Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park is one of the most unique safari destinations in Africa as it is situated so close to the city of Nairobi that its animals pose against an urban city backdrop. Despite being so close to a major city, there is plenty of wildlife to be seen here, including four of the Big Five. Travel here and experience the sudden immersion from the bustling city into the beautiful, unspoiled wilderness of Kenya.

The park is renowned for its wildlife conservation and black rhino sanctuary where you can see these magnificent animals in their natural habitat. From lions and leopards to more unusual safari animals, such as bongo antelope, there is an abundance of wildlife to encounter throughout the park. While Nairobi National Park may be small in size, it is definitely a top safari destination with plenty of wildlife to see right outside the city.

  • Best Time To Go

    June - September

  • Average Safari Cost

    $100 - $600 pp/day. Park fee: $50 (adult), $25 (child)

  • Highlights

    Unique scenery, black rhino, Ivory Burning Site Monument, walking trails, boardwalks, and the Animal Orphanage

Why Visit Nairobi National Park?

Nairobi National Pak is truly a one of a kind experience. It's close proximity to the city results in interesting and unique views of animals living in their natural environment while skyscrapers and high-rise buildings stand tall in the background. This makes for some incredible photographic opportunities and unique memories!

In spite of its small size, the park has a range of different habitats for animals and birds to thrive in. From lush forest and rivers to open plains and sharp gorges, Nairobi National Park's landscape is diverse and full of wildlife. Multiple rivers and streams cut through the park and provide water for animals, birds and the land. The scenery and landscape of the park provides beautiful views and picnic spots where you can enjoy an authentic safari experience without travelling too far from the city.

Nairobi National Park is well known for its conservation efforts, black rhino sanctuary and Animal Orphanage. It strives to protect wild animals and their natural habitats so that they can be enjoyed for many generations to come. This is one of the best places to see black rhino as over 50 have been brought into the park. These rare and endangered animals are a rewarding sight to see and are well worth the visit to the park. The Animal Orphanage rescues and rehabilitates wild animals that were found orphaned, neglected or injured. Here you can see many animals and learn more about conservation and the animals themselves. Visiting the Animal Orphanage is an enriching, educational experience and is highly recommended.

While the park is excellent for a day trip from the city, there are also campsites and a lodge situated within the park. Overnight in the park to escape the busy city and experience a real African safari in the natural, untamed land. Travel to Nairobi National Park for an incredible and rewarding safari excursion right outside the capital city.

Pros And Cons

  • Unique wildlife viewing: wilderness with a backdrop of urban landscape of Nairoby
  • Very accessible
  • Black rhino sanctuary
  • Unique photographic opportunities
  • Excellent birdwatching destination
  • Very close to the city so it isn't a complete wilderness safari
  • Limited accommodation within the park

Best Time To Go

The best time to visit Nairobi National Park is from June to September, which is during the dry season. This is when animals are easily seen as they gather around the water sources within the park. The dry season is from June to October, which consists of bright and sunny days with moderate temperatures averaging about 75˚F (24˚C). Night and mornings are quite cool and average about 54˚F (12˚C). October gets a bit warmer and short bursts of rain may occur toward the end of the month.

The park's scenery is at its best during the wet season, from November to May, but animals are much more difficult to see. 'Short rains' occur in November and December, while 'long rains' take place from March to May. There is a dry period with little to rainfall from January to February. These months are also the hottest months with temperatures averaging about 82˚F (28˚C) during the day. Heavy rainfall may disrupt travel plans and activities as the wet roads become difficult to drive on. However, newborn animals and migratory bird species can be spotted during this time of the year.

For more details about when to visit broken down by months/seasons see our Kenya Safari - Complete Travel Guide.

Start your African Adventure

Wildlife And Birds

Nairobi National Park is the best place in Kenya to see black rhino because it is a black rhino sanctuary. These magnificent beasts are rare and endangered so seeing them is a wonderful experience. Lions are frequently seen prowling through the park and hunting their prey. Leopard and cheetah are more elusive so seeing them is down to sheer luck! The unusual bongo antelope is also a special site to see in its own enclosure within the park. Plenty of giraffe and zebra graze in the open grass plains while small, curious hyraxes can be found on sunny rocks. Nairobi National Park has incredible wildlife diversity for its size, as well as many different species of bird which makes it an excellent birding destination.
List Of Animals
  • Cheetah
  • Leopard
  • Buffalo
  • Giraffe
  • Black Rhino
  • Wildebeest
  • Zebra

Rare Animals

  • Black rhino, leopard, cheetah

Frequently Seen Animals

  • Giraffe, zebra, buffalo, wildebeest, eland


There are over 500 recorded species of bird in Nairobi National Park. Ostriches, bustards and secretary birds can be seen stalking through the open grasslands, while martial eagles and lesser kestrels reign over the skies. Bird watching is at its best during the rainy season as migratory birds can be seen.

Endangered Birds

  • Hooded vulture, white-backed vulture, gray-crowned crane, Rueppell's griffon, Sharpe's longclaw

Getting There And Safety


International flights land in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, which is very close to Nairobi City. It is very easy to get to Nairobi National Park from the city as it is only a short distance away.

If you are based in the UK and Europe, check out these flights to Kenya

If you are based in the USA and Canada, check out these flights to Kenya

All foreign visitors must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after their visit. Foreign visitors of most nationalities need to apply for a visa, however, single-entry visas may be obtained upon arriving in the country. Kenya's eVisa website will provide more information on whether you should apply for a visa or not.

Several vaccinations are recommended when travelling to Kenya. These include: hepatitis A and B, rabies, meningococcal meningitis, typhoid and yellow fever. It’s better to check with your local medical authority which vaccinations are required.

There is a high-risk for malaria in Kenya so anti-malarial drugs are advised as well as insect repellent and wearing clothes that cover your arms and legs at night.

For more details about vaccinations see our Kenya Safari - Complete Travel Guide.

Travel Insurance

Going on a safari in Africa comes with obvious risks. We recommend you get travel insurance for all safaris in Kenya. Make sure your insurance has full medical coverage, emergency air evacuation, repatriation and the standard travel insurance for cancellations, delays and luggage cover.

Check World Nomads’ travel insurance calculator to see the cost of the safari trip cover.

What To Pack

You will need to pack clothes for both warm and cool weather as it can get quite warm during the day and cold at night. Try to pack neutral, earthy toned clothes and avoid bright colours. Other essential items are a hat, sun screen, toiletries, closed shoes, torch, batteries, insect repellent, binoculars and camera.

For more details on what to pack see our Safari Packing List.

Walking Safari
There are designated walking trails in certain areas but you may not get out of your vehicle in other parts of the park as the wild animals are dangerous. There are also picnic sites where you may get out of your vehicle.
Guide Tours
Guides and tours are highly recommended as they know where animals are throughout the day and can navigate easily around the park.
Booking Nairobi National Park
You may self-drive and pay entrance fee at the gate for day-entry. Guides are also available at the main gate if you want a tour. However, guided tours can be booked in advance as well.