NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK KENYA

FAST FACTS

Nairobi National Park is unique because it is located approximately 7 km from Nairobi city center and is the only national park in a capital city in the world! While the park is only 117 sq kms in size it is home to over 30 lions, XX rhinos, 400 recorded bird species and hundreds of plain games animals such as zebra, giraffe, buffalo wildebeest. The park has a diversity of environments but it is predominantly open grass plains with scattered acacia bush. The western side has a highland dry forest and a permanent river with a riverine forest. It has stretches of broken bush country and deep, rocky valleys and gorges with scrub and long grass. One of the most spectacular scenery in the park is at the south-western boundary where small streams have carved steep valleys and hyrax can easily be seen on the rocks, as well as occasional klipspringer, mountain reedbuck among other fauna.

HISTORY

Nairobi National Park (117 km² ) was founded in 1946 when the Maasai of the area gifted it to conservation.It is the northern most part of the Athi-Kapiti ecosystem comprising ~2000 km².Nairobi National Park is unique in its location, being only about 7 km from Nairobi city center.The park is easily accessible on tarmac roads and has five gates.The main gate at KWS headquarters, East Gate, Lang’ata Gate, Maasai Gate and Banda Gate.

FAUNA & FLORA

The park has a diversity of environments with different characteristics of fauna and flora,though predominantly, open grass plains with scattered acacia bush. The western side has a highland dry forest and a permanent river with a riverine forest. The park also has stretches of broken bush country and deep, rocky valleys and gorges with scrub and long grass. Man-made dams have also added another 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, hyena and jackal civet represent the carnivores.The park has diverse birdlife with 400 species recorded. However all species are not always present and much depends on the 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. To the south of the park is the Athi-Kapiti Plains and Kitengela Migration Corridor. These are vital dispersal areas for herbivores during the rainy season,whilst during the dry season,they converge in the park.

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