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Nairobi National Park

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Where else, just on the edge of a capital city (or any other city for that matter), only 15-20 minutes from the centre of town can you go and confidently expect to see lions and rhinos, and much more, in the wild. The Nairobi National is 120 kms2 teeming with game and contains almost everything you might see bigger more remote parks, except elephants. In fact it is the best place in Kenya, if not the whole of Africa, to see Black rhinos in the wild.

There is a wide variety of habitats from open grass plains to rocky river gorges and dry forest. This variety attracts a wide range of wildlife, with over 400 species of bird being recorded in the park as well as over 100 types of mammal. It takes 3-4 hours to get around and see most of the park, and there are some roads suitable for saloon cars. There are various picnic sites and a nature trail at Hippo pools. Some of the plains game disperses across the Athi plains in the wet season but moves back into the park in July and August as there are permanent water holes.

 

Giraffe silhouette © 2006 Wildlife Extra.

Nairobi - Mombassa train
One of the best, though extravagant, ways to see a little of the park is on the overnight train from Mombassa. Have breakfast in the dining car, on the left hand side, and the last 20 minutes or so of the journey is along the edge of the park. You won't see much, and the train journey alone takes 10-12 hours, and you have to get to Mombassa in the first place, and the breakfast isn't great, but just for that 20 minutes, eating your breakfast and sipping your tea as you glide along with the chance of seeing a couple of ostrich, you feel that this is the proper way to see Africa. More realistically for $70-100 you can book a 4 hour tour of the park from any hotel, and seemingly from any shop or even anyone with a car.

 

Silole Sanctaury - Neighbouring Nairobi National Park.

400 acre private sanctuary abutting the Nairobi National.
Click Silole Sanctuary to read more
If you are just passing through Nairobi, or you are on a major safari and you have a few hours to spare or can‘t wait to get amongst the big game, if you are on a business trip and you don't have time to get to any of the big parks, or even if you just have a few hours to kill before your flight (Nairobi NP is just next to the airport) it is definitely worth a visit.