The Park

Located within ten minutes’ drive of Nairobi’s Central Business District, City Park is the heart and lungs of the Kenyan capital. Its 60+ hectares of green space encompass, in addition to botanic gardens and historical landmarks, one of only a few remaining intact portions of the rich indigenous forest that once extended over much of greater Nairobi – and well beyond.

The park is managed by the City Council of Nairobi and has been gazetted as a National Monument by the National Museums of Kenya. The Friends of City Park are a voluntary group of residents that work to ensure the perpetuity of the park and mobilize resources that are needed for City Park to be revived – as a national treasure of enormous civic pride, and benefit to all.

Forest and other biodiversity
With National Museum scientists the Friends were able to identify more that 998 species from the park. This is significant given the small size of the park and underlines how important it is as a resource for conservation and of public awareness around biodiversity.

The tiny, evergreen upland forest of City Park is home to troops of Skykes Monkeys, Silvery-cheeked Hornbills and hundreds of beautiful butterflies. This forest is the most precious natural resource currently protected in City Park and a true treasure for the people of Nairobi.

There are several historical sites in the park, including Catholic, Anglican, Jewish and World War I and World War II veterans’ cemeteries. Here the assassinated freedom fighter and socialist Pio Gama Pinto is buried, as is Kenya’s second Vice-President Joseph Murumbi. A Murumbi Memorial Garden has been established, to exhibit some of his collection of sculptures.

The famous Bandstand on the Park’s Central Lawn has been the setting for numerous historic outdoor performances and diplomatic receptions. Other amenities, such as the Bowling Green (now an outdoor restaurant) and the Maze, located in the southeastern corner of the park, affectionately known as Mtego wa Panya (the ‘Rat-Trap’), attest to the Park’s long history as a focal point for public recreation.

3 Responses to “The Park”

  1. Richard Murray10/02/2019 at 7:08 pm #

    I am doing a book on large urban parks and would like to have a short presentation of Nairobi City Park. I am amazed at the large number of species, which raises a question: are there corridors of greenery to the park by which animals and plants can spread to the park?

    I have been told that large urban parks in Africa face a problem: people think they are insecure and don’t dare to go there? Is that a problem with your park?

    Do you have any assessment of the number of people visiting the park?

    If i would include the Nairobi city park in the book I would like to have one or two good pictures of the park, one showing an overview of the park and how it is located within the built areas, one showing people using the park. I need photos of high resolution (300 dpi at best).

    With green (right now, though, snow) greetings from Stockholm, Sweden

    Richard Murray, president of Ekoparken Association and chair of Large Urban Parks committee World Urban Parks


  1. Bird people – Live, write and leave - 24/07/2018

    […] are in City Park. There are more than 15 of us. At the entrance, there are fruit vendors and people packing miraa […]

  2. A West African and a Monkey in City Park | Lost in Nairobi - 24/07/2014

    […] to be treated with more respect than it’s been shown over the years. According to its friends, City Park spreads over 60 hectares and is the only park in the city with an indigenous forest. […]

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