LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK
Lake Nakuru national park is a very rewarding Kenya safari destination for birding and game viewing experiences situated in the south of Nakuru County with Nakuru town the 4th largest town in Kenya as the as the nearest town. The park lies in the Kenyan Rift Valley about 164 kilometers north of Nairobi, the park covers an area of 188 square kilometers composed of 45 square kilometers covered by Lake Nakuru.
Lake Nakuru national park was established in 1961, the park gets its name from Lake Nakuru which is protected by the park, the word Nakuru is a local slag of the local Maasai language meaning “a place of dust” or simply dust.
The park is composed of Lake Nakuru covering an area of 45 square kilometers of the park, savannah grasslands and mountainous area. Lake Nakuru is an alkaline lake and a remarkable feature in the park, the lake is a famous site for Kenya bird watching experiences.
The lake hosts millions of flamingoes and other water birds on its shores which are attracted to lake because of the algae. The national park is a home to the greatest sight of birds in the world with over 2 million pink flamingoes living on the shores of the lake and thriving on the abundant algae in the salty warm waters of the Lake.
Lake Nakuru national park is a home to approximately 400 bird species residing in the savannah plains of the park and on the shores of Lake Nakuru, these birds include pink flamingoes, little grebes, ducks, white winged black terns, stilts, avocets, goliath herons, hammerkops, pied kingfishers, African fish eagle, verreaux’s eagle and many more.
The savannah grasslands of the park hosts 56 recorded species of mammals including lions, leopards, buffaloes, warthogs, waterbucks, Thomson gazelles, black and white rhinos, zebras, impalas, deer, jackals, giraffes, wild dogs, colobus monkeys among others.
Lake Nakuru national park also comprises of a rhino sanctuary which is a home to about 100 white rhinos and about 50 black rhinos, male rhinos in the park have an average weight of 2300kgs and female have an average weight of 1700kgs.
Kenya safari activities to do in Lake Nakuru national park
Lake Nakuru national park is one of the ideal destinations for Kenya game viewing destinations, the park is a home to a wide range of beautiful wildlife species which are seen during game viewing safaris making the experience worth. Game viewing at the park is offered as morning and full day game drives done on various trails running through the park, during game viewing safari in the park some of the beautiful animals seen in the park include lions, leopards, buffaloes, warthogs, waterbucks, Thomson gazelles, zebras, impalas, jackals, wild dogs and rhinos.
The Park offers an opportunity to watch the rare rhinos (black and white) upon visiting the rhino sanctuary hosting over 100 white rhinos and about 50 black rhinos.
Lake Nakuru national park is a perfect destination for Kenya birding safaris, the park is a sanctuary for millions of pink flamingoes which are attracted to the shores of the lake Nakuru because of the algae. The park is a home to the over 400 bird species which are viewed during Kenya birding safari in the park, some of the birds viewed during this experience include Abyssinian thrush, Arrow-marked babbler, Bateleur, Black-tailed godwit, Black-winged lapwing, Brimstone canary, Brown-backed scrub robin, Crab-plover, Eastern imperial eagle, European roller, Grey crowned crane, Grey-headed woodpecker, Great snipe, Greater spotted eagle, Grey-crested helmet-shrike, Hildebrandt’s starling, Kenya rufous sparrow, Lappet-faced vulture, Lesser flamingo, Lesser kestrel, Long-tailed widowbird, Maccoa duck, Montane white-eye, Northern puffback, Pallid harrier, Red-capped lark, Rufous-throated wryneck, Rüppell’s vulture, Rüppell’s robin-chat, Schalow’s wheatear, Shining sunbird, Slender-billed greenbul, Sooty falcon, Speke’s weaver, Western reef heron, White-fronted bee-eater among others.
The best time to visit the park in Kenya birding safaris is from November to April, this time is a breeding season and numerous birds in the national park are full plumage.
Lake Nakuru national park is a spectacular destination for Kenya walking safaris, walking safaris is an excellent safari for exploring numerous sections of the park which are not accessed by the vehicle. Walking safaris in Lake Nakuru national is done on foot and mostly done along savannah plains of the park and along the shores of Lake Nakuru, while walking through the park you get to spot many animals such as lions, leopards, impala, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes and many birds such as flamingoes, pelicans, grey-headed woodpecker among others.
ACCOMMODATION IN LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK
In the park, there are a number of lodges and campsites offering a place to stay for tourists on a Kenya safari in the park. Lodges and campsites in the park range for Luxury, Midrange and Budget and they include Sarova hill game lodge, Flamingo Hill Tented camp, Kivu Resort, Lake Nakuru Flamingo lodge, Ziwa Bush Lodge among others.
HOW TO GET TO LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK
The park is a very accessible Kenya safari destination and tourists can get to the park using both road and air means of transport, it is accessed using 3 gates that are the Main gate, Lanet gate and Nderit gate.
By road – by road it is a 30 minute’s drive from Nairobi using Nairobi – Nakuru Highway and while on the way you are rewarded by impressive views of the Great Rift Valley. While using road transport, you are required to us a 4X4 wheel car.
By air – domestic flights are offered from either Jomo Kenyatta international airport or Wilson airport to Naishi airstrip on a 25 minutes flight.