Lake Nakuru National Park is located northwest of Nairobi in southwestern Kenya. The national park is 73 square miles in size (188 sq. km). It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site dedicated to flamingos and other animals.
The park’s foundation is Lake Nakuru, which serves as a wildlife haven. The highest depth is only 6 feet (1.8 m), with an average depth of 1 foot (.30 m), making it accessible to animals. It is one of the Rift Valley lakes, located 5,755 feet (1,754 m) above sea level.
Nakuru is an alkaline lake that attracts a variety of birds and wildlife to its borders. The national park and lake are well known for their tens of thousands of flamingos, which can number in the millions at times. Baboon Cliff is the finest site to see the flamingos.
The area’s tranquil landscapes include grasslands, marshes, outcrops, rocky cliffs, and sedge. Acacia trees with yellow bark add to the traditional African wilderness experience.
A 116-mile (188-kilometer) fence has been built to protect both black and white rhinoceroses, as well as giraffes. The park is home to around 70 white rhinos and 25 eastern black rhinoceroses. It has one of the greatest rhino collections in Kenya.
Wildlife is abundant, with a thriving predator population to match the availability of prey. Lions, cheetahs, leopards, and hyenas are examples of predators. Huge pythons may also be found. The giraffe and two rhino species are mammalian highlights, although there are several other species. The waterbuck is more common in this park than in others.
There are a few hippopotamuses that can be discovered in the lake’s reeds. Visitors may also witness reedbuck and bushbuck in addition to the waterbuck.
Birdwatchers can expect to witness African fish eagles, Verreaux’s eagles, Goliath herons, kingfishers, and a plethora of flamingos. With almost 400 species, it is a fantastic spot for birding safari. There are over a dozen different types of predatory birds. Because of the flamingo population, the lake and national park have acquired the moniker “the greatest bird display on earth.”
The small lake is rich in algae, which attracts flamingos, which consume approximately 551,155 pounds (250,000 kg) of algae per acre every year.
Lake Nakuru National Park is only 102 miles (164 kilometers) from Nairobi, making it convenient to take a day excursion out of the city to witness this incredible animal encounter.
With the exception of elephants, Lake Nakuru provides easy wildlife viewing of most big safari animals. In the 1990s, black and white rhinos were reintroduced and have since bred to form robust populations. On the lakefront, white rhinos are usually easy to spot. There are also Rothschild giraffes, buffalo, and hippopotamuses. Those who are fortunate enough to observe lions may occasionally see them climbing trees. Leopards are present, but they are rarely seen.
The view of Lake Nakuru National Park is spectacular. The Rift Valley escarpment rises from the lakeside, dotted with euphorbia trees. In the early morning, a thick mist usually shrouds the lake and the neighboring yellow fever trees.
WEATHER & CLIMATE
Despite its proximity to the equator, Lake Nakuru is rarely hot, with temperatures peaking at roughly 28°C (82 °F) in the first few months of the year. The park’s elevation keeps things cold, especially in the early morning when you’ll need your warmest attire for game drives. The dry season lasts from June to February, with the wet season (March to May) being the wettest in April.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The main issue with wildlife watching during the wet season (March to May) is that animals disperse when it rains. Yet, because Lake Nakuru is surrounded by fencing, this is not an issue. But rain has been known to ruin more than a few game drives, so you may wish to visit during the drier months of the year.
HOW TO GET THERE
Roads: The Park lies 156 kilometers north-west of Nairobi on the main A104 route and has a tarmac road connection. The main gate, located 4 kilometers from Nakuru Town Center, is the most regularly utilized entrance to the park. The park can also be accessed from the major Nairobi-Nakuru road via Lanet Gate. Those entering the park from Masai Mara or Elementaita use the Nderit Gate.
Airstrips: The Park’s tourism and KWS activities are served by the Naishi airstrip.
Park Roads: The Park has adequate and well-maintained roads that allow access to the majority of the area.
Park Gates: Lanet and Nderit gates are located on the park’s larger eastern side. The Old Main Gate is still accessible on the park’s northern western side, but due to rising water levels, you cannot complete a full circle to link to the eastern side. Guests with tickets can enter both sides of the park without paying additional fees.
- Mammals: 56 different species, including white rhinos, waterbucks, etc.
- Flamingos (greater and lesser) and other water birds, as well as a variety of terrestrial birds totaling over 450 species,
- View-points: Lion Hill, Baboon Cliff, and Out of Africa
- Hills: Enasoit, Honeymoon, Lion Hill Ridge, etc.
- Waterfalls: Makalia.
- Unique vegetation: There are over 550 different plant species, including Africa’s only and largest euphorbia forest, a picturesque environment, and golden acacia woodlands.
- Cycle with rhino event every September yearly
- KWS Self-Catering
- Naishi Guest House
- Makalia Campsite
- Reedbuck Campsite
- Naishi Campsite
- Rhino Campsite
- Chui Campsite
- Baboon Cliff
- Out of Africa
- Privately owned lodges
- Lake Nakuru lodge
- Sarova Lion Hill Lodge
- Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge
- The Cliff Hotel
- Flamingo Hill Camp
- KWS Hostels
- Wildlife Clubs of Kenya (WCK) Hostels