Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park: If you are looking to see the graceful flamingos then Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya is the place to be! The lesser flamingos, which have deep pink feathers and deep red beaks with a black tip, are the park’s main tourist attractions.
The National Park is located in the Rift Valley floor, south of Nakuru County in central Kenya. The park covers approximately 118 square kilometres and is elevated a 1,754 meters above sea level. The park encompasses Lake Nakuru, which is also known as the Soda Lake, and surrounding mountain areas.
Among some of the park’s main tourist attractions include the African warthog, baboons, eastern black rhinos and the southern white rhinos. There are also quite a number of bird species that can be seen around the lake area and in other parts of the national park including the greater and lesser flamingos. This national park host over 400 bird species which makes it a birders’ haven and a great destination for tourists looking to do birding in Kenya.
Lake Nakuru national park in Kenya was first established as a bird sanctuary in 1961 and later gazetted as a national park in 1968. The national park derives its name from the Masai word “Nakuru” to mean “dusty.”
Activities done in Lake Nakuru National Park.
Game Drive Safaris
Game Drive safaris in Lake Nakuru national park are one of the best game viewing experiences in Kenya, especially if you are doing the day game drive in the park. Top wildlife viewing spots in the national park include the water fall at Makalia, lion hill and baboon cliff. Among some of the wildlife seen in the national park includes; warthogs, giraffes, leopards, lions, Eastern Black and Southern White Rhinos, Hyenas, Jackals, Hippos, Pythons, Bruchell’s zebras, and antelopes among others. The park also hosts some primate species like Olive baboons and vervet monkeys.
Guided Nature Walks
Guided nature walks in Lake Nakuru national park will give you an opportunity to explore the park on foot. You will have an opportunity to have the face-to-face encounters with wildlife in the park. The best nature walks in the national park are conducted around the baboon cliff, giving tourists panoramic views of the lake and park at large.
Birding in Lake Nakuru park is an entirely different experience on its own. As earlier mentioned the park is famous for its massive flocks of Greater and Lesser Flamingos that can be seen gathering around the lake. Other bird species to look out for in the national park include the Yellow-billed Pelicans, Marabou Storks, Hammerkop and Fish Eagles to mention but a few.
The national park has designated campsites for visitors interested in camping during your stay in the park. The park has both private and public campsites; with private campsites having shower rooms running with water 24/7, camp fire areas, and toilets/latrines among others. Camping in Lake Nakuru national park usually conducted near the beautiful Makalia falls. Visitors who want to camp in the park are charged differently depending on which campsite you preference, for instance;
Visitors staying in the special campsites pay USD 50 dollars for non-residents, 600 TZ Shillings for foreign residents and 500 TZ Shillings for Citizens. For the public campsites, visitors are charged USD 30 for non-residents, 600 TZ Shillings for foreign residents and 250 TZ Shillings for Citizens. Please note that all the above fees are for adult visitors.
Best Time to visit Lake Nakuru National Park.
Lake Nakuru national park can be visited anytime of the year; but the best time for tourists to visit the national park during the months of January, February, March- July and September, October and December.
How to get to the park.
Lake Nakuru national park can be accessed by both road and air transport. By road, the national park is situated approximately 155 kilometers North West of Nairobi city and 5 kilometers from Nakuru town. The roads leading to the park are tarmacked which makes driving to the park easy. However, the roads within national park are majorly dirt roads which can be hard to navigate especially if you are travelling to the national park during the rainy seasons.
The national park can also be accessed from Masai Mara national park which is about a six hours’ drive covering a distance of 235 kilometers.
By air, the national park can be accessed from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to the Naishi airstrip which serves the national park.