse set of mammals and birds. Expect to find animals such as rare Sokoke cats, baboons, lions, leopards, cheetahs, monkeys, serval cats, buffaloes, hyenas, ostriches, warthogs, guinea fowls, crowned cranes and parrots.
The Nairobi Tented Camp is a self-contained lodge at the heart of the park. The nine tents can host two patrons per tent. The tents are luxurious to provide a comfortable bush safari. So far, the camp is the only comfortable lodge in the park. However, the city is extremely close to the park hence accommodation options are widely varied.
During the dry season, herbivores move to the park to feed on the extensive grass coverage and shrubs. The acacia trees provide much-needed shade from the scorching sun. The man-made dams along River Mbagathi provide sufficient water sources for the wild animals. Carnivores such as lions, leopards and cheetahs are more visible during the dry season as they come to prey on the herbivores while they are feeding or drinking water. Hyenas and vultures lurk nearby to take advantage of the meat remnants left by their superior hunting rivals. In the wet season, the herbivores move to the neighboring plains.
Getting the best wildlife experience in Kenya is most certainly a reality in the dry season. Not only do you get to enjoy unlimited view of the park’s rich wildlife, but also wallow in the beauty of the parks surroundings such as the city’s skyline.
Location of the Nairobi National Park
At the heart of Kenya’s capital city lies the phenomenal Nairobi National Park. The park provides a lovely break from the city’s brick and mortar setup. For a park so proximal to the city, Nairobi National Park is rich in wildlife thus making it a suitable place for a wildlife safari. The park is 7 kilometers South of Nairobi’s central business district. It covers an area of 117.21 square kilometers. The park is on an altitude of 1760 meters above the sea level.
Established in the year 1946, the park is owned by the Government of Kenya and managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service. The park is fenced on three sides to contain the movement of wild animals into the city, to limit human-wildlife conflict and encroachment. The southern entrance to the park is not fenced to let in migrating wildlife from Kitengela plains.
The Nairobi National Park forms a critical portion of the Athi-Kapiti ecosystem. The Mbagathi river forms a boundary between the park and the Kitengela Conservation Area in the southern part of the park.
History of the Nairobi National Park
The Nairobi National Park was gazetted in the year 1946. The formalization of the park was as a result of the unrelenting efforts by Mervyn Hugh Cowie, a Kenyan-born wildlife conservationist. The local communities threatened to encroach land where the wild animals grazed. Poachers had marked the area as a resourceful spot for hunting down rhinos to retrieve the rhino horns. Initially, the park was a section of the Southern Game Reserve. But with the increasing human activities in the park area, Cowie pushed legislation to limit human activities and to protect the flora and fauna in the park. Human activities that interfered with the free movement of animals included grazing of domesticated animals, farming and military expeditions.
Mervyn Cowie was appointed as a director of the newly gazetted Nairobi National Park. His tenure ran from 1946 to 1966. To show solidarity with Cowie’s initiative to preserve wildlife, the late President Daniel Moi destroyed a large batch of ivory weighing 12 tonnes in the park environs. Today, that spot is termed the ivory burning site. All poaching proceeds are burnt at that site to discourage poaching activities in Kenya.
Activities at the Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park gives every visitor the best wildlife experience in Kenya. The most common activities at the park include bird watching, photography, video and film production, team building activities, weddings, picnics, romantic getaways and the geographical study of flora and fauna. Contact us to book this wildlife safari.