Lake Nakuru National Park is located in the southwestern part of Kenya, northwest of Nairobi. The national park encompasses an area of 73 square miles (188 sq km). It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site celebrating the flamingos and abundant wildlife.
Lake Nakuru National Park is the foundation of the park serving as a wildlife haven. The maximum depth is only 6 feet (1.8 m) with an average depth of 1 foot (.30 m) making it easy for animals to access. It is one of the Rift Valley lakes sitting at an elevation of 5,755 feet (1,754 m) above sea level.
Nakuru is an alkaline lake, which is what further draws birds and wildlife to its shores. The national park and lake are most renowned for the tens of thousands of flamingos which can reach over a million at their peak. The best place to view the view flamingos is from Baboon Cliff.
The serene landscapes of the area include grasslands, marsh, outcrops, rocky cliffs, and sedge. Yellow-barked acacia trees add to the traditional African wilderness experience.
Things to do in Nakuru National Park
Bird watching in Lake Nakuru national park.
Lake Nakuru is a great birding destination with more than 500 species recorded. The soda Lake Nakuru is a birding hotspot and supports a lot of birdlife for example flocks of pelicans, and flamingos. The spot for bird watching is the southern end of Lake Nakuru, that’s where you identify the different types of bird species. Birding is ideal during the dry season because most of the bird species do migrate during the rainy season and the best seasons are from June to October and from December to March. The Baboon Cliff, a picnic site near the western shores of Lake Nakuru is a great place for sightseeing, bird watching, and interacting with baboons as they are always around the cliff. The bird species include shining sunbird, white-headed vulture, western reef heron, Northern Puff, black-winged lapwing, Bateleur, lappet-faced vulture, Crab-plover, sooty falcon, lesser flamingoes, lesser kestrel, grey crowned crane, brown-backed scrub robin, European roller, Montane white eye, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Grey-Crested helmet-shrike among other activities.
Game Safaris in Lake Nakuru national park.
Lake Nakuru is a habitat to over 56 species of mammals and game drives can be done either in the morning or evening between 07:00hrs till 18:00hrs. Game drives through the park’s acacia woodlands and bushy grasslands offer chances of viewing the Buffalos, Rhinos, Leopards, and Lions among others. Game viewing activity is best done from January to March and July to December being dry months are best recommendable since the routes are not muddy.
There are different viewpoints that can be rewarding like Lion Hill famed for viewing lions,
Baboon Cliff for viewing Baboons, and out of Africa viewpoint that provides vintage views of the lake and the surrounding National Park.
The sanctuary Home to the densest rhino population in Kenya, Lake Nakuru is one of the best spots to watch rhinos up close and personal. The park started with 2 translocated Rhinos from Lewa Downs and Kitengala and now has about 70 white rhinos and 25 black rhinos giving an excellent opportunity for the visitors to see these endangered giants in the wild. The Rhino sanctuary also hosts the rare Rothchild’s giraffe together with many more mammals and birds that live in this premium park.
Makalia Falls is a small waterfall along the river Makalia which is one of the seasonal rivers that flows into Lake Nakuru. Makalia Falls has a large dive water pool below it where the falls pour into at a height of 10m off a cliff. The waterfalls are surrounded by bushy savannah vegetation and some trees plus woods that complement the beauty of the falls. You may embark on the hiking trail through the picturesque Makalia Falls and also do some bird watching.
Menengai Crater View Point
Get a chance to explore the Menengai crater, a dormant volcano in the Nakuru region. The hike starts from Menengai Forest Gate at the viewpoint and takes about 4-5 hours. The hike starts from the viewpoint. It then follows the rim, down the crater floor, and up a steep ridge. From there, you can choose to head back to the viewpoint or trek to the spectacular caves. Take in the views of the crater floor and geothermal power plants that are stunning.
Visits to the Mwariki community project
Mwariki project is a community-based group that uses tourism as a tool to eradicate poverty within the area. The project was started in January 2009 by Lake Nakuru Lodge as a way of helping the community. It involves the community addressing gaps and challenges and turning them into innovative, economic, and conservation ventures. The projects include;
Recycling waste to come up with Jewellery has been a great innovation, planting trees that are both medicinal and also improve the environment. Empowering the community economically through groups and self-employment ventures. Developing the culture of saving and community cohesiveness. Enhancing the capacity of the community members to fully take charge of their lives and improve their livelihood through using available resources.
Explore Hyrax Hill Museum and Kariandusi Archeological Sites
Hyrax Hill Museum is known locally as Hyrax Hill owing to the large number of hyraxes that inhabit the rocks; presently only a few of these animals remain and can be occasionally spotted around the summit. The site covers an area of 59 hectares most of which is covered by the hill.
It’s composed of several habitation hollows believed to have been inhabited by the Sirikwa pastoral group who were later assimilated to the Kalenjin. The site was discovered by a colonial farmer, Mrs. Selfe, in the year 1920. Archaeological excavations reveal various tools and equipment used by them and are now carefully preserved inside the museum. The museum was initially the house of Mr. A Selfe and then converted to a has three areas of prehistoric settlements. Get to visit the tortoise pit, trek, and have a picnic.
The Kariandusi prehistoric site
The Site is known as the living site of the hand–axe men, was discovered in 1928 by Dr. Louis Leakey during an expedition that was done in the year 1928; this expedition exposed the Kariandusi riverbed and several Acheulean hand-axes made of obsidian and trachyte. On your visit to the Kariandusi Pre-historic site, you will explore several prehistoric features that include: – hand axes, fossils, stone tools, volcanic glass knives, nearby wells for mining diatomite, and many other things. It’s open between 8 am and 6 pm and has guides who offer site tours.
Lord Egerton Castle
The castle is styled like a fortress located 14 km outside Nakuru, Kenya. The foundation was laid in 1938 by Maurice Egerton, 4th Baron Egerton. In 1996 the Castle was declared a monument under Kenyan “The Antiquities and Monuments Act” (Gazetted in April 1996). The castle was opened to the public in 2005 and is under management from Egerton University. Get to explore the castle that has 52 rooms, a dance hall with an electric organ, a dark chamber for developing photos, an entrance hall, master bedrooms, study rooms, and a wine cellar.
Day Excursion to Lake Bogoria
Take a day excursion to the magical Lake Bogoria National Reserve. This park is home to Lake Bogoria, wildlife spots, and natural geysers. Lake Bogoria, a shallow freshwater lake, is part of UNESCO’s Kenya Lake System. The list also comprises Lake Elementaita and Lake Nakuru, which lie on the Great Rift Valley floor. Look out for the spectacular mass of pink flamingos and watch other bird species, view wildlife, or see the hot springs and geysers.
Where To Stay at Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge.
Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge is a luxury lodge that is located in the hills in the rift valley overlooking the park. This lodge has facilities that include 60 rooms including 2 inter-connecting rooms and 2 wheelchair-accessible rooms. Other facilities at Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge include a bar and lounge, a restaurant, a swimming pool, a gift shop, a board room as well as Wi-Fi. There are also a number of activities which are organized by this lodge and they include game drives, bush dinners, bird watching, nature walks as well as board games.
Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge
Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge is a luxury lodge nestled in the Lake Nakuru National Park along Lion Hill, it is a spectacular resort that offers guests an up-close and personal view of the beauty and nature of Kenya. The lodge has 67 chalet-style rooms, each with modern amenities and stunning views of the park. The chalets are divided into three suites and 64 traditional rooms. A presidential suite, called the Ziwa (lake) suite, is in an isolated location, providing the necessary privacy required for honeymooners and business executives. 2 other suites, the Chui (leopard) and Faru (rhino) suites are directly adjacent. Other facilities restaurant and bar, a swimming pool, indulge in spa treatment, a fireplace, a terrace, and a private airstrip.
Lake Nakuru Lodge
Lake Nakuru Lodge is a midrange eco-lodge located within the national park and it provides views of Lake Nakuru and the wildlife in the national park. The lodge offers accommodation in 95, spacious deluxe rooms-which have a glass sliding door- all with ensuite bathrooms with permanent showers, and also have great views of the park, garden, or lake, and 2 suites with a private veranda and a sitting room. The rooms at this lodge have facilities shower, bath, a safe deposit box, air conditioning, a hair dryer, a hot tub, a balcony, a seating area, a private bathroom, flat screen Tv, a dining area, an electric kettle as well as beautiful views of the lake, garden, and the mountain. There is also a special treat. The zebra room. which is the oldest at the lodge and is now 100 years old. .it was the first building on the site. Other facilities include an in-house restaurant and bar, swimming pool, a MatiSpa, Conference Center, Gift Shop, and Bush Barbeque.
The Cliff – Lake Nakuru
Perched at the top of a 100-meter-high rock face sits – The Cliff – a 10-room luxury camp. Each tent is built on solid foundations at the edge of the cliff, and faces the lake, allowing guests 180-degree views of the panoramic paradise, yet maintaining privacy. Other facilities include a Restaurant and Bar, Spa, Conference center, and Fitness Center.
Flamingo Hill Tented Camp
Flamingo Hill Tented Camp is found within Lake Nakuru national park in the great rift valley. This luxury tented camp consists of 25 tents which are equipped with facilities such as writing desks, four-poster beds, and a private verandah among others as well as a captivating décor that consists of natural woods, and wrought iron to ensure the comfort of the guest. Other facilities Restaurant, Bar, Lounge, Gift Shop, Swimming Pool, Spa, Conference Room, and Library.
Mbweha Camp is nestled up against the southern border of Lake Nakuru National Park with beautiful views over the Eburru and Mau ranges. It is outside the southern end of the park in a 6400-acre private conservancy. Mbweha Camp is a luxury accommodation that offers 10 rustic lava stone cottages. At the camp, Mbweha offers two family cottages, four double-bed cottages, and four twin cottages to meet the needs of solo travelers, small groups, families, and couples. Other facilities include a spacious open-sided dining & lounge area, a restaurant, and a bar and spa.
Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge
The luxury Lodge is nestled along Lion Hill overlooking the spectacular flamingo pink-rimmed Lake Nakuru. Its location affords panoramic views of the lake and the picturesque Lake Nakuru National Park. A short two-hour drive from Nairobi, Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge is a favorite with residents and visitors to Kenya. Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge is cleverly laid out in such a way that most rooms and sitting areas afford stunning views of the lake and the park. The camp has over 67 rooms which are divided into standard rooms and suites. The camp also has its own vegetable and herb garden which supports food supply to their guests and a dining area and restaurant to cater to all the dietary needs of their guests. They also offer outdoor catering. Sarova lion hill camp is also equipped with other facilities for their guests which include the rift valley bar where guests can enjoy watching traditional dance performances. The conference rooms are made to suit the needs of their guests as they hold their meetings.
How To Reach Lake Nakuru National Park
The park is located at a distance of 156 km from the northwest of Nairobi. The easiest access to the park is via the main gate which is 4 km away from the Nakuru Town Centre. By flight is through Naishi airstrip in the southern part of the park.
Best time to visit Lake Nakuru national park
Lake Nakuru is best visited during the dry season months of January – February and June – October. These months receive little rainfall which makes it easy to see animals as they congregate to the lake to drink water.
April, May, November, and December are the less popular months for tourist visits because they have the most rain and are dubbed the wet months. The rains in these months fairly affect some of the activities and the game tracks are usually slippery making navigation a challenge.
However, the rainy months are ideal for bird watching as its the period for migratory birds.
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