The scenic Lake Nakuru is the most popular and one of the two premium National Parks in Kenya. It is situated approximately 164 kilometres from Nairobi, a two hours drive from Nairobi city. The park covers about 188 sq. km (162 sq. mi.) but that just adds to its accessibility and easy game viewing. The park's main feature is a large, shallow lake surrounded by wooded and bushy grasslands. The park supports a wide ecological diversity including Flamingos (Greater and Lesser) and other water birds, and the Black and White Rhinoceros which are the major attractions of the area.
The Park first started as a bird viewing and sport shooting area of migratory birds in 1950s, but has since been expanded and fenced to protect populations of endangered giraffes and rhinoceros. Since its establishment as a national park in 1961, the park has gained global recognition as an ecologically significant region having been named a RAMSAR Site and Important Bird Area. The park was declared a rhino sanctuary in 1983. The Rhino stocking programme which ensued received white rhinos from South Africa. Currently the sanctuary has approximately 45 black and 31 white rhinoceros.
Lake Nakuru National Park is home to over 50 mammals species, over 500 species of flora and 400 species of birds. Most of the big safari animals are present in the park with exception of elephants. This park is famous for its thousands, sometimes millions of flocks of Greater and Lesser Flamingos that gather around the lake. The number of flamingos on the lake varies with water and food conditions and the best vantage point is from Baboon Cliff. The park is also sanctuary to one of Kenya’s largest populations of black rhino. White rhino are also found here and are particularly conspicuous, and different groups can be encountered throughout the day. Hippo, waterbuck, Burchell's zebra and Thomson's gazelle are common on the floodplains. Other big safari wildlife to be on the lookout for includes lion, cheetah, leopard and buffalo. Click here to read more about Kenya Safari Animals and Wildlife.
Lake Nakuru’s climate is mild and temperatures are consistent year-round. The park has a higher elevation than most at 1,756 m (5757 ft.) and this has a cooling effect. Even though it’s near the equator, it rarely gets hot. Nor does it get too cold, too wet or too dry. The wettest months are April and May. The rest of the year is relatively dry with some rain throughout. Generally, the climate here is quite comfortable..
Lake Nakuru National Park is a year round safari destination, but the most popular time for wildlife viewing is usually July to December. In many parks the wet season can put an end to game viewing but that’s not necessarily the case at Lake Nakuru, because the national park is ringed by fencing. The interior roads to the park are also in good conditions and well maintained.
Lake Nakuru has several amazing hotels, specifically tented camps and lodges, located in distinct areas of the park to suit every budget. Some of these luxury Tented Camps and Safari Lodges are international award winners. Below is a simple list of some of the more outstanding accommodation in Lake Nakuru.
Standard room interior at Sarova Lion Hill Lodge
Typical room interior at Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge