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At the beginning of the 20th century, many colonialists and travelers passing by Nairobi indulged themselves in hunting with no limits. Mervyn Cowie, a former hunter, had the idea of creating a park like the ones opened in USA since 1870.

In 1933, a Royal Commission accepted the project and the "Nairobi Commonage" was formed. From 1933 to 1939, Cowie held public meeting to aware the population living in the area.

In 1939, the war broke out. A military camp was set-up to the west of the park with 8'000 men for whom poaching was their favourite pastime. Cowie's lion where all killed including "Lulu", the lion stuffed and display at the Nairobi national Museum.

After the war, Cowie was named head of the park and a network of roads was developed in the park and Maasai nomads were asked to take their cattle outside the park.

The National Park was officially opened in Christmas 1946, and it was the first national park of East Africa.

In 1976, the park was nationalised (K.W.S.) after 30 years of existence as a non governmental organisation.

In 1989, the former President Daniel arap Moi burned an ivory stock worth Kshs 60 millions to reinforce Kenyan commitment to fight poaching.

Reference : " 40 Circuits in Kenya " by Philippe Oberlé (1991)
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