NAIROBI NA­TIONAL PARK

Best for: A quick wildlife-watch­ing stopover

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Trip Planner: Safari Africa -

DU­RA­TION: 1–3 days ROUTE: Nairobi • Nairobi NP WHEN TO GO? June–oc­to­ber and De­cem­ber–fe­bru­ary are the dri­est months

Let’s start by de­bunk­ing the idea that a sa­fari has to be a jour­ney. That no­tion dates back to the 18th and 19th cen­turies, when East African traders, hun­ters and ex­plor­ers used the Swahili word sa­fari (mean­ing voy­age or jour­ney) for an ar­du­ous trip between trad­ing posts, or an an­i­mal-col­lect­ing ex­pe­di­tion. Ripe with ro­man­tic, ad­ven­tur­ous as­so­ci­a­tions, the term is here to stay. But if you don’t have the time or in­cli­na­tion for a multi-stop marathon, you needn’t miss out en­tirely – it’s per­fectly pos­si­ble to plan a quick sin­gle-stop sa­fari in­stead.

Kenya is blessed with one of Africa’s most ac­ces­si­ble wildlife-watch­ing ar­eas: a na­tional park more than ten times larger than Lon­don’s Rich­mond Park, right on Nairobi’s doorstep. Con­sid­er­ing its size and lo­ca­tion, its pop­u­la­tion of black rhi­nos, li­ons, ze­bras and gi­raffes is re­mark­ably healthy. Kenya Air­ways now in­cludes a free fly­ing visit to the na­tional park if you’re in tran­sit between Lon­don and one of seven African ci­ties. Their sa­fari guides will drive you around the park, pro­vide break­fast and even cover the cost of your tran­sit visa.

For those who de­cide to stay overnight, the park has a cou­ple of gor­geous lit­tle lodges (Ololo and The Emakoko) to knock spots off any air­port ho­tel.

Sa­fari stars & stripes Spot gi­raffe against a back­drop of skyscrap­ers;(far right) ze­bra form herds known as a zeal; (right) an ostrich for­ages in Nairobi Na­tional Park

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