Lake Nakuru National Park is commonly known by its nickname “pink lake” is a home of the great flocks of flamingos. It is one of the finest national parks in Kenya, located along the Great rift valley the park is flanked with rocky rift valley escarpments. Lake Nakuru National Park is located in the North-western part of Kenya’s capital city Nairobi. Its found along the good tarmac highway that heads to Kenya’s neighbouring country Uganda just 170 kilometres away from Nairobi city.
The park covers an area of 188 square kilometres, and it was established in 1961 with the main aim to conserve the flamingos and the lake. The name of the lake was named after nearby town Nakuru which means Dust in Masai local language. The park started as small before it was enlarged to the surrounding volcanic mountains and the open large savannah areas around Lake Nakuru. Lake Nakuru national park is found in the raised elevation of around 1,754 meters above sea level. Lake Nakuru is among the 23 national parks of Kenya, listed in the premium parks in Kenya.
The main attraction at the park is the shallow alkaline lake that attracts thousands of flamingos with both Lesser and greater flamingos hence getting its nickname pink lake. The park also harbours four of the African big 5 with both rare black rhinos and white rhinos present. Other members of African big 5 in the park include lions, leopards and buffaloes. The park has over 50 species of mammals that are permanent residents of the park-like zebras, African wild dogs, eland, waterbuck and many more. The park has a great number of bird species over 400 bird species like great pelicans, flamingos, starlings, lovebirds, different dove species and more endemic birds.
The Lake Nakuru national park has been expanded to the southeastern to include Soysambu Conservancy which is a home of black and white rhinos. Congratulations to the Kenyan wildlife service that has worked tooth and nail with the Masaai locals to protect the black rhinos. By 2009 the number of black rhinos had increased to more than 25 black rhinos at the park of Nakuru alone, 70 white rhinos and hundreds of Rothschild’s giraffes.
The climate of Lake Nakuru national park
The climate of the park is relatively uniform throughout the year, not very hot or not too cold. The climate of the area ranges from sub-humid to the semi-arid climate. The rainfall is distributed well throughout the year though it receives two rainy seasons in a year. The nights are cooler than day time always as the park is close to the Equator which means the temperatures are high during day time. Warm clothes are required during early morning game drives and light clothes during day time.
The wet season is from March to May and little around November while other months are dry months. The best time to visit Lake Nakuru National Park in the dry months it’s easy to view animals since they all collect around water catchment areas.
How to get to Lake Nakuru national park
The park gates are always open from 7 am to 6 pm accessed by both road and air. The park is found in 3-hour drive from the Capital Nairobi through the Nairobi-Nakuru highway. The drive is more scenic than even flight with a stop at the Great rift valley view. The government of Kenya has made well-tarmacked roads that connect to the park making it easy to access all corners of the park even using 2wheel safari car. If one doe not wants to stay in safari car for long hours then an option of the flight is available. Domestic flights depart daily from Wilson airport to lake Nakuru national park. The park is also connected with other national park airfields across Kenya. The flight from Nairobi to Lake Nakuru national park is just 25minutes flight to Naishi airstrip found inside Lake Nakuru National park.
What to do in Lake Nakuru national park
There are several activities that the guest can do when they come to visit Lake Nakuru national park. Below are the key activities:
The best experience of wildlife is experienced during your game drive at the park. Guided by an experienced driver-guide depending on the local tour operator you choose. The game drive exposes you to the scenic view of nature at the park where you view different African wildlife including the 4 of the 5 African Big 5 those are rare black and white Rhinos, Buffalo, lions and Leopards. Other animals include Giraffes, hyenas, African wild dogs and others
The park is a paradise of birders with over 450 bird species from the Vultures, secretary birds to thousands of great and lesser flamingos. The woodlands and open savannahs attract more endemic bird species and other migratory bird species. Lake Nakuru national park remains one of the top premium parks in Kenya with much rare animals species it offers to the guests.