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Safari in Nairobi National Park

Safari in Nairobi National Park

Overview: Safari in Nairobi National Park

More than 80 species of large mammals, including all the so-called Big Five with the exception of elephants, exist in Nairobi National Park – hunting, fleeing, eating, mating, rearing young and dying – almost within earshot of downtown Nairobi’s traffic.

The park is well worth a morning or afternoon visit, and you have a high chance of seeing certain species, especially black rhino, which you might well miss in the bigger Kenyan parks. Although it is fenced along its northern perimeter, it is is open to the south, and the Friends of Nairobi National Park lobby hard to preserve the wildlife corridors that run between the park and the Kapiti-Kajiado Plains of the Maasai to the south.

Impossibly tall giraffe browse from the underside of flat-topped acacia trees; bevies of graceful, high-heeled impalas vault across the track ahead of your vehicle; stocky eland munch the sward; ostriches appear to float above the landscape like giant feather dusters; and fearsome phalanxes of buffalo turn to face you as you drive by.

Early morning, at the western end of the park, where most of the woodland is concentrated, you may be lucky enough to see a leopard, perhaps back from a nocturnal foray out of the park, hunting for domestic dogs. Such feline forays are becoming a bit of a problem: in 2012 there were two lionesses frequently on the loose in the Langata suburb, one of which, with four cubs, was eventually shot by Kenya Wildlife Service rangers (the cubs were saved).

Spotting black rhinos in the park is easy: it has one of the largest populations anywhere in Kenya, partly due to the perseverance of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. You’ll also see groups of the much more docile and approachable, non-native white rhinos.

The park’s 400 species of birds include some rare Palearctic migrants from November to March, as well as all the fantastically rich local avifauna. Even if you’re fresh off the plane and ornithologically illiterate, the first glimpses of ostrich, secretary bird, crowned crane and the ghoulish-looking marabou stork never fail to impress.

Age restrictions: None, but children need to be under control at all times

Availability: Either request to book a visit in advance when booking your safari with Expert Africa, or include game drives in the park during your stay at The Emakoko or Nairobi Tented Camp which are located inside the park, and where your park fees are already paid when you stay there.

Please note: Expert Africa only books excursions as a part of a full, Expert Africa itinerary.

Start location
Any of Expert Africa's hotels in the Nairobi area
End location
Back at your hotel
Meals included
Picnic meals are included on a full-day safari
Duration
Half day - AM or PM, or full day
Maximum group size
Usually six people per vehicle

Photo gallery

What to look forward to.


1 of 8
Nairobi National Park has all the 'Big Five' apart from elephants.
2 of 8
Wildebeest and zebra are common…
3 of 8
…but it's the park's breeding black rhinos for which it's most famous…
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…sometimes seen against a city backdrop.
5 of 8
The park has introduced white rhinos, too.
6 of 8
And most of the grazers and browsers are represented.
7 of 8
It's often the smaller animals that pose most obligingly, like this rock hyrax…
8 of 8
…and there are always unexpected sights, like these mushrooms growing on a rhino midden.

Nairobi National Park has all the 'Big Five' apart from elephants.

Wildebeest and zebra are common…

…but it's the park's breeding black rhinos for which it's most famous…

…sometimes seen against a city backdrop.

The park has introduced white rhinos, too.

And most of the grazers and browsers are represented.

It's often the smaller animals that pose most obligingly, like this rock hyrax…

…and there are always unexpected sights, like these mushrooms growing on a rhino midden.

Safari in Nairobi National Park reviews

53 independent first-hand comments from our travellers.


100%
1 reviews since August 2007
Excellent
1
Good
0
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0
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0
Terrible
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Dr M.fromLoughborough

12 Feb 2019

"Safari in Nairobi National Park review"

"At last we saw rhinos, and very close up. Driver was excellent. …" Read Dr M.’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

See all Safari in Nairobi National Park reviews

Ideas for holidays which can include Safari in Nairobi National Park

Add this experience to these trip ideas or contact us to start planning your own tailor-made safari to Kenya.


Itinerary image

Black Kite Fly-in Safari

10 days • 4 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

Explore Kenya in-depth with visits to Nairobi and Meru National Parks, the Mara Conservancies and Amboseli. Nestled in remoter regions, four camps provide fantastic access to rich game, a range of activities and beautifully diverse landscapes.

US$8,380 - US$9,630 per person

Itinerary image

Gabar Goshawk Fly-in Safari

10 days • 4 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

Experience Amboseli, the Maasai Mara ecosystem and Laikipia during this economically priced safari. Two simple camps offer adventure before a stopover in Nairobi and a final stay in the charming, wildlife-rich Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge.

US$4,790 - US$4,790 per person

Itinerary image

Rothschild Giraffe Safari

8 days • 3 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

A luxury Kenyan safari, starting at the iconic Giraffe Manor before fabulous stays on the spectacular Solio Reserve and Sala’s Camp in a remote corner of the Maasai Mara.

US$9,200 - US$12,650 per person

Itinerary image

African Finfoot Fly-in Safari

7 days • 3 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

A unique start to the safari in Nairobi National Park, then classic, luxurious camps combine for a high end and exclusive safari in fantastic wildlife destinations.

US$8,180 - US$12,640 per person

Itinerary image

The Highlights of Africa

17 days • 7 locations
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO KIGALI AIRPORT

An epic adventure taking in some of Africa’s most incredible sights and wildlife experiences, from Cape Town to the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, the Maasai Mara and an encounter with mountain gorillas.

US$12,460 - US$15,070 per person

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Other excursions in Kenya

Inspiration and great ideas for other experiences in Kenya to include in your safari.


Safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve

Safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve

All day from sunrise to sunset

If you're not staying in the Maasai Mara National Reserve itself, the chances are you'll be in one of the outstandingly wildlife-rich Maasai-owned private conservancies just outside the reserve boundary. However, a full-day game drive in the reserve is usually included, to visit the Mara River and see some of the reserve's fabled wildlife locations.

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Nairobi Elephant Orphanage visit

Nairobi Elephant Orphanage visit

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Balloon flight over the Mara

Balloon flight over the Mara

3 hours in total - morning only

With the sun rising over the Loita Hills, you scramble into the balloon basket for the start of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You’re about to go drifting with the breeze above the trees and plains of one of the world’s greatest wildlife regions.

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90% (8 reviews)
Nairobi Giraffe Centre visit

Nairobi Giraffe Centre visit

One hour visit is generally recommended

Visit the AFEW Giraffe Centre for an eyeball-level encounter with gentle Rothschild giraffes. They visit this tree-level platform to be fed pellets.

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Lake Bogoria National Reserve

Lake Bogoria National Reserve

Half or full day

Seeing the Rift Valley's iconic pink flocks of flamingos massing on one of the region's lakes can be a somewhat hit-and-miss affair since lake water levels rose after about 2014 and the ecology of several of them changed significantly. Lake Bogoria, however, in the northern Rift, still usually retains some large flocks of many thousands of lesser flamingos.

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Reteti Elephant Orphanage visit

Reteti Elephant Orphanage visit

One and a half hours, excl transfers

Visit the community-run Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in Samburu, for an intimate experience meeting the orphaned baby elephants who have been rescued from the surrounding regions. They are hand-reared by Samburu keepers, until they are ready to be released back into the wild.

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100% (1 reviews)
Lake Nakuru Safari

Lake Nakuru Safari

Half or full day

Drive into one of Kenya's best-known national parks to explore the lakeshore, woodlands, cliffs and plains around this iconic lake. While the flamingos may no longer be here, Nakuru has some key mammals, including both black and southern white rhinos, lions, leopards and Rothschild giraffes.

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Northern White Rhinos visit

Northern White Rhinos visit

One hour, usually as part of your drive

Visit the Endangered Species Enclosure at Ol Pejeta Conservancy for a close encounter with the last two remaining northern white rhinos. You can visit either by game drive vehicle or visit on horseback if you're an experienced rider. Other rare species include Jackson's hartebeests and Grevy's zebras.

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Scenic Biplane Flight on Lewa Conservancy

Scenic Biplane Flight on Lewa Conservancy

30 or 60 minute flights

Soar high and fly low over the rolling hills and plains of Laikipia’s famed Lewa Conservancy, on a scenic biplane flight. Offering you the chance to spot wildlife from the air, this flight takes place in an open-cockpit WACO biplane – a truly unique excursion in Kenya.

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Kenya fact file

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