“The World’s Only Wildlife Capital” is Nairobi with a 117 square kilometer National Park seven kilometers from the city center. On this unique city tour you can take some pictures of the open savannah with the city skyline in the background. Black rhinos are the main attraction of this wildlife park. It is Kenya’s first national park and is a treasure for Nairobians.
The best way to enjoy the park is to start early in the morning so you can see the animals at their best. You can enjoy lunch in the park and follow one of the trails before finishing with another game drive. If you don’t have your own vehicle, you can reserve a private game drive in a spacious KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service) safari vehicle.
We had several visits to Nairobi National Park until 2015, in January with Richard and then in February with Hasse and his family. A Saddle-billed Stork was spotted among the wildebeest and zebra, and they decided the road would be a good place for a mud bath. Lasse came with his family in April and Jeppe’s family in July when they saw a lion that had just killed. Elands are a common sight in this park – they are very shy and often disappear in other parks around Kenya. There are lots of giraffes and the bird life is amazing. With Celia and her friends in June, we saw the Leopard Tortoise, two lionesses and some buffaloes around the “Jacuzzi” (that is, the water hole). In the month of May, Sunrise of Africa School in Kitengela had a visiting teacher from England and invited him to the park after his work. Linda was accompanied by Sammy, the principal of the school, and Sammy’s daughter. They enjoyed breakfast in the park among their animal sightings, including lion, eland, zebra and impala. Herbivores are grouped together in a large area, like the Garden of Eden. The lion had a new impala, and took it into the forest to eat in peace. In 2014, Pauline and Auriole were lucky enough to see about nine black rhinos in one place and a group of stone hyraxes. On my first visit, I saw a bushbuck, Fish Eagle and many hartebeest.
The National Park also includes the Nairobi Safari Walk and the Nairobi Animal Orphanage, known as “Refuges of the Wild”. The Animal Orphanage provides shelter for injured and orphaned wild animals. The animals are domesticated, but not many are returned to the wild. However, the nursery is affiliated with several international birthing programs, so working there is important. We visited the Animal Orphanage with Lindsay and had the best looking Serval Cat ever. There are lions, leopards and buffalo, and lots of monkeys running around the grounds. It’s sad to see these animals locked up behind bars when their brothers and sisters are out for free.
The Safari Walk is a trail that offers the best views over the national park, with viewpoints at waterholes where wildlife is often found. With Xavier we went to the trail and saw a cheetah sitting on the green grass. Xavier had an amazing game drive in the park, seeing a lioness with a young cub, an ostrich sitting on her eggs, Grant’s gazelle, secretary bird, rhino and leopard!
For non-Kenyan citizens, the national park costs US$46 to enter and is open from sunrise to sunset. Depending on the type of vehicle you choose, a half-day trip can cost from US$150 per person including parking fees (prices vary according to the number of people in your group and the length of time you want to rent the park) . The Animal Orphanage and Safari Walk costs US $22 to enter and is open from 8am to 6pm.