Lake Nakuru National Park – Kenya

Lake Nakuru National Park is a sanctuary to some of the most fascinating wildlife in Africa covering 188 sq. km of pristine wilderness in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley.

Initially, the park was Established in 1961, the park was primarily created as a bird sanctuary but it has evolved into a thriving ecosystem with a wide range of wildlife species.

One of the most iconic features is the gorgeous Lake Nakuru which is the first thing you see when you enter the park. This is a shallow alkaline lake known for its flamingos, which, at their peak, can number in the millions, creating a stunning sea of pink that’s visible even from afar.

Beyond the lake are Nakuru’s different landscapes consisting of acacia woodlands, grassy plains, and rocky outcrops, each harboring its own distinct wildlife.

While the flamingos steal the spotlight, Nakuru National Park is also home to other wild animals like giraffes, buffalos, zebras, impalas, waterbucks, lions, leopards, and cheetahs among others.

The birdlife here is amazing too with over bird species recorded. Some of the common birds you can spot here include the Great white pelican, Greater blue-eared starling, Greater and Lesser flamingos, and the Hottentot teal.

Things to Do

Lake Nakuru National Park is a place where the wonders of the natural world are on full display waiting for you to discover them. Here are some of the things you can do in Lake Nakuru National Park.

Game Drives

Game drives are typical safari experiences where you move around the park in a vehicle in search of the wildlife here. You are led by knowledgeable guides who tell you all about the park.

With an experienced guide at the wheel, you will be on the lookout for different wildlife species like lions, leopards, rhinos—you name it.

Guided Nature Walks

If you’re more of a boots-on-the-ground kind of person, then a guided nature walk is where it’s at. You’ll wander through the park’s hidden trails, surrounded by towering acacia trees and the sounds of nature all around you. Your guide will also point out all the little critters you might miss from the game drive—think colorful birds, busy bees, and maybe even a cheeky monkey or two.

These walks also allow you to observe smaller creatures up close, from colorful butterflies to industrious ants.

Photography

If you have a knack for snapping epic shots, Nakuru’s wilderness is the perfect subject for you. From golden sunsets to close-ups of majestic rhinos, every moment is a photo op waiting to happen. Just be ready with your camera incase you spot that perfect shot.

Birdwatching

Nakuru National Park is like a birdwatcher’s dream come true. With over 450 species fluttering about from the iconic pink flamingos to the majestic African fish eagles soaring overhead, there’s no shortage of winged wonders to marvel at.

A guided birding safari will have you ticking off species like the African spoonbill, the pied kingfisher, and the yellow-billed stork from your bird life list.

Best Time to Visit

While Nakuru National Park is a year-round destination, the timing of your visit can greatly influence your wildlife sightings and overall experience.

The best time to visit Lake Nakuru National Park for game viewing is during the dry season, which typically occurs from July to October. During this period, vegetation is sparse, making it easier to spot animals congregating around water sources such as Lake Nakuru. The absence of foliage also enhances visibility, allowing for clearer views of wildlife against the backdrop of the savannah.

However, if you want to witness the breathtaking spectacle of flamingos flocking to Lake Nakuru, plan your visit between November and February. During this time, the lake’s water levels rise, attracting thousands of these iconic birds in search of their favorite food—algae and plankton. The sight of the lake bathed in shades of pink, with flamingos stretching as far as the eye can see, is a photographer’s dream come true.

How to Get There

Nakuru National Park is located about 160 kilometers northwest of Nairobi. This makes it easily accessible by road.

You can choose to drive yourself or join our guided tours that offer hassle-free transportation and expert guidance from knowledgeable guides.

Entry Requirements

To enter the park, you are required to obtain a permit. This can be purchased at the park’s gate upon arrival. The entrance fee contributes to the park’s conservation efforts and helps support ongoing wildlife protection initiatives.

The entry permits cost as follows:

 

E. A Citizen Resident Non-Resident
Adults Child Adults Child Adults Child
KSH 860 KSH 215 KSH 860 KSH 215 USD 60 USD 35

Remember to carry your identification and any necessary documents to verify your citizenship status.

Where to Stay

When planning a trip to Lake Nakuru National Park, finding the perfect place to stay is important for you to have an enjoyable experience. Fortunately, the area around the park offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets.

It is also important to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to be sure of availability.

Related articles