One of Earth’s most unique game-watching locations, this iconic expanse is the only national park located within the limits of a capital city. Covering almost 120 km2 (about 45 square miles), it’s small in comparison to most of Africa’s national parks, but that’s understandable. Expect a dry climate and altitude ranging from 1,533m to 1,760m (5,030-5,774 feet).
Positioned about seven kilometres (4.3 miles) from Nairobi’s centre, the park has electric fencing around its northern, eastern and western boundaries, while the Mbagathi River forms its southern boundary and, unfenced, adjoins the Kitengela Game Conservation Area (immediately south of the park) and Athi-Kapiti plains, allowing for the movement by the varied wildlife population.
Sunsets over the Ngong Hills and sweeping vistas over expansive, acacia-dotted plains are evocative of the true spirit of Africa. The park’s abundant wildlife can, in places, be viewed against a backdrop of city skyscrapers and jumbo jets coming into land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport – a truly memorable sight.
Despite its position amid Kenya’s capital, Nairobi National Park boasts a spectacular assortment of birds and wildlife. More than 400 species of bird were once recorded in a day here, and you have an excellent chance of spotting four of the Big Five – with only elephants absent. As one of Kenya’s most successful rhinoceros sanctuaries, the reserve is home to the world’s densest concentration of black rhinos: upwards of 50.
Nairobi National Park is negatively affected by increasing human and livestock populations, changing land usage and wildlife poaching.
Key Impact Facts
- 95 species of mammals and 500 bird species, of which seven are listed as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable
- The best way to conserve species is through the protection of their critical habitats
IUCN Red List & Status
Changes of land use
Keystone species decline
How can you help?
- Stay in accommodation that supports the 4Cs
- Get involved: visit and learn about different organisations ‘doing good’ in the area
- Take part in activities that support conservation and communities
- Shop at places that support the local community and highlight local culture or artisans
- View some local art, works that highlight the local culture and support local communities
- Dine locally – supporting restaurants that celebrate local cuisine
Selected Conservation and Community Support Impact Activities
Our list of impactful experiences and organisations in the area
- Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
- Giraffe Centre
- Embakasi Primary School
- Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO)
- Utamaduni Shops
- The Souk craft centre, Karen
- Kitu Kali shoe shop
- Ubuntu Life Foundation and shop
- Ocean Sole (recycled flip flops)
- Circle Art Gallery
- Anthony Russell art gallery