Nairobi, as a capital city, is unique in having a wildlife park on its doorstep. Indeed the city abuts the Nairobi National Park on all but the southern perimeter so it is possible to photograph a rhino, browsing peace fully among the whistling thorn with high-rise office buildings in the backdrop.
Some of the wildlife is migratory and when vegetation and water are present outside the park, they move out into Masai land through the unfenced southern boundary.
The 117 Square Kilometers (44 square Miles) Nairobi National Park is unique by being the only protected area in the world with a variety of animals and birds close to a capital city.
As expected, the park is a principal attraction for visitors to Nairobi. The park also serves many residents and citizens living in the city The park has a diversity of environments with characteristic fauna and flora.
Open grass plains with scattered acacia bush are predominant. The western side has a highland dry forest and a permanent river with a riverine forest in the south. In addition, there are stretches of broken bush country and deep, rocky valleys and gorges with scrub and long grass.
Man-made dams have also added a further habitat, favorable to certain species of birds and other aquatic biota (life forms). The dams also attract water dependent herbivores during the dry season.
The park has a rich/diverse birdlife with 400 species recorded. However all species are not always present and some are seasonal. Northern migrants pass through the park primarily during late March through April.
Nairobi National Park is one of the most successful of Kenya’s rhino sanctuaries that is already generating a stock for reintroduction in the species former range and other upcoming sanctuaries. Due to this success, it is one of the few parks where a visitor can be certain of seeing a black rhino in its natural habitat.
To the south of the park is the Athi-Kapiti Plains and Kitengela Migration and dispersal area. These are vital areas for herbivores dispersal during the rains and concentrate in the park in the dry season.
Highlights of Nairobi National Park
* Black rhinoceros
* Diverse birdlife
* Walking trails at hippo pools
* Ivory Burning Site Monument
* Spacious accommodating picnic sites
* Nairobi Safari Walk & the Orphanage
* Large predators- lion, leopard, hyena and cheetah.
* Annual wildebeest and zebra migration in July/August
* Aggregations of large herbivores- eland, buffalo, zebra and wildebeest