Getting close to animals at Nairobi National Park in Kenya


Imagine that you are driving you car and suddenly a herd of antelopes begins crossing the road.  You stop, let them cross and after awhile you continue on. At a crossroads you confusedly and gropingly stare at a signboard, absolutely not knowing where to go, because single titles and distances are hidden under dapper tails of leopards, which decided to take nap on the stone signboard. So the final direction is "unknown." Don´t worry, though. You would arrive somewhere, but during that journey you would have met many other animal species, admired the African landscape and gained more energy for another adventures. This is not any story from jungle, this is only how does it look like in Nairobi National Park in Kenya.

As a child, I loved visiting ZOO. When I was at kindergarten and then elementary school, we always had a few excursions leading to ZOO, our parents saw in ZOO a great place where they could spend nice afternoons with their friends and kids. My attitude towards animals haven´t changed since my childhood, I still have a big love for them, but I don´t enjoy visiting ZOO as much as I did before. To be honest, looking at the animals behind glass wall or high fence won´t give you a lot and even if they are so close to you that you can touch them, there is still some barrier between you and the animals. That is why I was always attracted to experience the real safari, for example in Africa. I think there is nothing better than when you get to see where the real home of these animals is. 

Before I arrived to Kenya, I had been planning many hours which safari would be the best. Because only in Kenya, there are more than 40 national parks or national reserves and all of them are somehow special. What you should consider is price, time of year and also availability. Some national parks or reserves might be quite costly, others might be not so attractive in various months of year, so choose wisely so in the end you won´t be disappointed. Due to my busy volunteer schedule, I couldn´t leave my place for longer time, so the number one choice became Nairobi National Park. It is Kenya´s most accessible safari park, because it basically borders a capital city of Kenya, Nairobi. In some places, you can get a beautiful view of animals against a backdrop of city´s skyscrapers. I wish I had an opportunity to take a photo of this, but I didn´t manage to do so. What is awesome, the animals seem to be totally unperturbed by it. 

The park is one of the smallest of all parks not only in Kenya, but Africa generally - it has only 117 sq km. However, it still offers many special activities and things you definitely should see and try yourself. Being founded in 1946, it´s first park which was "official" in Kenya and after almost 70 years, it has gained the special place on the list of National parks all around the world. The park is special for its rhinoceros sanctuary, which serves for breeding and restocking other parks or ZOOs. Nairobi National park is also special for the black rhinoceros - which are endangered species. It is said that you can see there more than 100 mammal species and 400 bird species. What you will definitely spot there are zebras, gazelles, giraffes, buffalo, ostriches, rhinos or lions. If you want to see cheetah or leopard, you will have to choose really good weather and be patient, driving around more than usually, because it is a bit more difficult to discover them. 

There is also possibility of having a picnic there and not only that, you can also be accommodated right in the park. It is possible to sleep in one the campsites, which are located 1-10 km far away from the main gates. The camp sites are equipped with latrines, some might have grills and other buildings or additional things. Ivory Burning Site is special picnic site, Impala Observation Point can be used for various events or picnics and Kingfisher is public campsite. If you decide to spend night over there, don´t forget to reserve it or inform the staff in advance.

The Nairobi National Park is definitely a worth to see and as you can see, it offers many beautiful things to do. One tip - choose the days for your visit carefully, because if there is colder weather or rainy, most of the animals will be hiding somewhere and you won´t get any chance to see them. We were fortunate enough to see really many animals, even though it was quite cloudy and wind was more colder than usually. The entry fees are cheaper for citizens - 5 USD for adults, 3 USD for children and for residents - 12 USD adults, 6 USD children. For non-residents, so for foreigners, the entry fees are much higher, but it is not so bad as you might think - 50 USD for adults and 25 USD for children. You can use your own car to drive around the park or you can use their own shuffle buses with guide. Both are great ways how to discover the park and get closer to animals. I definitely think that traveling to Africa and not going to safari is big mistake and you should organize at least one trip and visit some national park or reservation. It is really magical experience to see the animals at their home.  

Have you ever visited any safari in Africa? If so, how did you like it? If not, would you like to experience it?

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  1. Such beautiful photos! And I think you're absolutely right, it's much more interesting to see the animals in their natural habitat, not just in a cage. Going on a safari in Africa is so on my bucket list - unfortunately though, quite far in the future yet.

    1. thank you so much :) and i´m glad to hear it´s on your bucket list, because it is really wonderful experience...i hope for you anyway :)

  2. Your photos are absolutely amazing Helena!! And seeing these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat is priceless :) I visited Ethiopia and Tanzania earlier this year but didn't do any animal spotting - would love to next time!

    Thanks a lot for joining the 'Girls vs Globe' linkup by the way! I just noticed your post is missing the banner though. Can you please get the HTML code for the banner here - - and copy the 'RAW paste data' code into your text editor to make sure it works properly? <3 If you'd prefer the smaller button you can get the code for it here: :)

    1. thank you so much and yes, you are right, it is really nice thing...and yes, i saw your posts about ethiopia and tanzania, both countries are on my bucket list, so hopefully i can make it there soon...and about the banner - i tried to put it to the post, but it wasn´t showing up, so i put it to the menu, but i can put it also here and try it again :)

  3. Thank you for sharing this post its very helpful to everyone i have some info about cheap Nairobi filghts.


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