Nairobi National Park Birding


Nairobi National Park is a popular birdwatching destination in Kenya due to its close proximity to  a capital city and phenomenal high bird species recorded plus its relatively small size.

Ornithologists /Birders or nature lovers  with a few hours to spare, or some with a connecting flight in JKIA can easily visit the park for a day birding tour or few hours 

With more than 520 birds reported from Nairobi National Park ,it is truly exceptional for birding tours

Nairobi National Park  BirdingNairobi National Park  birding tour is one of   those trips that have something for everyone, it is  certainly a birder's paradise

Most of the Kenya Birding tours starts in Nairobi National Park

It is a jewel of birding and one of the best and most visited national park for day birdwatching tours in East Africa

Nairobi National Park is one of the top birding sites in Kenya

Depending with your time we offer half or whole  day birding tour  in the Nairobi National Park

On a normal birding day in Nairobi National Park  more than 100 bird species  may be seen/recorded in a day's birdwatching tour  


     Nairobi National Park Factfile

Nairobi National Park is situated in the city of Nairobi at about 1500 - 1700 metres above sea level

The Park has a size of 117km2 and was established in 1946 

Making the it  Kenya’s oldest designated National Park 

Nairobi National Park despite its relatively modest size is one of East Africa’s, Africa’s and the world’s 

most diverse and interesting protected park.

Nairobi National Park is a classic  modern marvel.  The only natural wildlife park within a Capital City’s' limits in the world 

Nairobi National Park  has so many different habitats, represented, ranging from savannah grasslands, open woodland, scrub, bushed thickets and dry wetland forest, others includes rocky gorges, wetlands, rivers and streams.

The Park remarkably diverse indigenous flora comprising plants of more than 100 species.

Nairobi National Park Birding

        Nairobi National Park Birdwatching 

Nairobi National Park is an ornithologically rich destination on its own right

Nairobi National  park's most important environment is open grass plain with scattered Acacia bushes

Nowhere else do you get this abundance of birds,mammals and other wonderful arrays of nature in such a small area adjacent to a city

The iconic Nairobi  National Park has more than 500 Bird species  recorded  and perhaps the longest bird checklist  in all cities of the world, mostly attributed by the park having many different habitats, with each containing different species of birds

Nairobi National Park was on news recently on a day birding tour (2016)  a Violet - tipped Courser or Brown winged Courser) seen 30 years ago was spotted by group of renowned ornithologists among them, Dale Zimmerman.

The eminent naturalist and lead author of Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania which for the first time, described and illustrated each of the 1,100  bird species of East Africa

Now in his 90s — has authored his latest book titled Turaco Country Reminiscences of East African Birding simply because his first posting as a young man to Africa was to Kakamega Rainforest in the 1960s

This extraordinary concentration of biodiversity is more remarkable for the fact that the park is simply located within the precincts of a major capital city

Nairobi National park Birding

  Nairobi  National Park Mammals 

The park has a large and diverse wildlife population

Four of the big five mammals ( Lion, Buffalo, Rhino, 

Leopard) may also  be  encountered 

in the park, 

Other animals to be seen on a game drive includes:




Grant's and Thomsons Gazelles


Bohor's Reedbuck




Maasai Giraffe

Olive Baboon

Syke's Monkey

Vervet Monkey

Cheetah- rare though

Mountain Reedbuck


Serval Cat

                             Rhino Sanctuary

Nairobi National Park has also gained prominence as a secure refuge and breeding ground of global significance for endangered black and white rhinoceros.

Its success in both protecting and breeding black rhinos has earned the Nairobi national  park the epithet Kifaru (Rhino) Ark, and it remains home to more than 60 black rhinos living in densities not seen anywhere else in Africa.

Nairobi National Park is the place to visit for that bizarre image of a rhino snuffling across the savannah with Nairobi's skyscrapers in the backdrop

The ivory burning site is close to the main gate,here more than 150 tonnes of ivory from both elephants and rhinos have

Nairobi National Park Birdingbeen burnt, the first 12 tonnes were burned in 1989 by the then president Daniel arap Moi,

“there was a desperate measure meant to send a message to the world about poaching of Kenya’s Elephant”

The second burning happened in 2016,105 tons of elephant tusks and 1.35 tons of rhino horns were reduced to smoldering ash, here visitor are allowed to alight from their cars and take photos of ash pile


Nairobi National Park lies in a transition zone between two of Africa’s great ecosystems- the savannahs stretching from northern Tanzania to Laikipia, near Mount Kenya and the forest Kenya highlands.

The combination of available water and a moderate climate (neither too hot and dry nor too cold and wet) has made this transition zone an important area for wildlife.

The park acts as a dry- season refuge,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

In wet season animals move out of Nairobi national park to take advantage of seasonally lush pastures on the plains to the south and east of the park. 

They scatter over the Athi Kapiti plains in the wet season and return to the park in the dry season

Nairobi national park straddles two distinct zones, the smaller to the west and northwest, here the terrain is more elevated, and ranging in altitude from 1700-1780m (5600-5847ft) the zone receives significantly higher rainfall

Day Birding Tours

Second zone which is much larger is characterized by short grass plains with scattered trees and shrubs extends east and south via rocky gullies and scraps in central areas of the park down into the Athi Basin .

Tall trees only found on river banks and valleys.

Nairobi national park gives the Kenyan capital a tourist attraction like no other, it is an important money gyrator for the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), while providing city dwellers with placid, scenic retreat from the stresses of daily urban life.

Nairobi National Park is a fascinating and very popular for day  tours and weekend getaways for both residents and domestic clients who want to see the big five game drives 

It functions as the “lungs” of today’s choked overcrowded city, replenishing oxygen and soaking up pollutants

       Road conditions

The roads in Nairobi National Park are excellent maintained, although 4 x 4 cars recommended during the  rainy season

Being gravel or murram surfaced, all major circuits in the park are passable year round except in some small tracks with black cotton soil which become waterlogged after the rains.

There are several designated picnic sites within the park;where you are entitled to get out of your car, in the Nairobi National Park  Birdwatching  tour

Nairobi National Park Birding

 Kingfisher picnic site,

 Mokoyeti picnic site

 Impala observation point

 Hippo pools

Birding in these areas tend to be fruitful and gratifying because  you  alight from the vehicle and get a chance of walking and interacting  closer  with nature 

Other attractions within the Nairobi National Park includes:

Nairobi Animal Orphanage

Established in Nov 1963 as a refuge for wild 
animals found abandoned orphaned or injured in the wild

Nairobi Safari Walk

Opened in the year 2000; you view animals from vantage points on a circuit of raised wooden boardwalks and gravel pathways

Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

Founded in 1987 for abandoned, injured baby elephants/rhinos

Open to public for one hour starting from 11:00- 12:00 hrs

 Nairobi National Park  tour Itinerary 

0600hrs: Pick up from Hotel

0630hrs: Check in the park and start birding in Nairobi National park

0530hrs: Drop off to Hotel/Airport.

Cost caters for:


Park entrance feesNairobi National Park Birding


Services of a Professional Bird guide

A bird checklist for Nairobi National Park

Recommended thing to carry;





Insect Repellent


Fun altitude

 Nairobi National Park  Tour Concerns

Birdwatching is done while in the car

But there are some designated places where clients are allowed to alight from the car

These places are usually very productive in bird species,

Nairobi National Park Day Birding tour  is enjoyed throughout the year

For better results a whole day birding requires a 4x4 vehicle to be able to cover all the corners of the park

Nairobi National Park opens at 0630hrs and closes at 0600hrs

Nairobi National Park  Bird Checklist  

Maasai Ostrich

African Darter

African FinfootNairobi National Park Birding

Dwarf Bittern

Goliath Heron

Saddle-billed Stork

Spur-winged Goose

Secretary bird

African Fish Eagle

Ruppell's Griffon Vulture

Black -chested Snake-Eagle

Gabar Goshawk

Augur Buzzard

Tawny Eagle


Shelly's Francolin

Grey crowned Crane

Kori Bustard,

White-bellied Bustard

Hartlaub's Bustard

Bronze- winged Courser

African Skimmer

More recently (May 2019)  in a birding tour  we spotted and photographed  a Dickison's Kestrel which is out of range species for Nairobi National Park, and has few records sightings in Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park Birding