Nairobi National Park

In the late 19th century, when the British colonialists arrived, many indulged in hunting, in addition to the poaching and local human encroachment and activity that gradually destroyed the park, diminishing animal population. The Maasai lived and grazed their cattle among the wildlife and even as the Nairobi grew, human wildlife conflicts were inevitable. The animals were gradually confined to the south west of Nairobi, of which the colonial government set aside as a game reserve. Mervyn Cowie, a former hunter, proposed the establishment of a National park, in 1932. In 1933, In 1933, a Royal Commission accepted the project and the "Nairobi Commonage" was formed. From 1933 to 1939, Cowie held public meeting to create awarenesss amongst the people living there. In 1939, a mllitary camp was set out at the West of the park, to capture poachers. In 1946, the park was officially gazetted , and it became the first national park in Kenya, and in East Africa. Maasai pastoralists had to move from the park. Cowie was appointed as director of the park unti 1996. In 1976, the park was nationalised (K.W.S.) after 30 years of existence as a non governmental organisation. In 1989, the former President Daniel arap Moi burned an ivory stock worth Kshs 60 millions to reinforce Kenyan commitment to fight poaching. Geography/Habitats: Nairobi National Park is a unique ecosystem by being the only protected area in the world close to a capital city. The vegetation is mainly savannah, with open grass plains and scattered acacia bush. The western side has a highland dry forest and a permanent river with a riverine forest in the south. In addition, there are stretches of broken bush country and deep, rocky valleys and gorges with scrub and long grass. Man-made dams also attract water dependent herbivores during the dry season. The Athi Kapiti Plains are found further south as well as the Kitengela Migration corridor, and there are man made dams within the park that attract animals for replenishment purposes and plenty of bird species. Animals: Most of the Big Five: leopard, lion, buffalo and rhino of the Big 5, only the elephant is absent. Other animals resident include: black rhino, cheetah, hyena, buffalo, zebra, wilderbeest, and eland. There are over 400 species of birdlife at the park. However, all species are not always present and some are seasonal. More recently Nairobi National Park has been designated as a rhino sanctuary and more than 50 rhinos had been moved into the park from remote parts of the country where poaching was rife making the park the most favoured place to see the rhino. Of interest: Ivory Burning Site Monument; walking trails at hippo pools; Nairobi Safari Walk and the Animal Orphanage; spacious picnic sites and game drives.

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Game Drives with Kiboko Tours and Travel
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