Nairobi National Park is threatened by development. Photo credit: Wikipedia
From a grassy hilltop near the southern end of Nairobi National Park, tourists can look south over the Athi River Plain, a vast swath of savannah that once stretched uninhibited from Nairobi to the border with Tanzania. But today, their view is blocked by a row of cement factories and urban sprawl.
“That’s Kitengela,” says ranger Ernest Achieng (who asks that his real name not be used, per Kenya Wildlife Service policy), pointing to what was once a small truck stop but is now a bustling blue-collar town. “Five years ago, there were no buildings there. But people are buying the land and developing and erecting fences.”
Such development now threatens Nairobi National Park, the world’s only game reserve found within a major city. Home to lions, leopards and endangered black rhinos, NNP offers tourists the opportunity to observe wildlife with the skyscrapers of Nairobi’s skyline rising in the background. But the park is slowly being chipped away by encroaching highways, housing and industry. Read more…