Posted 21 September 2023 in To the wild

Guide to Nairobi National Park

What to know what can your flights to Nairobi give you? Lots of wildlife safaris, with many national parks, rehabilitation centres, and sanctuaries to visit. Amongst them all, what sets Nairobi National Park apart from other wildlife reserves in Kenya is its proximity to the capital city, Nairobi. Thus, making it a rare wilderness sanctuary surrounded by the city's urban sprawl.

Due to its proximity to Nairobi, it allows visitors to enjoy exciting and convenient wildlife experiences. Visitors can explore the park through safaris with experienced guides. It's not uncommon to witness the juxtaposition of urban skyscrapers on the horizon with giraffes grazing in the foreground. You’ll find it quite harmonious, just coexistence amid nature and city life.

With direct IndiGo flights to Nairobi, you can visit the national park and enjoy this remarkable wildlife reserve in Kenya. Established in 1946, it is one of the first national parks in Africa. The park covers an area of approximately 117 square kilometres and boasts a diverse range of habitats, including open grasslands, savannah plains, rocky valleys, and riverine forests.

What to see and do in Nairobi National Park?

Nairobi National Park offers an impressive array of wildlife and beautiful landscapes, making it a must-visit destination for nature and wildlife enthusiasts.

African Wildlife

Nairobi National Park is home to a variety of African wildlife, providing a unique opportunity to see these animals in their natural habitat, all within close proximity to the city. Among the wildlife you can expect to see the following:

  • Lions: Nairobi National Park is known for its healthy lion population, and spotting these majestic predators is a highlight of any visit.
  • Giraffes: The park is home to both the endangered Rothschild's giraffe and the more common Maasai giraffe. Watching these graceful creatures against the backdrop of the city skyline is a surreal experience.
  • Rhinos: Both black and white rhinos can be found in the park, offering visitors a chance to see these endangered animals up close.
  • Buffalo: Large herds of buffalo roam the grassy plains, and you can observe them grazing and socialising.
  • Zebras and Wildebeests: The park is also home to zebras and wildebeests, which are often seen in close proximity to each other, creating an iconic African safari scene.
  • Cheetahs: Although more elusive, Nairobi National Park is home to a population of cheetahs, the world's fastest land animals.
  • African Elephant: Seeing the largest and heaviest land mammal meandering the park is a treat to the eye. Elephants are social animals, so you can see them in large groups.


The park is a haven for birdwatchers, with over 400 bird species recorded. Keep an eye out for ostriches, vultures, eagles, secretary birds, various waterfowl, and many other avian species.

Scenic landscapes

The park's landscapes range from open grasslands to scattered acacia woodlands and rocky valleys, creating a diverse and picturesque backdrop for wildlife viewing and photography.

Nairobi safari walk

Adjacent to the main entrance, the Nairobi Safari Walk is an educational facility that allows visitors to see some of Kenya's diverse wildlife, including big cats, giraffes, and various bird species. The raised wooden boardwalks offer close-up views of the animals.

Picnic sites

The park has designated picnic areas where visitors can relax and enjoy a meal amidst the wilderness. Some picnic sites offer stunning views of the Nairobi skyline.

Ivory Burning Site Monument

The Ivory Burning Site Monument commemorates the burning of confiscated ivory and rhino horns in 1989 by Kenya's President Daniel Arap Moi, symbolising the country's commitment to wildlife conservation.

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Adjacent to the park, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is an elephant and rhino orphanage where you can see baby elephants being fed and playing in the mud.

Exploring Nairobi National Park offers a unique and unforgettable experience, where wildlife and city life harmoniously coexist, showcasing the beauty and importance of preserving Kenya's natural heritage.

What is the best safari in Nairobi national park?

The best safari in Nairobi National Park can vary depending on an individual’s preferences, budget, and the experience you are seeking. Here are some of the popular safari choices in Nairobi National Park:

  • Game drive with a professional guide: Booking a guided game drive with a professional guide is a common and recommended choice for a safari in Nairobi National Park. These guides are experienced in wildlife spotting and know the best areas to find various animals. They can provide valuable information about the animals, their behavior, and the park's ecosystem.
  • Morning game drive: An early morning game drive is an excellent option for witnessing the park come to life at sunrise. During the early hours, animals are more active, and you might have a better chance of spotting predators on the move.
  • Afternoon or evening game drive: An afternoon or evening game drive offers a different safari experience, with the opportunity to see animals as they begin their evening activities. Some animals, like lions, are more active during the cooler hours of the day.
  • Combination safari: Some tour operators offer combination safaris that include both Nairobi National Park and other nearby attractions, such as the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust or the Giraffe Centre. This option allows you to make the most of your time and experience more in a single trip.
  • Photography safari: If you are a photography enthusiast, consider booking a specialised photography safari. These safaris are led by experienced wildlife photographers who can provide tips and guidance to capture stunning shots of the park's wildlife and landscapes.
  • Walking safari: For a more immersive experience, some operators offer guided walking safaris within Nairobi National Park. This allows you to explore the smaller details of the park and observe wildlife from a different perspective.
  • Night safari: While night safaris are not commonly offered in Nairobi National Park, some operators may provide specialised night drives that give you the chance to see nocturnal animals that are active after dark.

Note: When choosing a safari, consider the reputation and reviews of the safari operator, the size of the safari vehicle (smaller groups often provide a more personalised experience), and whether the safari aligns with your interests and expectations.

How to reach?

Getting to Nairobi National Park is relatively easy, as it is located just a short distance from Nairobi's city centre. Here are the primary transportation options to reach the park:

  • Private vehicle: The most convenient way to get to Nairobi National Park is by private vehicle or taxi. If you have a rental car or hire a taxi, you can drive directly to the park's main gate. The journey from Nairobi to the park usually takes around 30 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.
  • Public transport: Matatus are minivans or minibusses commonly used for public transportation in Nairobi. Look for matatus heading to "Rongai" or "Kiserian" and ask the driver to drop you off at the Nairobi National Park main gate.

    Note: Matatus can be crowded and may not be the most comfortable option, but they are a more budget-friendly choice.

  • App-based taxis: Services like Uber or Bolt (formerly Taxify) operate in Nairobi and can be used to reach the park. Simply open the app, enter "Nairobi National Park" as your destination, and a driver will pick you up from your location.
  • Safari vans: After reaching the main gate of Nairobi National Park, you will find safari vans available for hire. These vans are specifically designed for wildlife viewing and are an excellent option for group safaris or if you prefer to leave the driving to someone else.
  • Tour operators: Many tour operators in Nairobi offer guided safari tours to Nairobi National Park. This option is ideal if you prefer a guided experience with an experienced safari guide who can provide insights into the park's wildlife and ecosystem.

Before visiting Nairobi National Park, check for any entry fees, opening hours, and other park regulations that may apply. It is advisable to visit the park during the cooler hours of the day, such as early morning or late afternoon, for better chances of spotting wildlife. Enjoy your visit to this unique wildlife sanctuary just a stone's throw away from the bustling city of Nairobi.

What is the best time to visit?

Nairobi National Park offers wildlife viewing opportunities year-round, but there are certain times that may enhance your safari experience:

  • January to March and July to October (Dry Season): During this period, the vegetation is less dense as there is little to no rainfall. With fewer water sources available, animals tend to congregate around the remaining waterholes, making them easier to spot. The dry season also offers more comfortable weather for visitors, with warm temperatures during the day and cool evenings.
  • April to June and November to December(Wet Season): The wet season brings occasional rain showers, and the park's landscape becomes lush and green. Although wildlife disperses more widely during this time due to the abundance of water and food, it is still possible to have rewarding safari experiences. The park becomes more picturesque, and birdlife is particularly abundant during the wet season.


You’ll have a memorable safari regardless of when you visit to Nairobi National Park, as this place is beautiful throughout the year, with stunning city view. So, book your flights to Nairobi with IndiGo and experience the thrill of wildlife safari in Nairobi.

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