Lake Nakuru National Park, in Central Kenya, is famous for its huge flocks of pink flamingos. The birds throng on Lake Nakuru itself, one of the Rift Valley soda lakes that covers almost a third of the park’s area.
The Lake Nakuru National Park was established in 1961, and more than 450 species of birds have been recorded here, as well as a rich diversity of other wildlife. Lions, leopards, warthogs, waterbucks, pythons, and white rhinos are just some of the animals you might see, and the landscapes range from sweeping grasslands bordering the lake to rocky cliffs and woodland.
The park also protects the largest euphorbia candelabrum forest in Africa. These tall, branching succulents are endemic to the region and provide a bold textural element to the arid landscapes.
The best time to visit Lake Nakuru is during the seasons. June to March is the long dry season, and January to March is the short dry season. During the seasons, many of the smaller watering holes dry up, causing animals to gather at Lake Nakuru for water.
Lake Nakuru National Park is Kenya’s second most popular national park after Masai Mara and it is easy to see why. Close to Nairobi and relatively compact it has a vast lake at its heart drawing a massive quantity of birdlife and all the big game animals you’d hope for. Lake Nakuru is one of the best places to see Rhino in Kenya and Giraffe, Buffaloes, Zebras and antelope are all easy to spot. The big draw are the huge flocks of flamingos that are often found in the shallows.
The wildlife in Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park plays host to a fantastic variety of game and good sightings are virtually guaranteed. What Lake Nakuru National Park has that the other major parks don’t have is flamingos. The shore-line is often thick with pink flamingos and pelicans fishing the shallows. The only major wildlife exceptions in the park are crocodiles and elephants. Highlights of Lake Nakuru’s wildlife include a large number of Rothschild giraffe, lions, black and white rhino, hippo and large flocks of flamingos and pelicans.
The Habitat in Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru plays host to a variety of terrain. The soda lake provides shallows, mud flats and swamp whilst the surrounds provides some classical African Acacia woodlands interspersed with grasslands. To the West of the park lies a cliff which plays host to bush and scrub and troops of troublesome baboons. There are some fantastic lookouts atop the cliff over the lake, just keep a tight hold on your camera as the Baboons have been known to take them.
How to fit Lake Nakuru into your Kenya Holiday?
Lake Nakuru is in the Rift Valley around 2 hours drive from Nairobi. It falls on route for anybody heading to Masai Mara or the Mount Kenya region. Nearbye to Lake Nakuru National Park are Lake Elimentatai (hot springs), Lake Naivasha (hippos) and Hell’s Gate (walking or cycling amidst zebras, antelope, buffalo and giraffe) and many visitors spend 2 or three days in the area. Typically Lake Nakuru will warrant one overnight stay and a half days game drive.
When is the best time of year to visit Lake Nakuru?
Lake Nakuru National Park is a great year round destination:
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