LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK
Lake Nakuru National Park is a home of Flamingos which harbor on the shores of Lake Nakuru. The park covers 188sqkm and is located south of Nakuru in the great rift valley of Kenya and was established in 1961. The park is named after Lake Nakuru, it also has a variety of surroundings like wooded and bushy savanna grasslands, yellow acacia woodlands, euphorbia forest and hills, this makes the park a home of various wildlife like animals, birds and plants. Lake Nakuru National Park is mostly known for the black and white Rhinos, Baboons, Cheetah, Leopard, Burch ell’s zebra, Lions, Thomson’s gazelle, among others, different birds like Pelicans, Eagles, Bee eaters and more are found in this park. The area around the park is a home for the Maasai who are nomads, they have an interesting lifestyle any visitor should not miss.
ACCESS TO THE PARK
Lake Nakuru National Park is 160km from Nairobi and can easily be accessed, by road, it only takes approximately 4 hours to reach at the park. The park has different entry gates that is; Main gate, Lanet gate and Nderit gate.
By Air, a flight can be scheduled from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or Wilson Airport in Nairobi to Naishi airstrip.
The Lake Nakuru National Park´s vegetation makes it rich in different species with a total of over 50 mammal species, 450 bird species, amphibian species for example fish, frogs, reptiles like crocodiles, pythons, and 500 plant species, making it relatively biodiverse. Some of these special species of the Nakuru, include the Black and White Rhino, Giraffe, Burchell Zebra, Lion, Leopard, Hyena, Cheetah, Warthog, Hippo, Buffalo, Columbus Monkey among others. The Lake Nakuru National Park also inhabits unique and various birds like the Flamingo, Pelican, Duck, Shining sunbird, White-headed vulture, Sooty falcon, Speke’s weaver, Western reef heron, White-fronted bee-eater among others.
Lake Nakuru National Park has a good climate with temperature that ranges from 23 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius during day but its cooler in the morning and evening. The park experiences two seasons that is; dry and wet. The wet season is from March to May and receives rainfall which is irregular, but with too much rainfall in April and May. The dry season is from June to February.
ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES ON LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK
Lake Nakuru National Park is embraced with over 450 bird species making it one of the best destinations for bird watchers in Kenya. The park has various spots for bird watching, for bird watchers and researchers, some of the spots include; The Baboon Cliff, where the flamingos are viewed from down the shores Lake Nakuru. Some of the birds on the shores of Lake Nakuru and in the park include Lesser and Greater Flamingos, Abyssinian thrush, Black-tailed godwit, Black-winged lapwing, Lesser kestrel, Long-tailed widowbird, Montane white-eye, Pallid harrier, Red-capped lark, Rufous-throated wryneck, Brown-backed scrub robin, Crab-plover, European roller, Grey crowned crane, Grey-headed woodpecker, Great snipe, Grey-crested helmet-shrike, Hildebrandt’s starling, Kenya rufous sparrow, Cormorants, Fish Eagle, Pelican, Long-tailed widowbird among others. Although Nakuru is known for the flamingos, they are no longer many as it used to be back, due to the unfavorable conditions making them move. Birding at Lake Nakuru National Park can be done with experienced rangers during trails or drives. The best time for bird watching is good all-round the year.
Lake Nakuru National Park offers the opportunity to explorer the wild on foot, these are offered by the different hikes made within the grasslands, hills like Lion hill, Enasoit hill, Baboon hill, Out of Africa hill found in the park. During the walking various wildlife like animals for example black and white rhinos, giraffes, burchell zebras, lions, leopards, hyenas, cheetahs, warthogs, buffalos, butterflies, plants and birds like, flamingos, pelicans, etc. are quietly and closely observed. Apart from wildlife, the walks give you the clear sight and feel of the beautiful sceneries and landform of this park.
Lake Nakuru National Park is good for game driving due to a variety of wild life, during the drives, different animals and birds are spotted mostly animals like rhinos, Buffalos, Giraffes, Zebras; Lions, Leopards, Bush Babies, and Porcupines are seen mostly in the night among others. birds like pelicans, flamingos among others. The game drives are divided into two shifts, the daytime shift done in the morning and the nighttime shift done during the night. A ranger should lead the drive for directions and so as to cover every detail.
Other activities and attractions include;
Picnics, camping, taking pictures, visiting the Makalia waterfall and cycle with the rhino event.
There are so many accommodation facilities located within and outside the Lake Nakuru National Park ranging from the budget facilities to the midrange facilities to the most luxury facilities. These facilities offer different types of accommodation including lodges, campsites, cottages, hotels, luxury tents among others.