Location (indicated in orange on the map): Wild Animal Park, just beyond the Park's entrance
Region featured: Africa
Size: 17 acres (7 hectares)
Opening date: May 11, 1972
Dining facilities: Thorntree Terrace, Mombasa Island Cooker, Samburu Terrace, Congo Kitchen, Kalahari Cupboard, Safari Cones, and Zabibu Drink Stop.
Be sure to look for…
An African lion cub, Koza, and his puppy companion, Cairo, can be seen in the Animal Care Center. See video of them playing together!
• Frequent Flyers Bird Show
• African Aviary
• Sales & Catering
• ZooWerks the Ride
• Lorikeet Landing
• Hidden Jungle
• Wgasa Bush Line Railway
• Upcoming Events
• Special/VIP Tours
• Kid Territory: Lion and Dog Duo, Bonnie the Barasingha, Agile Acrobats: Crested Gibbons
Help us help wildlife. Adopt-An-Animal is a unique way to give a gift.
Mombasa Lagoon's many features include the Congo fishing village.
An exotic sensory experience
A visit to the Wild Animal Park is like magically stepping from the hustle and bustle of Southern California into the mysteries of exotic, faraway lands.
Once past the Park's thatched entrance portal, designed after the ceremonial chamber of a Ugandan king, and our African Aviary, you'll enter Nairobi Village, a lush, bustling, and exciting village of shops, restaurants, animal exhibits, and activity centers.
At the heart of Nairobi Village is Mombasa Lagoon, surrounded
by paths, wooden walkways, and a simulation of a Congo fishing village.
This peaceful watering hole is home to pelicans, storks, flamingos, and
ducks, along with the many migratory bird visitors, like herons and egrets,
that are not part of the Wild Animal Park's collection but make use of our
hospitality each year! Reeds, grasses, lilies, and other water-loving plants
thrive along the edges of the lagoon, creating a lovely picture.
Make your way to the Gorilla Habitat - our gorillas love to people-watch!
Traipse through the Congo Fishing Village, designed after one seen on the Congo River and built over a rushing waterfall. Admire the antics of our crested gibbon family or spy the ring-tailed lemurs on their island in the lagoon—there is wildlife everywhere you turn in the Village, from birds to primates to small hoofed stock to insects.
On this side of the Lagoon you'll encounter our Bee-eater Aviary, home to beautiful little birds that capture flying insects like bees in midair. It's fascinating to watch these acrobatic birds with their keen eyesight as they swiftly and precisely snatch up flying insects with beaks shaped like forceps. An just beyond the aviary is our Gorilla Habitat, home to a troop of lowland gorillas going about their business of eating, playing, caring for their young, and people-watching!
Nairobi Village is also where you'll find popular attractions such as Hidden Jungle and Lorikeet Landing. At the Animal Care Center you may get a chance to watch food being prepared for baby animals being hand-raised there. Seen through viewing windows, these youngsters have most often been rejected by their mothers for some reason, or they may have been sick or injured and require human help as they recover. A wide variety of species may need the Care Center's services, anything from hoofed stock like antelope, deer, and rhinos to primates like bonobos and gorillas. Even without babies the Animal Care Center has interesting surprises, like the Nile monitors that live permanently in one of the exhibit areas.
The Petting Kraal is just one of the many areas where kids can be kids.
There are plenty of things for kids to do in the Village. Children will delight in strolling around the Village as they discover hollow logs, life-size tortoise shells, an aardwolf den, and a weaver nest to climb into; lily pads to hop across, and bat-eared fox ears to "try" on. And just south of the Village you'll find the Samburu Jungle Gym, an animal-themed playground built just for kids!
And don't forget the Petting Kraal, which offers a very satisfactory tactile experience. Kids and kids at heart will find the Kraal a wonderful place to mingle with the Park's gentlest animals: blackbuck antelope, gazelle, and several deer species roam freely in the Kraal, accepting gentle hugs and touches from guests.
Nairobi Village is also the gateway to our popular Wgasa Bush Line Railway. Our engaging bird show, Frequent Flyers, offers shows daily in the Benbough Amphitheater at the south end of the Village. And, of course, everyone can enjoy delicious goodies and refreshments, or take a shopping safari in the many gift shops. Be sure to keep your eyes open for casual encounters with some of the wildlife ambassadors in the Park's Animal Encounters program, out for walks with their trainers. Be sure to check your map insert for locations and times for these engaging talks. You could spend a whole day in Nairobi Village, but there's the rest of the Park to see—which means you just might need to make a return visit!
A ride on the Wgasa Bush Line Railway gives you a whole new perspective on how unique the Park really is.
- A life-sized white rhino sculpted in bronze is a favorite photo spot for children, who get to climb all over the one-ton creation and pose for photos on its head or back. The statue has been in Nairobi Village since 1985 and serves as a tribute to a former Zoological Society of San Diego president, Andy Borthwick, who was instrumental in bringing white rhinos to the Park.
- Almost all of the original plantings in Nairobi Village were from South and East Africa. Many of the African plants in Nairobi Village were grown from seed because full-grown plants were not available.
- Catch our popular Wgasa Bush Line Railway for a guided tour of the Park's expansive field exhibits. Board the Railway from Simba Station at the north end of the Village.
- Want to feed some critters? Food dispensers are available to offer nutritious snacks to the ducks in Mombasa Lagoon and the deer in the Petting Kraal.