Lake Nakuru National Park
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Up to two million nesting flamingos and a safe haven for black and white rhinos. Expect an abundance of wildlife!
What YAS members think
- Amazing biodiversity with 56 different species of mammals and over 450 bird species.
- Known for its large flamingo population. Thousands can be found here!
- Check out the rhino sanctuary. Over 100 black and white rhinos call this place home.
- Home to four of the big five: lion, leopard, rhino and African buffalo.
- Can be reached in two hours by road from Nairobi.
About Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park lies about 160 kilometers (100 miles) northwest of Nairobi and can be reached in two hours if driving from Nairobi City. The park was created in 1961 around Lake Nakuru and has since expanded to include the surrounding areas and provide a buffer zone for protection from agricultural and industrial influences. At 188 km² (73 mi²) Lake Nakuru National Park is a relatively small park, but it is one of Kenya’s prime parks in terms of biodiversity and opportunities for sightings of rare animals. In 2011 it was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lake Nakuru is an alkaline lake, which feeds one of the park’s main attractions – the flamingos (greater and lesser). These magnificent birds migrate in thousands, even millions, between the lakes within the Rift valley and you can see a mesmerizing pink mass in and around Lake Nakuru for most of the year. The lake’s water is colored by the green-blue Cyanophyte spirulina platensis, an algae that is the major food source for the flamingos. Flamingos, as well as pelicans, cormorants and other water birds, can be appreciated from the road, when approached on foot, or by going to the top of Baboon Cliff, one of the three established viewpoints (the other two being Out of Africa and Lion Hill), which allow you to park your car and walk around, take photo’s and have a picnic.
Lake Nakuru wildlife
The next big lure of Lake Nakuru National Park is the rhino. The charity Rhino Rescue focused on this park, and as a result about 60 black rhinos and 40 white rhinos happily roam the park, protected by an electric fence to keep the poachers out. Despite the lower numbers, white rhinos are more frequently encountered, even as many as 20 on a single game drive, while the black ones live more secluded lives. Due to the protective fence, elephants are the only members of the big five who do not live in the park. Lions, leopards and African buffaloes can all be sighted, and Nakuru is especially famous for its leopards, which can frequently be spotted during the day. Other impressive residents include the Rothschild's giraffe, waterbuck, cheetahs, large pythons, hippos, hyenas and over 450 bird species. Within the park boundaries is also Makalia Falls, a waterfall you can enjoy on foot.
Lake Nakuru National Park is a perfect place for bird watchers, game drives, eager photographers and leisurely picnic-goers. In September you can join the beautiful ‘Cycle with the Rhino’ event.
When is the best time to visit Lake Nakuru?
Officially the park’s climate is described as dry sub-humid to semi-arid. Rain showers are frequent in the afternoons. July to December and January to March are considered the drier months, but also bring more tourists. To avoid crowds, consider visiting in December, or in the period from April to June. Interesting animal sightings are guaranteed throughout the year due to the protective electric fence.
Started the safari in Nairobi on early morning [6:00 am] headed for Lake Nakuru National Park and arrived in Nakuru City by 8:00 am. Took breakfast in a hotel within the town (now city) before proceeding to the Menengai crater. The steep ascent to the observation point of the crater involved a mid-way stop to pay the conservation/entry fee at the gate. We also got a local guide who was very informative about the history of the area surrounding the crater. Information about how the Mau Mau freedom fighters used the nearby caves as hiding spots during Kenya's struggle for independence was interesting. The view from the top of the crater was breathtaking, giving the opportunity to see the crater floor. We left the Menengai crater and arrived at Lake Nakuru National Park gate by 2 pm. A guided safari in the park provided an opportunity to know much about the park and see several animal species. Left the park at 5:30 pm headed for Nairobi with arrival at 9 pm. * It's better to spend less time at the Menengai crater and more time at the Park ** Early arrival will allow you to explore all that the park offers.
We visited Lake Nakuru with group of my travelling agent and bird watchers and we were not disappointed with how many birds we sported in this national park, The pink and white flamingoes did also NOT disappoint us with their noise and flying style. Thank you very much for the Kenya wildlife services for great time with your bird specialist.
Last year me and my family made a trip to Lake Nakuru National Park which is located on the floor of the Great Rift Valley. It is surrounded by wooded and bushy grassland, with wide ecological diversity and varied habitats that range from Lake Nakuru itself to the surrounding escarpment and picturesque ridges. Lake Nakuru National Park is ideal for bird watching. Also this park is also known to be the sanctuary for black and white rhino.
Amazing destination if you want to do a full day game drive with an assurance to sight the rare African white rhinos. The view of the lake itself is amazing from the viewpoint and sighting the variety of wild animals. Do not hesitate to visit this park for you'll not be disappointed.
As you enter the park, you are graced with the savannah bushland, beautiful untouched nature in its flamboyance. The zebras are the first animals that you will encounter, beautiful majestic beasts in their numbers, grazing so ever beautifully minding their own task. Within the national park there is a narrow dirt road where you can enjoy a slow game drive and see the beautiful animals that roam the park. As you reach the lake, the pink horizon finally reveals itself. Flamingos in their thousands add pink color to the blue,leaving you dumbfounded by the dazzling beauty that is this scenery, Lake Nakuru. Get your boots on and walk towards the shoreline where you will smell the aromas Nature has to offer. About a yard away, the buffalo grazes so quietly ignoring the chatter of the flamingos. When you think it's all over, there is a peak where you can hike and see the national park in its full glory while interacting with the monkeys. When you are in full connection with mother nature you are oblivious to time until she reminds you with a beautiful setting of the sun. The sunset leaves you realizing how lucky you are to be alive, to experience all these glory. As night approaches you can choose to set camp within the national park or return to town and book a hotel, awaiting for the next days adventure.
An attractive view of pink-hued flamingos sitting over the Lake Nakuru is the main attraction of visiting the Lake Nakuru National Park. This parks picturesque settings never fail to attract tourists from all over the world. You will feel delighted to watch the shallow soda lake and thousands of pearl-white pelicans and pink flamingos. The stunning ecosystem with greenery, scintillating waterfalls, and majestic cliffs makes Lake Nakuru National Park one of the best attractions in Kenya. This park promises year-round explorations.
Lake Nakuru National park is one of premium park in Kenya with over 300 species of birds and different type of animals even the cats. The park is very close to Nairobi, you can even go for a day trip and come back to Nairobi. Lake Nakuru is very awesome place to visit while in Kenya. A lifetime adventure!
In Lake Nakuru we have the two types of flamingos: lesser and greater which frequent the lake as non breeding visitors, it has been recorded over 430 different species of birds amazing don't you think this is a bird watching paradise for bird lovers! The wildlife on the other hand is also great with white and black rhino,hippos,spotted hyenas, buffalo and waterbucks. Baboon cliff and its lookout point offer finest view across the lake and over the shimmering fringe of pink around the lake's white shores breath taking view!! The accommodation is superb Lake Nakuru Lodge is one of a kind from the rooms to the dinning hall simply amazing. Would definitely recommend this park.
This is one of Kenya's top 3 National Parks and a must visit while on safari. The park is just over 3 hours from Nairobi city and hence a perfect destination for a day trip. Upon arrival at the park, we were met by a huge herd of buffaloes. Did you know that the cape buffalo is the most aggressive of the wild animals? Another pleasant surprise was the group of white rhinos that we came across. That was simply fantastic especially due to their closeness to the road. WOW! Rothchilds giraffes were plenty as well as groups of bachelor impalas and a hareem that consisted of over 15 females with only one male!. Bird life is plenty and we sighted alot of pelicans, storks, vultures etc but flamingos were not there! Overall the park was exciting.
It was easy to spot wild animals unlike in most other parks. My most incredible sights were of pink flamingos dotting the shows of Lake Nakuru. The parks hosts four of the Big Five (except for the Elephant). The baboons around the gate are were very welcoming and absolutely comical. It was great to spot warthogs busy going about their daily business. Lions were in plenty as were the rhinos. Vehicle tracks in the park are very great condition. The park is easily accessible from Nakuru Town.
Lake Nakuru lodge was decent in standard. The views were beyond words - amazing and having a bush dinner provided us with some great photos. The game drives were well planned and we were very fortunate to see a lot of animals, we even got to see the white rhino. The guide told us a lot of information on various animals and he had answers to all our questions and he also had an expert eye for spotting the animals. He made our days in Lake Nakuru a memory for life with his warm personality, his great people skills and great knowledge and respect for the environment and the animals.
Driving to Lake Nakuru from Nairobi
Lake Nakuru is roughly a three-hour drive from Nairobi, in normal conditions. For the intrepid travelers, it's also about seven hours from Arusha, Tanzania and nine hours from Kampala, Uganda. Rome2Rio lists out many options for the budget-conscious safari-goer.
Domestic flights to Lake Nakuru, Kenya
Safarilink offers flights to Lake Nakuru and several of the upscale lodges located in and around this park offer fly-in safari packages.