Nairobi National Park Game Drive
Going on a game drive at the Nairobi National Park can be a far-fetched plan when you don’t have the right information on how to hack it. It does not have to be that complicated. Below are some questions and answers to help you accomplish that game drive you have been planning for so long.
How do you get to Nairobi National Park?
Nairobi National Park is mainly accessed through the Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarters in Langata, Nairobi. This is on Langata Road next to the Langata Army Barracks.
To access the Park through public means, pick up buses from the Nairobi Railway Station route number 125/126 heading to Rongai and alight at The KWS HQ gate. You can also choose bus number 24 heading to Karen Hardy. Using public means to get there would mean you have hired a van or land cruiser for the game drive since you can’t go on foot.
There is also the option of using a taxi like Uber, place destination as Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarters. If you opt to self-drive to the park, it is easy to use GPs head to Langata rd. The place is not hard to identify.
How much does Nairobi National Park cost?
The Park entrance fee has been subsidized up to December 2021. Hence, Citizens and Residents pay Kshs 400 for adults and Kshs 200 for children. Non-Residents pay $35 for adults and $20 for Children. Payment is made through Mpesa, Visa card or Direct Deposit to KWS bank accounts at the gate.
Hiring a van or Landcruiser for the game drive costs between Kshs 7,000 and 10,000. There are many private vans ready for hire at the headquarters, however, to get a good deal it would be wise to book in advance.
KWS through their Zuru Kenya campaign has a land cruiser for hire for Kshs 7000. However, you have to book the van early in advance by calling or emailing the KWS headquarters. The main advantage of using this particular service is that you get a driver and guide who are experienced in the park trail. This guarantees you a chance to see as many animals as possible.
What is the best time to visit the Nairobi National Park?
In terms of seasons, Nairobi has good weather all through the year. However, it is advisable to avoid the rainy season. These are the months of Mid-March to May and November. Although the roads in the park are well tarmacked, the rain and long grass might restrict animal visibility.
In terms of time, it is advisable to do a game drive at dusk or dawn. This is the time when the temperatures are favourable for the animals. It is also the time when most animals move around hunting or grazing.
The park opens from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm, hence you can plan an early morning game drive. Be at the gate by 6.30 am or in the evening from 4.00 pm. A game drives through the park takes approximately 3 hours to cover. There is a picnic site inside the park where people are allowed to alight the vehicles and have their packed snacks while observing the set rules.
Which animals are found in Nairobi National Park?
Although Nairobi is a small park and due to human encroachment, animal migration no longer happens. There is some unique wildlife you can see at the park. We have a good number of lions pride that can be sighted at different places within the park.
Nairobi National Park also hosts the black and white rhino. It is easy to see a rhino with a young one at close range as they are used to vehicles. There are cheetahs and leopards in the park although they are rarely seen during the day.
Other herbivores that are easily seen grazing in Giraffes, Buffaloes, Impala, Zebra, Hartebeest, Ostrich, Baboons, Vervet monkeys, Dikdiks etc. There are ponds that host a number of hippos as well as crocodiles.
For bird lovers, other than the ostrich there are is a wide range of bird species to spot in the grassland, the forested areas as well as near the ponds.
Is Nairobi National Park worth it?
Well having visited other larger national parks in Kenya, I did not consider Nairobi worth my time. It took a lot of convincing for me to plan a game drive. Well, the early morning drive was worth my time after all.
Although it is the same animals you see in other parks, you get to experience a different dimension since the habitat is different. For example, even though I had seen large pride of lions in the Maasai Mara before, seeing two large males on the road near vehicles at Nairobi National Park was exceptional. I also got to see a white rhino with its young one walking in front of our vehicle something I had not experienced before.
Nairobi National Park gives you a very different perspective of what a wildlife habitat should look like. This is because it is encroached by human activities all around yet the animals don’t seem bothered.
If and when in Nairobi, book a trip to the Nairobi National Park. You need 3 hours to cover the park and experience some wilderness in a capital city.
Read: Things to do in Nairobi
Book a game drive here: Nairobi National Park Game Drive