Located on the floor of the Western Rift Valley, between rocky escarpments, pockets of forest, bushy grasslands, at the shores of the lake after which it is named, Lake Nakuru National Park (LNNP) is rightfully called “the birdwatcher’s paradise.” It was recently expanded to accommodate a rhino sanctuary making one of the few places this endangered species can be found.
In addition to its 400+ species of birds, LNNP is home to 50+ species of mammal and over 500 species of flora, making for spectacular scenery and rewarding drives. For a good part of the year, the lake is covered by a great pink mass visible several miles away—these are the famous Flamingos.
Hyenas, Hippos, and Jackals are common, but you are also guaranteed to see the White Rhino, Black Rhino, Giraffe, Buffalo, Waterbuck, Zebra, Impala, Buffalo, Baboon, and Vervet Monkey. The park is famous for its prolific list of birds including the Fish Eagle, Hamerkop, Kingfisher among others.
Nakuru means ‘place of the waterbuck’ in Swahili (Kuro), and the park indeed lives up to this name. With only a handful of lions and leopards to check their population, the waterbucks here number in thousands. There are also several buffalo, warthog, zebra, eland, reedbuck, and dik-dik. There is a handful of lions and elusive leopards, troops of baboons, and in the jungles of the park dwells a famous python.
Lake Nakuru is frequently dotted with great flocks of flamingos, pelicans, herons, storks, and other wading birds. Overhead, the distinct brown, black, white, and bright yellow coloration of an African fish eagle eyeing flamingos for a meal is not uncommon. Species endemic to the park include the Black-necked Grebe, Pelican, Tern, Gull, Spoonbill, and Black-winged Stilt. Others are the Francolin, Goose, Yellow-billed Duck, various species of Teal, Guinea fowl, etc.
Tourists can visit the park any time throughout the year, although conditions in the park are more difficult during the rainy season. The park is some 2 hours drive from Nairobi with spectacular views of the rift valley.
ACTIVITIES IN THE PARK
Birding and Game viewing are the main activities in the park.