Nairobi National Park Birding


Nairobi National Park  birding has become popular due to  close proximity to  a capital city and astounding high bird species recorded plus its relatively small size. Ornithologists or Birders  with a few hours to spare, or some with a connecting flight in JKIA can easily visit the park for birding 

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

Nairobi National Park is one of the top birding

 sites in Kenya

Depending with your time we offer half or whole  day  bir

ding in the Park

On a normal day  more than 100 bird species  may be seen/recorded in a day's tour


                        Factfile  Nairobi National Park

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 conservation area.

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  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 exceptionally varied native flora comprising plants of more than 100 species.

Nairobi National Park Birding

                         Birds  in Nairobi Nation

al Park

Nairobi National Park is an 


cally rich destination on its own right

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

This iconic Nairobi  National Park has more than 500 Bird species  recorded  and plausibly the longe

st bird list in all cities of the world, largely contributed by the park having many different habitats, each containing different specie

s 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 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 uniquely is located within the precincts of a major capital city

Nairobi National park Birding

 Mammals  Nairobi  National Park

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:

  • Eland
  • Impala
  • Grant's and Thomsons Gazelles
  • Kongoni
  • Bohor's Reedbuck
  • Zebra
  • Wildebeest
  • Warthog
  • Maasai Giraffe
  • Olive Baboon
  • Syke's Monkey
  • Vervet Monkey
  • Cheetah- rare though
  • Mountain Reedbuck
  • Hippopotamus
  • 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.

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 Birding

 been burnt, the first 12 tonnes were burned in 1989 by the then p

resident Daniel arap Moi,

“there was a desperate measure meant to send a message to the wo

rld 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 stret

ching 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.

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

The 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 v


Nairobi national park gives the Kenyan capital a tourist attraction like no other, it is an important money spinner for the 

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), while providing city dwellers with tranquil, scenic retreat from the stresses of daily urban life.

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

       Road conditions

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 beco

me 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 Day BirdingNairobi National Park Birding

  •  Kingfisher picnic site,
  •  Mokoyeti picnic site
  •  Impala observation point
  •  Hippo pools

Birding in these areas tend to be producti

ve because  you have a chance of walking and interact 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 w
  • ooden 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


Itinerary for Nairobi National Park  Birding
  • 0600hrs: Pick up from Hotel
  • 0630hrs: Check in the park and start birding in Nairobi N park
  • 0530hrs: Drop off to Hotel/Airport.

Cost caters for:

  • Transport 
  • Park entrance feesNairobi National Park Birding
  • Water
  • Services of a Professional Bird guide
  • A bird checklist for Nairobi National Park

Recommended thing to carry;

  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Cap/Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent

Tour Concerns for Nairobi National Park  Birding

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


Bird Checklist  for Nairobi National Park  Birding
  • Common Ostrich
  • African Darter
  • African Finfoot
  • 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
  • Bateleur
  • 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

Nairobi National Park Birding