Lake Nakuru National Park is major wetland of international importance. Located in the Great Rift Valley surrounded by yellow acacia woodlands and bushy shrublands, the Lake Nakuru National Park was created to protect the Lake and its large flocks of Lesser Flamingo, which are drawn to the algae that flourish in the saline waters of this soda lake. The national park is inhabited by over 50 mammal species including hippo, black and white rhino, Rothschild giraffe, buffalo and eland. The park is also has the largest single euphorbia forest in Africa. The lake park also offers some of the best sightings of the elusive Leopard, and is also a sanctuary for the Black and White Rhino and Rothschild Giraffe. For bird-watching enthusiasts, this park has over 450 species of bird recorded. There are vast flocks of flamingo which gather on the lake creating the greatest bird spectacle in the world – a resident population of over one million.
Visitors can look forward to hiking through the scenic landscape, picnicking next to this magnificent lake, and spotting an array of wildlife on a game drive. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the beautiful Makalia Waterfall.
Depending on the season, Lake Nakuru can cover up to about 25 miles2 (40 km2), and the entire park covers about 116 miles2 (188 km2). The lake is highly saline, so it is surrounded by a grassland of highly adaptable alkaline grasses. This park also has many hills with established viewpoints from which the lake, the woodlands, and often times the herds of buffalo can be seen.
Flora and Fauna
In addition to its 400 species of birds, Lake Nakuru National Park is home to 50+ mammal species, and over 500 species of flora. This park is famous for the flocks of Greater and Lesser Flamingos that gather around the lake, sometimes with as many as 2 million! You can find this great pink mass around the lake for a good part of the year, as these iconic birds stay mostly within the Rift Valley, migrating from lake to lake. Because Lake Nakuru National Park was fenced to protect endangered Rhinos and Giraffes, it can’t support African Elephants, so you won’t find any here!
A family of White Rhinoceros near the lake
You are guaranteed to see: White Rhinos, African Buffalos, Rothschild Giraffes, Zebras, Impalas, Olive Baboons, Vervet Monkeys, Waterbucks, a variety of water birds (Yellow-billed Pelicans, Marabou Storks, Hammerkops, Fish Eagles, etc.)
Common in the park: Hyenas, Jackals, Lesser Flamingos, Hippopotamus, Pythons
If you are lucky you may see: Lions, Leopards, Black Rhinos, Wild Dogs, Colobus Monkeys, Cheetahs
Don’t forget the plants! In Lake Nakuru National Park you can see a wide variety of beautiful landscapes: from grasslands to dense forests, and the very rare tarconanthus bushlands and euphorbia forests.
Lake Nakuru National Park is officially classified as dry sub-humid to semi-arid, which basically means it’s not too wet and not too dry, or too hot or cold. The climate in this area is really beautiful, you won’t fry in the sun here like you would in Amboseli or Tsavo. You are likely however, to get rained on. Late afternoon is the most common time for rain showers. If you want the best chance of avoiding these rains, consider coming some time between July to December or January to March. However, avoiding the rain is not guaranteed, even during these dryer months. Also, these months are in the peak tourism season, so the park will be very crowded with tourist vehicles. If you don’t mind a little rain and you want to avoid the crowd, come in December or April to June (you’d also save money coming at this time!). Another great thing about this park- it’s fenced, so even during the wet months you will see wildlife because they cannot migrate away from the park