Lake Nakuru National Park
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Kenya is a country situated on the eastern coast of the African continent. With a varied geography and much of northeastern bush-covered plains, the rest of the country consist of pristine beaches, scenic highlands and lake regions, a good portion of the Great Rift Valley, and the magnificent Mount Kenya. Kenya is one of the finest, and possibly the most famous safari destination in the world. But safari by no means the only reason to visit Kenya, for the attractions of its rich culture and diverse environments are considerable.
Scenic Lake Nakuru is one of the most popular national parks of Kenya. The park’s centerpiece is a large, shallow lake supporting great birdlife, including big flocks of pelicans and variable flocks of flamingos. Lake Nakuru was once famous for its flamingos, however, since 2012, conditions have become unfavorable for these birds and most have moved to other Rift Valley lakes.
The park provides easy wildlife viewing of most big safari animals with the exception of elephants. Black and white rhino were re-introduced in the 1990s and have bred to healthy populations. White rhino are usually easy to see on the lakeshore. Rothschild giraffe, buffalo and hippo are numerous as well. Lucky visitors might see lions, which occasionally climb trees. Leopard are present, but not easy to be seen.
- Location: Lake Nakuru National Park is located in Central Kenya in Nakuru County. The Park is also located north west of Nairobi city and its about 3 to 4 hours from the city to the park by road.
- Lake Nakuru: Lake Nakuru National Park Houses the famous Lake Nakuru which is one the soda lakes in the rift valley. Lake Nakuru is 1754 meters above sea level and lies south of Nakuru County. Like the Park, Lake Nakuru is 3 to 4 hours North West of Nairobi City.
- Flamingos: Lake Nakuru National Park is famous for the pink flamingos that are the park’s most popular attraction. The flamingos make their life on Lake Nakuru in the park that has an abundance of blue-green algae which is food for the flamingos. The presence of this particular algae attracts huge number of flamingos throughout the year hence making Lake Nakuru National park famous because of these birds. The park has both the greater and lesser flamingo species.
- Other birds: On top of the flamingos that are evidently the most popular birds in Lake Nakuru National Park, the park is home to over 400 bird species that include:- Dusky Nightjar, African Fish Eagle, African Cuckoo, Pink-backed Pelican, Grey-crested Helmetshrike, Common Greenshank, Woolly-necked Stork, White-browed Robin-Chat and many more
- Animals: Lake Nakuru National Park is home to over 50 mammal species that live in the park’s savannah lands and some water-loving mammals that make their life on Lake Nakuru. These animals include but not limited to: – Rhinos, Buffaloes, Hippos, waterbucks, Impalas, baboons, Zebras, Warthogs, colobus monkeys and many more. The park also harbours some Pythons.
- The Rhino Sanctuary: Lake Nakuru National park is a Rhino Sanctuary, the first ever Rhino Sanctuary in Kenya and among the biggest Rhino sanctuaries in the country. The sanctuary has over 100 endangered Rhinos distributed between the black and white Rhinos. The Rhino sanctuary in fenced to stop the Rhinos from getting out and also to prevent Poachers from getting to the Rhinos. The Rhino sanctuary also houses the rare and endangered Rothschild’s giraffe.
- Fence: Lake Nakuru National Park is fenced with an electric fence. This means all year round the animals in the park don’t get out or migrate to other parks which means any time you visit the park you will be able to view the over 50 mammal species that live in the park.
- Raised Ridges (Viewpoints): Lake Nakuru National Park is endowed with amazing raised ridges that not only compliment the park’s beauty but also offer amazing viewpoints for birding, game viewing and sightseeing. Most people visit these viewpoints for unmatchable picnic experiences and for scenic photography backgrounds among other things.
Because of its unique Climate, that is neither too hot nor too cold, you can visit Lake Nakuru National Park any time of the year; even on the sunny days the sun is not as hot as the other parts of Kenya. That being said, still the best time to visit Lake Nakuru National Park is during the dry months that are January, February, March, June, July, August and September. The rest of the months are wet with the wettest being April and May so they may interrupt your game viewing.
Flamingos and a variety of Birdlife
Lake Nakuru National Park is famous for being home to the beautiful pink flamingos that make their life on Lake Nakuru; Lake Nakuru is a soda lake which has an abundance of blue-green algae on which these flamingos feed. The park has the highest number of lesser and greater flamingos in the country, and when you arrive at the Park, you will see for yourself that this pink flamingo colour takes over the park’s scenery.
You will also be delighted to see lots of other bird species over 200 species that stay on the lake shores and within the park’s vegetation. It’s for this reason that Lake Nakuru National Park is Ramsar site and a must visit destination in 2021.
Lake Nakuru National Park is home to diverse species of mammals that you can view on game drives in the park on your visit to the park. These animals include but not limited to: Rothschild’s giraffe, baboons, buffaloes, antelopes, impalas, warthogs, gazelles, zebras, colobus monkeys and many more.
Lake Nakuru National Park is a Rhino sanctuary which means at any time you visit this park you are sure to find both the Black and White Rhinos. Rhinos are endangered species which means their numbers are few and they are rarely found; so to find them in one park is such a big thing. Because Lake Nakuru National Park is a Rhino sanctuary, its fenced so that poachers don’t attack the Rhinos. So be sure to expect to see Rhinos in Lake Nakuru National Park in 2021.
Lake Nakuru National park has several scenic viewpoints and ridge landscapes that offer the park’s visitors amazing picnic locations, photo and video locations, park viewing points among other things. The viewpoints are Baboon Cliff, lion hill and the Out of Africa viewpoint.
In the southern part of Lake Nakuru National Park are the beautiful Makalia falls that flow from the Mau forest and break into three rivers that feed lake Nakuru. These waterfalls are uniquely formed with a picturesque surrounding and other great features. Visitors that take a walk to these falls cannot stop singing about the beauty of the falls the wonderful sceneries among other things.
The waterfalls are also a habitat for some rare bird species and a couple of animals.
The recommended port of entry, when travelling to the Lake Nakuru, is Jomo Kenyatta International (NBO) in Nairobi. NBO Airport serves as East Africa’s biggest hub and as a result many convenient flight options are available. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Air France, British Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Kenya Airways, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and Swiss all operate flights from a multitude of major airports around the world. Also many regional flights options (including flights to neighbouring countries and Southern African destinations) are available.
- Roads: The park has a tarmac road connection with Nairobi, a distance of 156 km north west of Nairobi on the main A104 road. The most commonly used route into the park is via 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 Masai Mara or Elementaita.
- Airstrips: The Naishi airstrip services the park for tourism and KWS activities.
- Park Roads: The park has an adequate and well serviced motorable roads that make most parts of the park accessible.
- Park Gates: Lanet and Nderit gates are located on the Larger part of the Park on the Eastern side. Old Main gate is located on the Northern Western side of the Park and still accessible but due to the rise of water level you cannot make a full circuit to connect to the Eastern side. Visitors with tickets are allowed to access both sides of the park without paying extra charges.
Lake Nakuru National Park has a unique climate of sub-humid weather. This kind of weather is not so hot and not so cold all through the year. Though, the park still experiences two seasons the rainy and sunny season. However during these seasons, the conditions are not as extreme as other parts of Kenya because of the park’s semi-humid climate.
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