Nairobi National park
Just 7km from the CBD of Nairobi the wilderness of Nairobi National Park awaits. We almost skipped the park because we were headed out on a safari days later but I’m so happy we didn’t. It was an incredible experience and an amazing first encounter with the wild life.
There is electric fencing around the park’s northern, eastern, and western boundaries.Its southern boundary is formed by the Mbagathi River. This boundary is not fenced and due to such proximity human wildlife conflict is nor a rare occurrence. The park is the only natural safari park that has a cityscape background that can be seen from almost any part of the park. So, if you’re hoping to get that image of the giraffe with the skyscrapers in the backdrop; this is the place to do it.
We had a driver in the park, Anthony who works with Karen Gables but we ended up booking him through Martin. The park is self driving as well and we’ve seen everything from mini cars to sedans and the safari vehicles while there. There were definitely parts we couldn’t have reached had we not been in a jeep with a local driver who knows his way around. It was worth every penny. From being so close to the rhinos, finding the hidden corners where some animals take shade to knowing where we could stop and take a break. The local game drivers know the area incredibly well, they recognize the patterns of behavior in the animals and overall know where to go to see as much as you possibly can. At 117.21 km2 it’s not an incredibly large area you’re covering but if you know where to go, it does make a difference. Our one day drive, game drive in the park plus Carnivore, Kazui and anything else we may have wanted was $120USD, it’s not a small fee but we found it worth it. We had the roof up, we could take photos, take in the views and just relax. Anthony was incredible and very knowledgeable. We learned a lot about the animals as well as issues of a park so close to a large city. There is a railway being built going straight through the park, connecting Mombasa and Nairobi and going even further. The legality of the railway has been fervently disputed in 2017 and as always, the perspective of locals on the matters.
We saw a fascinating abundance of wildlife in the park and it was the only place where we saw rhinos so incredibly up close. With the altitude that ranges between 1,533 and 1,760 m (5,030 and 5,774 ft); be prepared for cold mornings where you will be happy you packed that fleece. 🙂
If you find yourself in Nairobi, there for a safari or visiting for other reasons, make sure the park is your must see list. You won’t regret it!