What Is The Only National Park In The World Located In A Capital City?

Zebras in Nairobi National Park with the skyscrapers of Nairobi visible behind them.
Zebras in Nairobi National Park with the skyscrapers of Nairobi visible behind them.

Located in Nairobi, Kenya, Nairobi National Park is the only national park that exists within a capital city. The park was established in 1946, making it the oldest national park in the country, and is located four miles south of the center of Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

Nairobi National Park

Encompassing an area of 45.26 sq mi, it is one of the smallest of Kenya's national parks. Despite its small size, Nairobi National Park features a large and diversified wildlife population including four of the Big Five animals of Africa and is considered both a lion and rhinoceros sanctuary. It and is among the few parks in the world in which the black rhinoceros can be seen in its natural habitat. 

Urbanization and Wildlife

Although an electric fence separates the park from the city in an effort to prevent wildlife from straying into neighboring settlement areas. Nevertheless, conflict between the local population and the animals has increased in recent years, particularly as urbanization and diminishing resources threaten the park and the migration routes of its animals. During the 1990s, more than 100,000 animals migrated from the southern end of the park to the northern end, but in 2018 less than 1,000 animals completed the migration route.

Conservation Efforts

Urbanization now threatens Nairobi National Park, as it risks becoming overrun by skyscrapers, plastic, sewage, and air pollution. Environmentalists and conservationists are spearheading initiatives to rehabilitate the park to its previous state. Volunteers gather at least once a month to plant trees and collect garbage, while the Kenya Wildlife Service has increased its efforts to combat poaching. Additionally, local communities are regularly educated on the importance of preserving the national park and its animals.


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