The only protected area in the world with a variety of animals and birds close to a major city. The 117 km2 Nairobi National Park is unique by being Located only about 7 km from the city center. The park is easily accessible on tarmac roads and has six gates. The main gate at KWS headquarters, East Gate, Cheetah Gate, Lang’ata Gate, Maasai Gate and Banda Gate.
The park has a diversity of environments with characteristic fauna and flora. Open grass plains with scattered acacia bush predominant. The western side has a highland dry forest and a permanent river with a riverine forest. In addition, there are stretches of broken bush country and deep, rocky valleys and gorges with scrub and long grass. Man-made dams have also added a further habitat, favourable to certain species of birds and other aquatic biota. The dams also attract water dependent herbivores during the dry season.
Large mammals are the park’s main attraction. Herbivores include, black rhino, buffalo, eland, Maasai giraffe, plain’s zebra, wildebeest, coke’s hartebeest, grant’s and Thompson’s gazelles, impala, waterbuck, bushbuck, and warthog. Lion, leopard, cheetah, hyaena, jackal civet and genet represent the carnivores
The park has diverse birdlife with 400 species recorded. However all species are not always present and much depends on season. Northern migrants pass through the park primarily during late March through April.
Nairobi National Park is one of the most successful of Kenya’s rhino sanctuaries that is already generating a stock for reintroduction in the species former range. Due to this success, it is one of the few parks where a visitor can be certain of seeing a black rhino in its natural habitat.
To the south of the park is the Athi-Kapiti Plains and Kitengela Migration Corridor. These are vital areas for herbivores disperse over them during the rains and concentrate in the park in the dry season.