Nairobi N Park
Nairobi National Park was established in 1946, the national park was the first to be established in Kenya. It is located approximately 7 kilometers south of the centre of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, with an electric fence separating the park’s wildlife from the metropolis. Nairobi’s skyscrapers can be seen from the park. The proximity of urban and natural environments has caused conflicts between the animals and local people and threatens animals’ migration routes.
Nairobi National Park covers an area of 117km², with altitude ranging from 1530m and 1760m and consists of typical, original Kenyan landscape such as plains, forests, steep gorges and lush vegetation along the banks of the Embakasi River.The park’s predominant environment is open grass plain with scattered Acacia bushes. The western uplands of the park have highland dry forest with stand of Olea africana, Croton dichogamus, Brachylaena hutchinsii, and Calodendrum. The lower slopes of these areas are grassland. Themeda ,Cypress, and Cynodonspecies are found in these grassland areas. There are also scattered yellow-barked Acacia. 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 andEuphobia candelabrum.Other tree species include Apodytes dimidiata, Canthium schimperiana, Elaeodendron buchananii, eriocarpa, Aspilia mossambicensis, Rhus natalensis and Newtonia. Several plants that grow on the rocky hillsides are unique to the Nairobi area. Animals
Nairobi National Park is perhaps best known for its significant black rhino sanctuary. This is the best place to see these endangered animals in their native environment. There are no elephants in this national park, but four of the “Big Five” can be seen here (lions, leopards, buffalo and rhinos). Other wildlife commonly seen in the national park include giraffes, elands, zebras and wildebeest. As well, hippos and crocodiles can often be spotted along the Embakasi River.
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.
The David Sheldrick Trust runs a sanctuary in the park that hand-rears orphaned elephant and rhinoceros calves, and later releases them back into secure sanctuaries. Orphaned and sick animals are brought to the sanctuary from all over Kenya. The sanctuary is located close to the park’s main entrance. It was opened in 1963. It was set up by Daphne Sheldrick after the death of her husband David Sheldrick the anti-poaching warden of Tsavo National Park. Nairobi National Park is sometimes called Kifaru ark which means “Rhinoceros Sanctuary”. It is one of Kenya’s most successful rhinoceros sanctuaries, and it is one of only a few parks where visitors can be certain of seeing a black rhinoceros in its natural habitat.