The main tourist attraction in Nairobi, the Nairobi National Park is unique as the only national park within a city boundary. From the edge of the city, you can even see giraffes in the distance. The wide open grasslands of the national park are backed by the city’s buildings and you can find a wide variety of iconic wildlife living here, such as lions, giraffes, cheetah, hyenas, buffalo, and a diversity of birdlife.
A historically important protected area, this was Kenya’s first national park and is just 7 km south of the city. You can see the Ivory Burning Monument where the Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi made a statement for conservation by burning 12 tons of ivory at the site back in 1989. This was during a time when hunting of large animals in East Africa was at an all-time high.
Although a small national park at 117 square kilometers (28,963 acres), many animals call the park home and it’s the destination of choice for a great many migrating herbivores. The park is also home to one of Kenya’s healthiest rhino populations.
The park joins to a conservation corridor for the Athi-Kapiti plains towards the south of the park making is such a draw for wildlife. In addition to the iconic larger animals, there are a number of others to be found here including ostriches, baboons, gazelles, eland, impala, and a very high diversity of birds. Including migrants, there are around 500 different bird species found within the park boundaries making it a great place for birders.
The park includes a rhinoceros sanctuary, which was originally set up in 1963 and become one of the most successful in Kenya. The Nairobi National Park is, therefore, one of the only places where visitors have an almost certain chance of seeing black rhinoceros in their natural habitat.