Lake Nakuru national park
Lake Nakuru national park is undeniably one of the remarkable national parks in Kenya famous for millions of flamingoes, 4 of the big five and rich topography consisting of hill, grasslands, acacia woodland and trees . Lake Nakuru national park is a premium national park situated in the central region of Kenya in the rift valley province and in a distance approximately 140 kilometers northwest of Nairobi.
Lake Nakuru national park was created in 1960 as a bird sanctuary purposely to protect Lake Nakuru and millions of flamingoes nesting on the shores of the lake, in 1968 the sanctuary was upgraded to a national park status. In 1974 a northern extension was added to the park to cover an area of 188 square kilometers and purposely to create a sanctuary for rhinos and giraffes. Lake Nakuru rhino sanctuary was established in 1984 and in 1986 the sanctuary was fenced by The Rhino Rescue Trust to prevent the poachers from killing the animals. Lake Nakuru Rhino Sanctuary was started with 2 adult rhinos which were trans-located from Kitengala and Lewa Downs, currently the sanctuary habits 60 black rhinos and 40 white rhinos which is one of the largest concentration of rhinos in Kenya. In 1990 Lake Nakuru was designated as a Ramsar site in 190.
Attractions in Lake Nakuru national park
Lake Nakuru national park is great ecosystem dominated by various types of vegetation such as yellow acacia woodlands, grasslands and forest galleries with over 550 plant species. Among the unique vegetation dominating Lake Nakuru national park is the largest Euphorbia candlebrum forest in Africa.
Scenic landscape and physical features
Lake Nakuru national park is a very scenic national park consisting of many attractive features great for photography, nature sightings and game viewing, these features include
Lake Nakuru is a relatively small rift valley soda lake found in Lake Nakuru national park, one of the remarkable attractions in the park and a UNESCO world heritage site, the lake lies in the Great Rift Valley and it is a premier birding site in the park as well as Kenya. Lake Nakuru is a habitat to over 400 bird species with 2types of resident flamingoes, pelicans and cormorants. Pink shade flamingoes create amazing scenery which is a great photographic scene, bird watching and great for game viewing as it hosts many animals which come to the lake to drink water.
Lake Nakuru national park is dotted three viewpoints which offer great vintage views of the Lake Nakuru and the park itself, these viewpoints are out of Africa, baboon cliffs and Lion cliff. These view points are constantly visited while on game viewing experience in the park.
Lake Nakuru national park is crossed by two rivers which are source of water to the park, river Makalia and river Nderit are seasonal rivers and sometimes dry.
Makalia waterfall in Lake Nakuru national park is situated at the extreme end of the southern region of the park, the magnificent waterfall lies along Makalia River which flows into Lake Nakuru. Makalia waterfall drops at about 10 meters off a sheer cliff and has a large plunge pool, this waterfall is visited while on nature walks in the park.
Lake Nakuru national park is dotted with hills which create a magnificent view, these hills are hiked while on a safari in the park and they include Enasoit hill, Honey moon hill and Lion hill.
Lake Nakuru national park is recognized habitat wildlife with about 56 different species of animals peacefully living in the park, these animals include black and white rhinos, cape buffaloes, impalas, tree climbing lions, defassa waterbucks, Rothschild giraffe, grant’s gazelles, leopards, warthogs, black backed jackal, elands, dik diks, reedbucks, Burchell’s zebra and many more. Apart from mammals there are primates and reptiles in the park, primates include olive baboons, black and white colobus monkey. Reptiles in Lake Nakuru national park include python and tortoise.
Lake Nakuru national park is a great birding paradise hosting a million of flamingoes and over 450 bird species, pink shade flamingoes and red bills are the highlight of the park and they are found on the shores of Lake Nakuru which is filled algae which is their food. Other identified bird species in Lake Nakuru national park include pelicans, cormorants, 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, Ruppell’s robin-chat, Schalow’s wheatear, Shining sunbird, Slender-billed greenbul, Sooty falcon, Speke’s weaver, Western reef heron, White-fronted bee-eater, White-headed vulture and many more.
Tourist activities in Lake Nakuru national park
Game viewing is one of the exciting safari activities offered in Lake Nakuru national park, the park is primary dominated by short grasslands consisting of many trails used on the game viewing experience. Through the widows of your car you spot many animals such as black and white rhinos, cape buffaloes, impalas, tree climbing lions, defassa waterbucks, Rothschild giraffe, grant’s gazelles, leopards, warthogs, black backed jackal, elands, dik diks, reedbucks, Burchell’s zebra and many more. The perfect sites for viewing animals are the viewpoints that are out of Africa, baboon cliffs and Lion cliff.
Lake Nakuru national park is a premier site for bird watching safaris in Kenya, the park is a famous bird habitat with pink flamingoes as the main bird attraction. In Lake Nakuru National Park there is hundred of greater and lesser flamingoes which crowd the shores of Lake Nakuru giving it a shade of pink, apart from flamingoes the park hosts over 400 bird species and many other animals are sighted. The best sight for sighting birds in the park is lake Nakuru and birds sighted include 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 and many more.
Lake Nakuru National Park is a naturally scenic national park with amazing landscape dotted with many attractions such Makalia falls and Lake Nakuru, this experience is a perfect of touring the park s it done on foot. With a help of a tour guide tourists follows numerous trails sighting animals and birds living in savannah grasslands of the park, on this safari experience you enjoy amazing sites of the escarpment , visit lake Nakuru which is crowded by pink flamingoes and Makalia falls where you get to take amazing pictures.
Camping and picnic safaris
Lake Nakuru National Park is a great site for camping and picnic safari experience, camp site where camping is done by tourists is Enjoro campsite situated at the main entrance gate of Lake Nakuru national park. camping is an amazing experience and an opportunity for tourists to connect with nature as you spend a full night under the dark sky of the park, Lake Nakuru national park is also a great site for picnic experience through sites such as Makalia falls, Enjaro river mouth near the main gate, Baharian, Acacia, baboon cliff, out of Africa and lion hill summit.
How to get to Lake Nakuru national park
Lake Nakuru national park is situated in a distance of 170 kilometers northwest of Nairobi and as an amazing destination the park is accessed by both road and air means of transport, by road the park is accessed using Nairobi- Nakuru highway on a drive of about 2-3 hours. By air domestic flights are offered from Wilson airport to Naishi airstrip serving the park, Lake Nakuru national park is accessed using gates such as Lanet gate, Nderit gate and the main gate.
Accommodation in Lake Nakuru national park
In Lake Nakuru national park there is a number of facilities offering accommodation to tourists coming to the park for a safari, these facilities include lodges, tented camps, public campsites and they are offering in three categories that is luxury, midrange and budget.
Lodges include Lake Nakuru lodge, Sarova lion hill lodge, Naishi house and Annex,
Bandas include Naishi Banda, Rhino Banda, Chui Banda, KWS Isikon Banda, Soysambu Banda, Nyuki Banda, Makalia falls Banda, WCK Education centre and KWS Education Centre Bandas and KWS Guest House.
Camping site include Enjoro campsite situated at the main gate
Tented camp include Flamingo Hill Tented camp
Accommodation outside Lake Nakuru national park include Midland Hotel, Hotel Genevieve, Pivot Hotel, Eros Guest House and Stem Hotel