The word Nakuru means “Dusty place” in Maasai language. The lake is fed by three major rivers; the Makalia, Njoro and Enderit. The most conspicuous feature of Lake Nakuru National park is the immense concentration of lesser and greater flamingo that thrive in its shallow, consuming algae at an estimated rate of 250 tons per hectare of the surface area annually.
The total flamingo count differs from year to year and season to season, but frequently stands at about two million with lesser flamingos being more than greater flamingos. Apart from the lake’s aquatic flora and fauna, Lake Nakuru National Park is a stronghold for large number of other African plain mammals like the Africa’s endangered rhino species, and there is probably no better place in East Africa to observe the black and white rhino since the National park is also a rhino sanctuary. While flamingos and rhinos top most visitors ‘wish list’ the park offers excellent bird-watching opportunity and game viewing. Four of the big five are present, giraffe, baboon, and waterbuck among others wildlife to see while at Lake Nakuru. Lake Nakuru National Park has been branded the bird watchers paradise in Kenya. Therefore come and visit the World’s best bird spectacular on earth (shimmering mirage, flamingo realm).
The park can be visited any time throughout the year hence makes it a great ideal site for a day trip, an en route to another destinations and picnic spot, it’s always fun to be here.
Lake Nakuru National Park is blessed with millions of Flamingos (Greater and Lesser) and other water birds including a variety of terrestrial birds numbering to about 450 species in total. The waters of the lake yield the most good and beautiful photo images in Africa. The park is Kenyans first and largest rhino sanctuary for both black and white rhino. Other animals to be seen include; plentiful of waterbuck, warthog, zebra, gazelle, buffaloes, leopards etc.
Viewing points; namely the; Lion hill, Baboon Cliff and Out of Africa which provides vintage views of the lake and the surrounding.
Hills and Picnic sites; which include; Enasoit hill, Honeymoon and Lion hill ridge not forgetting the Makalia waterfalls and the picnic sites at; Makalia Falls, Enjoro River Mouth near the main gate, Acacia, Baharini, Baboon Clif, Out of Africa and Lion Hill summit.
Ensoit Hill; it’s a thickly vegetated volcanic plug that rises in splendid isolation from grassland north of the park’s Naishi sub headquarters. This is the best area for lions which are often found hidden away in the tall grass or lazing on one of the rocky perches at the hill’s base.
Makalia Waterfalls; the gushing waterfalls is formed by the Makali river as it plunges over a 10m (33 ft) high cliff. The lush woodland here is ideal for birds and monkeys, and is the most likely site in the park for spotting a leopard in the early morning or late afternoon
Lake Nakuru National Park has varied vegetation with over 550 different plant species. They include the biggest euphorbia forest in Africa. Picturesque landscape, yellow acacia woodlands and the yearly event which takes place every September inside the park “cycle with the rhino” that support the conservation of the black rhino and play an integral role in increasing conservation and environmental awareness throughout Africa.
Besides the Lake Nakuru National Park, other attractions to visit while in and around Nakuru include;
Hyrax Hill Archeological site; has both Stone Age and Neolithic exhibits, the site dates back 3000 years ago. Within the site is an ethnographic museum exhibiting artifacts of the inhabitants of Rift valley including the Stone Age tools.
Menengai Crater; is an enormous caldera wich is about 12km wide and its the highest point within Nakuru and from here you have good panoramic views of Lakes Nakuru National Park, Nakuru Town, Lake aivasha and its environ, and Bogoria.
Soysambu Conservancy; is a wildlife sanctuary which is a nonprofit organization, endeavors to preserve Africa Great Rift Valley ecosystem for the benefit of future generations. It’s located within Lake Ealementaita to the East in 4800 acres of land. The sanctuary gives an opportunity for visitors to spend time on the shores watching the incredible variety of bird species, Buffalo, Gazelle, Water buck, Jackal, Lion, Zebra, Leopard, Eland and Cheetah among other species of Wildlife. In addition to the bird walk and the scenic drive, visitors can interact with the local peasants who scoop the salty sedimentary deposits on the shores selling the salty deposits to cattle owners to get there daily bread. The picturesque view of this lake is simply enthralling. This is where the Lake Elementaita Serena Luxury Tented Camp is situated
Congreve conservancy; it’s a private conservancy occupying 6400 acres of land, with many euphorbia trees and beautiful views of Eburu and Mau Ranges. It’s in the southern border of Lake Nakuru National Park, only 15 minutes away from Lake Nakuru National Park gate. Inside it there is Mbweha camp which is loved by many visitors. Activities include; nature walks, bike rides, hiking, day and night wildlife drives, bush dinners and sundowners.
Accommodation in lake Nakuru National park and its Surrounding. The Park has several well facilitated accommodations, some are within the park and others are outside the park just a few kilometers away that one can still be able to visit the park while using them.
How To Get There
Nakuru Town where the park is located, was the provincial capital of Kenya’s Rift Valley province and now the headquarter of the new Nakuru County; it lies in the volcano strewn Rift Valley and hosts about 500,000 inhabitants, at an altitude about 1850 m above sea level. Lake Nakuru National Park can be accessed by road or flying in to its airstrip. Only shuttled flights there are no scheduled flight to the park.
By Road; the park has a tarmac road connecting with Nairobi, a distance of 160km North West of Nairobi. The most commonly used route into the park is through the main gate, 4 km from Nakuru Town Centre. It is also possible to enter the park from the main Nairobi Nakuru road at Lanet Gate. The Nderit Gate is used by people accessing the park from Maasai Mara or Elementaita.
By Air; Inside the park there is an airstrip known as Naishi, used for tourism and KWS activities.
There are scheduled flights to the park. One can also charter a private plane from any part of kenya
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