Celebrating 75 Years of Nairobi National Park

Published on the 20th of December, 2021

This month, we celebrated the 75th anniversary of Kenya’s first and oldest National Park — Nairobi National Park.

The entrance to Nairobi National Park (c. 1947, the year the park was established)

As President Uhuru Kenyatta noted, the creation of Nairobi National Park more than seven decades ago set the pace for the rest of Kenya’s national conservation agenda. It is also unique to the world, as the only national park within a capital city. Today, Kenya prides itself on having 23 terrestrial National Parks, 4 Marine National Parks, 28 terrestrial National Reserves, 6 Marine National Reserves and 7 National Sanctuaries. President Uhuru Kenyatta concluded by paying tribute to pioneers of conservation in our beloved country, and those who have over the years lived this dream.

We are proud to play a part in Nairobi National Park’s past, and its future. 45 years ago, it is where Dame Daphne Sheldrick founded the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, setting in motion the work that would shape the lives of generations of elephants. It is at our Nairobi Nursery, nestled within Nairobi National Park, that orphaned calves who have lost everything find a family and a future once more. It is a sanctuary where these young elephants can heal until, they are ready to take the next step in their reintegration journey back to the wild.

Nairobi National Park has always been a treasured destination for visitors near and far (c. 1978)

Kenya is the only place on earth with a national park on its capital city’s doorstep — and what a park it is! Nairobi National Park is home to a spectacular array of wildlife, including a thriving rhino population, lions, giraffe, buffalos, zebra, antelope, leopards, over 400 species of birds. On your next visit to Kenya, we encourage you to experience this extraordinary place to yourself.

It took considerable foresight and determination to establish a national park in 1947. And now, as mankind’s footprint continues to expand and land transforms beyond recognition, protected areas like Nairobi National Park have become even more important. To read our perspectives on this special place, read Angela Sheldrick’s issue of Field Notes, The Nairobi Nursery: How It All Began.

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