Perhaps the Great Rift Valley’s most famous soda lake, Lake Nakuru offers visitors the chance to see one of nature’s most spectacular wildlife sights: brilliant pink flamingos as far as the eye can see. When conditions are right between one and two million lesser flamingos mixed with greater flamingos to form one huge flock. They feed around the shores of this shallow lake, which together with tens of thousands of other water birds make Lake Nakuru a genuine paradise.
Where is Nakuru?
120 Km northwest of Nairobi on a good tarmac road. It’s a lovely drive because you leave the capital behind and drive over the lip of the Great Rift Valley and onto the valley floor to reach Nakuru; gorgeous views.
How big is the park?
Tiny! 45Km² with an average depth of about 7 feet.
Access to the park:
There are 3 gates, all in the north of the park, close to Nakuru town.
Habitats of Lake Nakuru
The lake, which is soda not fresh water, forms the majority of the park. The banks are steep and wooded with euphorbia or “candelabra trees” much in evidence. There are a couple of cliffs which you can drive to the top of (Lion Hill and Baboon Cliff being the most famous) which give panoramic views.
Animals of Nakuru
Stars of the show are the flamingos, both greater and lesser. The total birding list is around 450. There are also 56 mammal species that include white rhino (reintroduced) and leopard. Rothschild’s giraffe (as also found at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi) eland and both black and white rhino. A pod of hippo have their territory in the northern part of the lake.
Accommodation in Nakuru
There are two lodges within the park plus about a dozen campsites.
Visitors should note that there are times when the lake conditions change and the flamingos move on to other soda lakes.