No need to stray too far away from the capital if you want to have your first glimpse of African wildlife. Every now and then, somebody on social media posts a picture with a lion or lioness (or both) crossing the road (on zebra crossing, of course!) right on the outskirts of Nairobi, by the National Park. It doesn’t mean that there are lions on the loose and you can invite them for a drink to one of Nairobi’s night clubs, but simply shows how incredibly accustomed they have become to the humans living just right by their side. After all, when the colonists first arrived here, there were no skyscrapers or urban infrastructure, and zebras would come and stomp the flowers by your house, and giraffes would eat your garden trees. Nowadays, many visitors are fascinated with the urban cityscape in the background of their photographs with giraffes and lions.
Nairobi National park hosts one of the most successful rhinoceros sanctuaries in Kenya, and houses dozens of other species, such as Thomson’s gazelle, hippopotamus, leopard, lion, Maasai giraffe, waterbuck, impala, African buffalo, cheetah, baboon and hartebeest, as well as wide variety of birds (over 500 species), most notably ostriches and vultures.
During the dry season migration, Nairobi National park becomes the northern frontier for the migratory animals that disperse themselves in the southern regions of the country in the wet season.
The Rhino and Elephant sanctury on the park premises is designed for orphaned or sick rhinos and elephants who need special care before they can be released into the wild, and animals are brought here from all over the country.
The park’s proximity to the city makes it the most popular destination for school trips and excursions to the animal orphanage for children, where they can learn about Kenya’s biodiversity and wildlife conservation.