IUCN Category II - National Park

National Park with skyline of Nairobi

The Nairobi National Park is Kenya's first national park and was opened in 1946. The national park is home to about 80 species of mammals and over 500 bird species. He is one of the most successful conservation areas for rhinos in Kenya.

The park is only about 7 km from the city center of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, away. The skyline of the city can be seen from the park. Only a fence separates the animals from the city. This proximity conflicts with the local population, mainly because it endangers the migration routes of herds of ungulates.

In 1989, the then President Daniel arap Moi publicly ivory worth 760,000 U.S. dollars was burned in the Nairobi National Park to make a stand against poaching. To this day, a memorial to this event.


The Nairobi National Park is 117 km ². Thus, this park is very small in relation to other African national parks. The height above sea level moves 1533-1760 m. The climate is dry. The park is the only protected area of ​​the Athi - Kapiti ecosystem. It hosts a wide range of species. In the north, east and west of the park is bordered by an electric fence. In the south of Mbagathi River forms a natural border. This open border allows the migration of large herds of ungulates.

Plant world

The majority of the park consists of savannah, ie open grassland with sparse acacia stock. To the west of the park is a highland with extensive forests of olive ( Olea africana), muhuhu ( Brachylaena huillensis ) and Calodendrum trees ( Calodendrum capense ) and Croton bushes ( Croton dichogamus ). The park is crossed by some valleys with seasonal water-bearing rivers. In the valleys grow acacia and euphorbia trees (Euphorbia candelabrum ). In the south of the park there is also a river with riparian forests, which leads durable water. Many species of plants that grow in the park, not only in the region of Nairobi a rarity, such as Euphorbia brevitorta, Drimia calcarata and Murdannia clarkeana.


The park has a large and diverse wildlife population. For elephants, the park is too small, but lions, leopards, cheetahs, ostriches, hippos, Masai giraffes, gazelles, wildebeest and cape buffalo example, can be observed with a little patience. The Nairobi National Park is also a very successful sanctuary for black rhinos ( Black Rhinoceros, Diceros bicornis). He is one of the few parks where black rhinos are found in natural surroundings.

Most animals can be seen all year round in the park, a few herd animals such as zebras and antelopes come only in the dry season in the park, when many water points have dried up outside the park. Due to many small dams along the river Mbagathi the park has more water resources than the regions outside. These man-made dams have also created an attractive habitat for many birds and aquatic animals. In the spring, especially many young animals can be observed.

The park is also a world-famous sanctuary for elephants and rhino pups (David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust ). Sick or orphaned pups are raised here by hand. This station is run by Daphne Sheldrick and is open to visitors one hours open daily. Daphne Sheldrick is considered the " mother of the elephant " and is internationally recognized as an expert.