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Lake Nakuru National Park Kenya

Lake Nakuru National Park Kenya

Lake Nakuru National Park Kenya

Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the best national parks in Kenya one floor of the rift valley Soda ash lakes that is Lake Nakuru. The Nakuru National Park has 3 main gates and once you get into the national park with a lot of wildlife species and it is famously known for the flamingo birds that are found on the shores of Lake Nakuru and sometimes making the waters so pink.

All about Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park is so famous for flamingoes that live on the shore of the Lake Nakuru and it is one of the fastest game parks and it is one of the most visited national parks in Kenya. Lake Nakuru is known as the birders’ haven because of the various bird species that are found on the lake. Lake Nakuru is the home to over 400 species of birds that include flamingoes, Northern puff back, shinning sunbird, Long-tailed widowbird, African Fish eagle, long-tailed widowbird, slender-billed greenbul, Red-caped Lark and Rufous-throated wryneck, robin chart, among other bird species.

Although the park is famous for harboring large species of birds, it offers the wonders of the wild to tourists visiting the park through game viewing. There are over 50 species of animals that involve about 150 rare and endangered rhino species which are divided into both black and white among other species of animals such as the Lions, Impalas, waterbucks, the prominent Rothschild’s giraffe among other species.

The park has been elevated several times to grow up to the status of the National park and currently the park is visited by several visitors who move from various parts of the world to come and visit this wonderful national park annularly to see beautiful attractions in terms of bird and animals that the park does possess.

Visitors exploring the park participate in different activities that do happen within the park and these range from game drive safaris, bird watching safaris, picnicking while on the major three viewpoints within the Park, camping, nature guided walks, and many more safari activities that you can engage in while in the park.

Because the areas surrounding lake Nakuru had very many birds earlier, it was first gazetted as the conservation areas in the early 1957 and by this time it was only the areas of lake Nakuru which was only protected and conserved, the gazetting of the lake was done to protect the lake and it occupants from pollution and the birding life that was so marvelous by then.

After four years the already southern section of the Lake Nakuru which was conserved was stabled and declared as that bird sanctuary after it was established that there is need to protect the bird species and different measures were put in place to ensure that there was a lot was done to protect the wonderful birding life around the park.

Protection of the sanctuary continued and in 1968, the Lake Nakuru bird sanctuary was granted the National Park Status and this was done after the original Nakuru area was starched to include the current northern grassland areas, and the total area of the park increased to 188 square kilometers and it was at this time that some of the mammals were introduced into the park slowly just to diversify the biodiversity species as well as the diversifying the tourism products and activities within the park.

Later in 1977, the rare and endangered Rothschild Giraffes were introduced into the park making it a home of this rare giraffe species, and these giraffes were introduced from western Kenya to further enhance their protection and conservation. This was started by the government of Kenya as a way to protect and champion the conservation efforts in the whole of the East African Countries.

By then, the rhinos with Kenya were also declining because of the poachers who were hunting them for their ivory or hones and meat and in 1984 the Kenyan government decided to set up the rhino sanctuary of its kind within the park and this Rhino sanctuary was the first one to be introduced in Kenya.

After a rhino sanctuary was introduced in Lake Nakuru National Park, more efforts of protecting the animals were put in place and as the result, an electric fence that is equivalent to 188sqauare kilometers was used to fence the whole Lake Nakuru National Park and this was in the year 1986. The fence servers as an important barrier to the poachers and keep the animals within one place and other animals hence providing an effective mechanism for protecting and conserving the animals especially those who are rare and endangered.

Because of harboring the animals of national and world importance, Lake Nakuru National Park was recognized as the UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is also known as the Internal Birding Area in 2009 with about 450 bird species that do stay within the premises of the park. Additionally, the park was declared as the RAMSER Site in 1990.

It can be seen from the history as narrated above, It can be seen that Lake Nakuru National Park has evolved and passed through various stages and it has developed into an important birding destination comprise of animals, birds, and plant life offering credible viewpoints that are unique and distinguished in Kenya and this has made very many visitors travel and move to visit and explore all its beauty and wonders located within the Nakuru town

Where is Lake Nakuru National Park located?

Lake Nakuru National Park is located in the Great Rift Valley in central Kenya Northwestern of Kenya’s capital city Nairobi. It features varied vegetation types ranging from savannah woodlands, savannah grasslands all of which have made it a perfect destination for harboring various species of wildlife such as birds and animals which you can experience during your game drive safaris.

The park is under the management of the Kenyan Wildlife Services that is responsible conservation of the biosphere within the Park contrary to Masai Mara National Reserve that majorly managed by local landlords and other tourism investors.

There are several attractions that visitors do indulge in while on a safari adventure to Lake Nakuru National Park. Lake Nakuru National Park features the magnificent scenery of beautiful landscape comprised of the steep-sided escarpments of the great East African Rift Valley, good vegetation cover comprised of the grasslands, woodlands, and the three viewpoints of the park which can be explored during the game drives or on the picnicking.

Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the most accessible national parks in Kenya since it is strategically located. visitors visiting the park will need to drive for only 3 to 4 hours from Nairobi city and the park is close to other parks such as the Hells gate National Park and the Naivasha National Park which makes Lake Nakuru National Park a must-visit National Park. There is also Soysambu Conservancy which is well found on the southeastern side of the park.

Lake Nakuru National Park has got three gates that are used by the visitors to access the park and these include the Lake Nakuru National Park Main gate which is the prominent gate that is accessed by several visitors, there is also Lanet gate and then Nderit Gate.

Each visitor visiting the park must pay the park entrance fees which are paid basing on the nationality and age of the tourists visiting the park. Tourists interested in exploring magical Kenya can visit park can pay the park entrance fees through various modes and the most one being the Visa card, Through Bank of the Kenya Wildlife Services, and M-pesa. You can pay at any Lake Nakuru National Park entrance gates that are being used to access the park.

Things to see in Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park boast a lot of attractions that entice visitors to come and visit this wonderful National Park. Below, I describe most of the things or attractions that you will see when you visit the park, and these include;

Prominent Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru is a major attraction and the highlight of the lake Nakuru safaris in Kenya. We all know that Lake Nakuru National Park is known as the park for the flamingoes but it is because of Lake Nakuru that the park has got flamingo birds that do reside on the shores of the Lake. Lake Nakuru is a soda lake on the floor of the rift valley with plenty of algae that acts as food for the flamingoes. Other than flamingoes, other bird species can be sighted on the Lakeshores, indeed lake Nakuru is the best place where visitors can do birding activities from.

There are two types of flamingoes of which all can be sighted on Lake Nakuru and these include grater flamingoes and lesser flamingoes that are always on the lake and most of the tourists that have taken pictures of these flamingoes on the Lake will testify that the flamingoes in their big numbers make the lake waters to look like pink. It is very good that you camp or visit the viewpoints within the park to be able to spot the flamingoes in the park. You can effectively stand at both lion hill and the baboon Cliff to see the Flamingoes.

Viewpoints within Lake Nakuru National Park

The clear views points that are raised higher than the rest of other parts of the park have provided the best viewpoints to the tourists to see different sports and animals within the park. the most visited Viewpoint in Lake Nakuru National Park include the Baboon cliff which is often surrounded by the baboon, Lion Hill, Makalia cliff and Out of Africa Lookout cliff, all these are equipped with different facilities such as washrooms and camping areas and they are the best for the picnicking within the park in addition to seeing different species of animals.

The waterfalls

There is a small waterfall called the Makalia waterfall that is found in the southern region of Lake Nakuru National Park and this one of the good areas where you can go hiking or picnics. However, it is important to note that these waterfalls are strong during the rainy season since they are located on the seasonal river but it offers one of the wonderful views for you to see. Additionally, there are other rivers however most of them are seasonal and these include Enderit Rivers, Njoro River, and the Makalia River among others.

Bird species

As I earlier said, Lake Nakuru National Park started as a bird sanctuary and it houses about 450 species of birds which are available to spot but most of the bird species are sighted on the shores of the Lake Nakuru. The park is known for hosting millions of flamingo birds but there are other bird species that you will not explore in one day and finish and some of the bird species that you’ll encounter while exploring the park include Black-winged Lapwing, African Fish eagle, Starling birds, Goliath heronRed-capped Lark, shinning sunbird, black-winged Stilt, Gull-billed Tern, Long-tailed widowbird, Maccoa duck, Yellow-billed stork, Grey-headed Gull, The black-necked Grebe, African spoonbill, Long-tailed widowbird, slender-billed greenbul among other bird species

Animal species  

The park features a lot of animal species that can be seen within the park despite its small size as compared to other big-sized conservation or protected areas in Kenya. The animal species which you will not miss in Lake Nakuru National Park include Rothschild’s giraffe, black rhinos, white Rhinos, Buffaloes, lions, cheetahs among other animal species.

There is a private sanctuary within the park that protects both rhinos and giraffes. The fencing of the whole park with the electric fence has kept wild animals to be kept in one place hence making easy for the tourist to see these animals on a safari without moving for long distances which is one of the factors as to Lake Nakuru National Park is perfect for game drive safaris.

What to do in Lake Nakuru National Park?

Because of various tourists attractions found in Lake Nakuru National Park there are a lot of tourist activities that tourists or visitors can engage in while visiting the park as their safari destination. Some of the major activities conducted include;

Game drive safaris

Visitors can do game drive safaris in Lake Nakuru National Park and explore various wildlife within the park. The game drive safari provides visitors with a high-quality experience of exploring wildlife that the park protects. The interesting animals that you will encounter while on the game drive safaris include hippos, buffaloes, lions, rhinos, leopards, waterbucks, giraffes among other animals. The game drives safaris will take through the corners of the park for the wonderfully unique experience which is so interesting.

Bird watching

This is one of the exciting activities that are best done in Lake Nakuru National Park. The park protects over 400 species of birds of which can be explored best during the game drive safaris including both lesser and greater flamingoes. Birds can be seen around different spots and some of the bird species in the park include the lesser flamingoes, grater flamingoes, Egyptian geese, white-necked bee, Africa fish eagle, and the grater pelican birds among others.

Camping activities

Lake Nakuru National Park provides the best opportunities for camping and the bushy vegetation gives you the best experience as you place your tent under the sky. The weather is not so hot and not so cold and this makes the camping experience so amazing as you enjoy the fresh lake breeze as good times to see animals that usually come close to the tent or at your erected tent.

Hiking to Makalia falls

Lake Nakuru National Park offers the opportunity to visitors to enjoy the small falls of the Makalia falls. The hike to the falls is strenuous but it can give you the required physical exercises and hiking experience. Hiking is also done as a tourist are moving to the viewpoints found within the park

How to access Lake Nakuru National Park?

Getting to Lake Nakuru National Park- The is one of the bests accessed National Parks in Kenya and it can be accessed by different means of transport. The park can be accessed by both road transport and air transport. By road transport, visitors will have to drive from Nairobi to the park entrance gates which are just 4 kilometers away from the park Nakuru town, or sometimes visitors can enter the park using the Lanet gate. You can access these gates by branching off from Nairobi-Nakuru Highway. Tourists can also use the chartered or scheduled domestic flights from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Naishi airstrip that is located within the Southern Part of National Park.

Where to stay in Lake Nakuru National Park

There are different and several accommodation facilities which are characterized into luxury accommodation, budget accommodation facilities, and midrange accommodation facilities including camping. Some of the lodges where you can stay include Hotel waterbuck Nakuru, Lake Nakuru Flamingo Lodge, Merica Hotel, Lake Nakuru Lodge, Sarova Lion Hill Lodge, Mirius guest house among others parks.

Visitors can also decide to go camping and the areas of campsites in Lake Nakuru National Park include the Kami Nyuki campsite, Naishi campsite, Rhino campsite, Makalia campsites among others. Experience the beauty of the flamingo birds as well as the wildlife during the safari to Lake Nakuru National Park. Camping can be a form of accommodation while within the park as well as an experience of its own which is so interesting.