Gazetted in 1946 as the first East Africa park, Nairobi National Park is famous for it’s close proximity to Nairobi City. It’s a mixture of grass plains and highland dry forest, including a permanent river.
Originally, it was part of the Great Southern Game Reserve created in 1900 before transforming into the training ground for the King’s African Rifles during WWI.
For all its ‘urbanity’, remember the game is as wild as anywhere.
Plains zebra, Masai giraffes, buffaloes, antelopes, and gazelles complement a cat list headed by lions and cheetahs. The park has Kenya’s highest density of black rhinos, and there’s a good chance of seeing white rhino. Spotted hyenas and leopards also occur.
Hippos wallow in the Athi River, emerging to graze on the banks at night, and terrapins and Nile crocodiles bask on exposed mud.
What To See:
Black and white rhinos, Masai giraffes, buffaloes, Coke’s hartebeests, wildebeests. A good chance of lions and cheetahs, and leopards and spotted hyenas also resident; also olive baboons, vervet and blue monkeys, hippos and Nile crocodiles.
Opportunistic pied crows and black kites due to the close proximity to the city; red-winged sterlings, platoons of marabou storks and cattle egret, and chittering flocks of little swifts are not endemic to the park but are present.
Variable sun-birds are a must see, maybe a common Bul-Bul or two, iridescent greater blue-eared sterlings, rufous sparrows and speckled mousebirds, silvery-cheeked hornbills and showy Hartlaub’s turacos are common, and even the comical honking of the Hadada ibises can be heard on most days.