10 Things To Know Before Visiting Nairobi National Park

A visit to the Nairobi National Park requires proper planning to enjoy it to the fullest. Below are ten things you should know before embarking on a Nairobi National Park game drive.

Table of Contents

1. Transport

To access the park, you require a tour converted vehicle driven by a professional driver guide. A tour-converted car has a retractable hard-top roof that allows easy game viewing. We recommend a four-wheel-drive tour-converted Toyota Landcruiser for a Nairobi National Park game drive. You will have the advantage of seeing different species of animals since the guides communicate among themselves and have expert knowledge of the park. The park is 117 square kilometres, so you need all the help you can get to locate wildlife.

Campo East Africa Safaris tour converted vehicles are all fitted with:

  • A retractable hard-top roof.
  • High frequency (HF) radios
  • Spacious seats (six adults)
  • Binoculars
  • Cooler boxes
  • Reference guide books

In addition, all drivers are multilingual professional driver-guides. 

2. Lion Research 

Most people are disappointed when they fail to see lions when they visit the park. After all, who doesn’t want to see the King of the jungle in his natural habitat. So before you visit the park, do some research and find out the most likely spots to see lions. 

Campo East Africa Safaris guides work hand in hand with the lion research team and other guides to locate the lion prides in the park. Our guides can identify most of the lions and are always ready to narrate each lion’s history and unique characteristics. 

3. Picnic Sites

There are six picnic sites inside the Nairobi National Park, but only five are operational, namely, Ivory burning, Impala, Kingfisher, Mokoyiet and Hippo Pool. Mbuni, which is close to number 7 (Seven) and under the SGR, isn’t operational. You are allowed to carry food and drinks into the park and enjoy any of the picnic sites. Single use plastics are not permitted in the park. Our guides will advise you of the best picnic site depending on the time. Always watch out for monkeys that love to snatch food from people.

4. Wildlife to See 

There are 4 (four) of the big 5 (five) in the park—lions, leopard, rhino and buffalo. Unfortunately, the park is too small to host elephants. However, one could visit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, which is located inside the park. It is open to the public every day between 11 am to 12 pm, or you can book a private visit between 3 pm or 5 pm.

The elephant orphanage is accessible only through the Workshop gate directly opposite the Multi-Media University on Magadi Road just before you get to Ongata Rongai town.

The park has various antelopes, zebras, wildebeest, hippos, crocodile, cheetahs, serval cats, hyenas, Jackals, over 400 (four hundred) bird species and many more. Campo East Africa Safaris guides know the spots frequented by various kinds of animals. 

5. Visiting Hours 

The park is open from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm. It’s always advisable to visit the park either early in the morning or late in the evening. The animals tend to be more active and easier to spot along the roads. The lighting is suitable for quality photos as well. A Nairobi National Park game drive should be not less than 4 hours. It is impossible to appreciate the diversity of flora and fauna in less than four hours.

6. Park Entrance Charges 

The park management accepts payment via bank deposit slips, bank cards, mpesa or KWS smart card. The usual rate for Non-residents $43. Residents pay Kshs 1,200 and citizens Kshs 800.

During Covid 19, rates were lowered to $35 for non-residents and Kshs 400 for residents. 

You can make the payment at the Main gate or East gate. Payment is not accepted at Masai gate, Workshop gate, Banda gate or Langata gate. However, you can exit using any of the gates apart from the Workshop gate. 

7. Accommodation 

The park has a few hotels accessible through the park. They are:

  • Nairobi Tented camp
  • Ololoo lodge 
  • Emakoko lodge. 

These properties require a reservation for an overnight stay or lunch. Other accommodation facilities adjacent to the park are Game View Hotel, Masai Lodge, Olaro Hotel, Park Place Hotel, Longview Hotel, Troy Hotel, Ole Sereni Hotel and Emara Ole Sereni. 

8. Park Map 

Nairobi national park has two vegetation zones. The Forest circuit and the open savanna. Roads are numbered at every junction from number 1 to 30. In addition, there are several dams such as Hyena, Nagolomon, Olomomanyi, Karen C, Eland Hollow, Embakasi and Athi dam. 

9. Game Drive Cost

The type of vehicle, number of hours and number of persons determines the cost. 

For example, a 6 (six) seater Toyota land cruiser costs $180 (Kshs 19,000), and a minivan costs $140 (Kshs 15,000) for half a day. 

10. Walking Trails 

At Hippo Pool, you can take a short walk accompanied by a ranger. If you are lucky, you will see hippos and crocodiles along the river.

You can also see unique cave paintings at caves close to number 16 on the map. 

If you are planning a Nairobi National Park game drive, we have affordable packages and highly trained driver-guides to make sure you enjoy your day to the fullest. For more information, check out our Nairobi National Park game drive package or contact us today. 

6 thoughts on “10 Things To Know Before Visiting Nairobi National Park”

  1. Excellent blog post. Very good information. Having a guide is the best way to visit the park as this expert indicates. My family and I enjoyed our trip to the park under the guidance of Mr. Maina – the blog post author and guide. Great trip! Take his advice here- he knows what he is talking about!

  2. Had a great day in the park, the tour guide really took us through most of the animals. The park enabled us to learn more of the animals through the help of the tour guide. Live long the Nairobi National Park

  3. Whao. This is definitely my next year’s birthday plan. I shall bring my family and friends to experience the excitement .

  4. One of the best guides, knows the park very well, Julius the guide really helps you find the best spots to enjoy the nature and the wild drive is .The service was excellent. Looking forward for another one

  5. My family and I had an amazing day and really enjoyed our tour. Julius was patient (we had quite a few kids). He explained everything to us, he was on time for pick up (sorry we were running behind). He ensured the kids in the backs safety came first during tours… I could go on and on. Will Definitely call you next time.

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