Nairobi National Park is a national park in Kenya. Established in 1946, the national park was Kenya's first.It is located approximately 7 kilometres (4 mi) south of the centre of Nairobi, Kenya's capital city,with only a fence separating the park's wildlife from the metropolis.Nairobi's skyscrapers can be seen from the park. Indeed, the proximity of urban and natural environments has caused conflicts between the animals and local people and threatens animals' migration routes.
Still, despite its proximity to civilization and relative small size for an African national park,Nairobi National Park boasts a large and varied wildlife population.Migrating herbivores gather in the park during the dry season, and it is one of Kenya's most successful rhinoceros sanctuaries.
The park covers an area of 117.21 square kilometres (28,963 acres) and is small in comparison to most of Africa's national parks.The park's altitude ranges between 1,533 metres (5,030 ft) and 1,760 metres (5,774 ft).It has a dry climate.The park is the only protected part of the Athi-Kapiti ecosystem, making up less than 10% of this ecosystem.The park has a diverse range of habitats and species.
The park is located about 7 kilometres (4 mi) from the Nairobi's centre. There is electric fencing around the park's northern, eastern, and western boundaries.Its southern boundary is formed by the Mbagathi River. This boundary is not fenced and is open to the Kitengela Conservation Area (located immediately south of the park) and the Athi-Kapiti plains.There is considerable movement of large ungulate species across this boundary.
The park's predominant environment is open grass plain with scattered Acacia bushes. The western uplands of the park have highland dry forest with stands of Olea africana, Croton dichogamus, Brachylaena hutchinsii, and Calodendrum. The lower slopes of these areas are grassland. Themeda, Cypress, Digitaria, and Cynodon species are found in these grassland areas. There are also scattered yellow-barked Acacia xanthophloea. There is a riverine forest along the permanent river in the south of the park. There are areas of broken bush and deep rocky valleys and gorges within the park. The species in the valleys are predominantly Acacia and Euphorbia candelabrum. Other tree species include Apodytes dimidiata, Canthium schimperiana, Elaeodendron buchananii, Ficus eriocarpa, Aspilia mossambicensis, Rhus natalensis, and Newtonia species. Several plants that grow on the rocky hillsides are unique to the Nairobi area. These species include Euphorbia brevitorta, Drimia calcarata, and Murdannia clarkeana.
The park has a large and diverse wildlife population.Species found in the park include African buffalo, baboon, black rhinoceros, Burchell's zebra, cheetah, Coke's hartebeest, Grant's gazelle, hippopotamus, leopard, lion, Thomson's gazelle, eland, impala, Masai giraffe, ostrich, vulture, and waterbuck.
Herbivores, including wildebeest and zebra, use the Kitengela conservation area and migration corridor to the south of the park to reach the Athi-Kapiti plains. They disperse over the plains in the wet season and return to the park in the dry season.The concentration of wildlife in the park is greatest in the dry season, when areas outside the park have dried up. Small dams built along the Mbagathi River give the park more water resources than these outside areas.They attract water dependent herbivores during the dry season. The park is the northern limit for wildlife migrations in the dry season.The park has a high diversity of bird species, with up to 500 permanent and migratory species in the park.Dams have created a man-made habitat for birds and aquatic species.
Tourism And Education
Nairobi National Park is the main tourist attraction for visitors to Nairobi. Visitor attractions include the park's diverse bird species, cheetah, hyena, leopard, and lion. Other attractions are the wildebeest and zebra migrations in July and August, the Ivory Burning Site Monument, and the Nairobi Safari Walk and animal orphanage.Inhabitants of Nairobi visit the park and thousands of African children on school field trips visit the park each week.
The park's Wildlife Conservation Education Centre has lectures and video shows about wildlife and guided tours of the park and animal orphanage. These tours are primarily, but not exclusively, to educate schools and local communities. There has been criticism about animals' housing, and they now have more spacious housing in a more natural environment. The Kenya Wildlife Service has created a Safari Walk that highlights the variety of plants and animals that are in Kenya, and how they affect Kenya's population.