On the floor of the Great Rift Valley, surrounded by wooded and bushy grassland, lies the beautiful Lake Nakuru National Park, which boasts a wide ecological diversity and varied habitats that range from Lake Nakuru itself to the surrounding escarpment and picturesque ridges. Lake Nakuru is one of the Rift Valley soda lakes at an elevation of 1754 m above sea level. It lies to the south of Nakuru, in the rift valley of Kenya and is protected by the national park. The lake’s abundance of algae attracts the vast quantity of flamingos that famously line the shore. An amazing spot for bird safaris, other species also flourish in the area such as African fish eagle, Goliath heron, hamerkop, pied kingfisher and Verreaux’s eagle. Lake Nakuru National Park is great for a day trip of bird watching and safari game drive where looking up may be more prosperous than down as the lioness in the wooded areas are known to sleep draped over the large branches.
Nakuru means “Dust or Dusty Place” in the Maasai language. Lake Nakuru National Park, close to Nakuru town, was established in 1961. It started off small, only encompassing the famous lake and the surrounding mountainous vicinity but has since been extended to include a large part of the savannahs. The park has recently been enlarged partly to provide further sanctuary for the continued reintroduction of black rhino of which there are now more than 25, one of the largest concentrations in the country, plus around 70 endemic southern white rhinos. There are also a number of Rothschild’s giraffe, again relocated for safety from western Kenya, as well as zebra, baboon and waterbuck. Among the predators are lion, cheetah and leopard as well as large pythons that inhabit the dense woodlands and can occasionally be seen crossing the roads or curled up in trees.
To get the best view that takes in much of the park, visitors should head up to the rocky Out of Africa Lookout. The incline is steep, but it offers sweeping views out over the lake and will bring back fond memories for fans of the movie. Two other lookout points are Lion Hill and Baboon Cliff.
Lake Nakuru National Park has very well-established roads that make most parts of it accessible by 2-wheel-drive vehicles. Some less-traveled parts and most viewpoint hills require 4-wheel-drive vehicles.
Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest safari news, exclusive offers and more!