Landing at the Jomo Kenyatta international airport in Nairobi Kenya is an experience met with unique thrill and anxiety. Even for those whose purpose of travel has nothing to do with wildlife viewing, there is always unavoidable wildlife encounters right from the first turn to the city.
Located on the south of Nairobi, the airport was in the ancient years
a free land where wild animals roomed freely. That is no doubt the
reason why up to date, there are occasional wildlife encounters around
these area. Not enough, few kilometers from the airport is the world’s
only urban national park which offers untold wildlife experience within
less than half an hour drive from the city centre.
Welcome to Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, once known as a green city
under the sun. Its perfect geographical location has turned it into a
world’s cosmopolitan with great opportunities and international
interactions. Interestingly, with all the diverse opportunities that
Nairobi has to offer, it is unfortunate to note that many lay terribly
For many, Nairobi is either somewhere to arrive and quickly transfer
to another destination or for a place for a brief – often reluctant –
overnight stop before going home or heading for game parks. In fact,
most visitors arriving at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
afterward transfer immediately to nearby Wilson Airport for their short
flight to the bush, or pick up their safari van for the overland trip to
their lodge or camp. And they do exactly the same in reverse on their
Not only does Nairobi have great hidden treasures, there are also
great attractions within reasonable distances that can be explored
within a day or two for a reluctant vacationer. Already mentioned
above, the world’s only wildlife capital – Nairobi national park.
Covering 117 sq km, it is also East Africa’s oldest game park. It is its
influence that makes it common to see giraffe or herds of antelope on
your drive into the city.
The park is host to number of innovative conservations efforts:
Nairobi Safari Walk is Kenya’s new conservation based recreation
facility. The combination of skilled and creative landscape design,
unique wildlife species and detailed interpretation, renders the
facility supreme in tourism and conservation education. With a
combination of three simulated, forests, wetlands and Savannahs, you can
have an opportunity to learn about their valuable resource and how they
can contribute to its conservation.
Adjacent is the Nairobi animal orphanage the oldest animal orphanage
in Kenya. Set at the entrance of Nairobi National Park with lush
vegetation contrasting against the red dust and clay soil, this
educational and training facility is often home to more than 20
different animals and bird species. It is a refuge and rehabilitation
centre for wild animals found abandoned or injured throughout Kenya.
David Shedrick wildlife trust is located on the southern part of the park. It is a small flexible
and environmentally significance charity that helps save the lives of
orphaned Elephants and Rhinos who are ultimately released back into the
wild. You have an opportunity to see the orphaned and rescued elephants
and rhinos everyday from 1100hrs to 1200noon and participate in feeding
Further down is giraffe centre. Managed by African Fund for
Endangered Wildlife, the center’s effort is to conserve the endangered
Rothschild giraffe. Take part in feeding the thrilling and beautiful
giraffes, learn more about them, take a nature walk in the nearby nature
trail and stretch your arm in donating to this noble conservation
Also along this area is where you find privately managed Mamba
village – a fantastic experience with reptiles of all kinds such as
snakes, monitor lizards and large African crocodiles. A few meters is
‘Bomas of Kenya’ where every evening from 1500hrs, you have an
opportunity to experience diverse cultural feats and breathtaking
acrobatic performances. You can also tour the cultural villages to feel
the real taste of African culture.
As for Nairobi itself, this is a city of wonderful restaurants
serving fine, locally grown food in convivial surroundings at the
For shopaholics, there can be no finer experience than a visit to the
village market. This not only contains an excellent assortment of small
shops and lager stores but is also the place to be seen at weekends.
You can enjoy large cup of Kenya coffee and a light meal in the plaza.
Village market is the probably the best place to buy locally made
handicrafts and curios. On Saturdays at the city High Court Parking and
on Sunday at Yaya Centre, there are handicrafts markets too.
Nairobi is worth more than just a quick pass by. Karibu Nairobi!
PKP. safaris in kenya desk
Natural Track Safaris.