Attractions, Holidays, Kenya, Nairobi
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A Drive Through Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park

With the long rains over and Nairobi drying out for the winter months ahead, we took The Tuna (our car, a Toyota Fortuner) out to Nairobi National Park. We got a later start than we wanted, but, thanks to the Southern Bypass (a lovely, non-potholed stretch of highway) we were able to get to the park a little before 9 am. We spent several hours driving around looking at the animals, watching for where some of the guides were stopped so we could see more animals, and enjoying the scenery.

A few things about the park:

  • The driving was rougher than we expected. Our car could handle it, but I would not take anything other than a large, four-wheel-drive vehicle. You need the muscle in a lot of areas. There’s dirt roads, ditches, and also rocky terrain.
  • Also, the grass is high and you are not going to be able to see anything with a regular-sized car.
  • If you are a resident, take your passport. They can’t accept the photocopy of your resident visa on its own as there is no photo tied to it (and therefore could be anyone’s).

So, what did we see? Well, we didn’t see any lions and we had really hoped to. We hoped to see more overall, but that’s the things with any safari. You sometimes see things, you sometimes don’t. That said, we did see a good amount of animals. (I think we’re getting spoiled…oh, another ostrich…we are seeing spectacular creatures in their natural habitat. We’re just getting picky now.)

We saw some rhino, in a distance, but we saw two. We saw lots of ostrich, including a couple females. We also saw lots of Thompson Gazelle, waterbuck, and another kind of antelope that I did not recognize. We also saw a giraffe. There was a warthog (pugs of the savannah) out there too.

All in all, it was a lovely drive and a great day. Here are some pictures and video from it.

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After the drive, we checked out a restaurant in Karen and also the new Carrefour (which is a big deal in Nairobi). I’ll save those for my next two posts.

If you’re interested in reading about how other ex-pats are adjusting in Africa, click on the image below.

Africa Expat Wives Club


  1. Oh I know what you mean about being spoiled! When we went to Kruger last December the first few hours we entered we stopped for EVERYTHING. By the end it was….nah, just a few wildebeest, no just a couple of giraffe, ah don’t bother, just an elephant! But I also like that we didn’t see EVERYTHING (we are still waiting to see our first cheetah in the wild) because it means there is something to go back for 🙂

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  2. We are so lucky to have a national park next door, aren’t we ? I’ve just been once to Nairobi National Park since my arrival and I was waiting for the rains to stop. Hope we’ll be able to make it again in September. It’s such a privilege to live so close to an animal reserve.
    During our first visit, we were fortunate enought to see the lions and lionesses sleeping next to our car ! It was glorious. You are perfectly right for the high grass, I was told not to visit during the rains because the animals are very difficult to spot when they are hiding in the vegetation. But everything should be dryer in Septembre, so we all be back ! 😉

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  3. We were so lucky to see a big male lion walking along the road and right past our car just as we drove out of the park about a month ago. However, it was pretty muddy then and my car (a Tourag) had a couple of mechanical problems the following week that may, or may not have been connected with the fact that the chassis kind of banged down hard whilst navigating over some deep ruts. If you have a smaller car, definitely wait until dry season when the roads are graded.

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