Lake Nakuru National Park, location of the greatest bird display on earth


Lake Nakuru National Park is a Park situated on the floor of the Great Rift Valley, near the town of Nakuru in Kenya. The 188 km2 Park, created around Lake Nakuru, a soda lake famed for a large number of Flamingos nesting along its shorelines, was established in 1961. The Park was enlarged to afford a sanctuary for Giraffes as well as the black and white Rhinos.

A rhinocero in Lake Nakuru National Park Joxean Koret Licence: CC


The Park offers unique vegetation with around 550 different plant life recorded and these include the largest Euphorbia forest in Africa, Yellow Acacia woodlands, grassy floodplains and bushy grasslands. Visitors can enjoy the broad ecological variety and diverse habitations that range from the small, shallow alkaline Lake Nakuru itself to the adjacent escarpment and striking ridges.

View of the Lake Nakuru National Park Joxean Koret Licence: CC


Wildlife in the Park is plentiful and some of the more outstanding species include small numbers of the Lion, Cheetah and Leopard, the common Rothschild’s Giraffe, large numbers of the Buffalo, the Antelope, the Waterbuck, the Reedbuck, the Black and White Rhino and the Colobus Monkey. Giant sized Pythons can also be spotted in the thick forests.

A lion in Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya Kandukuru Nagarjun Licence: CC

The Lake is famed as the location of the greatest bird display on earth with an large number of pink Flamingos nesting. Other than the Flamingos, there are about 400 bird species that call the Park home. These include the White Pelican, the Pied Kingfisher, the African Fish Eagle, the Hamerkop, Verreaux’s Eagle, Goliath Heron, the Long-Tailed Widowbird , the Avocet, Duck and the Stilt.

Warthog darts across the Lake among flamingos Kandukuru Nagarjun Licence: CC

Getting there

Lake Nakuru National Park is accessible by road as it has a tarred road connection with Nairobi on the main A104 road. One can use the route through the main gate, 4 km from Nakuru Town Centre or use main Nairobi Nakuru road going through Lanet Gate or use the Nderit Gate if travelling from Masai Mara or Elementaita. Visitors can also access the Park by air with the Naishi airstrip servicing the Park.

A male rhino and his baby close to a group of tourists in Lake Nakuru National Park Joxean Koret Licence: CC


The Lake Nakuru Tented Camp is a small and intimate bush camp set within the Lake Nakuru National Park offering a more genuine safari feel for visitors to the Lake Nakuru National Park. Naishi Airstrip is the closest landing strip from the Camp.

Lake Nakuru Lodge is a beautiful eco-lodge situated inside Lake Nakuru National Park offering open views of the Lake and wildlife. The Lodge has on offer 95 large luxurious rooms with en-suite bathrooms as well as two suites with private verandas and a sitting room. Also on offer is the Zebra Room, the oldest room going over 100 years, the Mutarakwa restaurant, serving buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner on live cooking counters and Mama Nikki Bar offering traditional dance performances. Other facilities offered include the Mati Spa, a swimming pool, a bush barbeque, champagne breakfast, free Wi-Fi, excursion on horseback, a gift shop among many.

Zebra-themed room at Lake Nakuru Lodge Son of Groucho Licence: CC

Mbweha Camp is located in the Lake Nakuru area offers luxury accommodation in 10 charming cottages built from lava stone, each with an en-suite bathroom and a private viewing veranda.  The Camp Mbweha Camp operates off the grid with electricity being powered by solar and generators. The Camp is reached by air through chartered flights available to the nearby Congreve Airstrip and also by road on a two and a half hour drive from Nairobi.

Other accommodation offers in and near the Park include the self catering Naishi Guest House, Chui, Rhino, Reedbuck ,Makalia, Naishi, Soysambu, Kambi Nyuki and Kambi Nyati Campsites, Acacia and Pelican Picnic Sites, Baboon Cliff, Out of Africa and the Sarova Lion Hill Lodge.

Best Time to Visit

The best times to visit the Lake Nakuru National Park are from June to October as well as from January to February as one would be able to witness the great wildebeest migration which reaches the Masai Mara in July and remains until October then moving back to the Serengeti in Tanzania.  Every September, there is a cycle with rhino event which one would want to take part in. November to April is also a good time to visit as it is breeding season and many species would be nesting thereby allowing visitors to spot game.

A leopard drinking water in a road in Lake Nakuru National Park Joxean Koret Licence: CC

Weather and climate

Lake Nakuru National Park enjoys excellent weather with pleasant average temperatures ranging between 20 °C and 25 °C during the months of May, June, July, August, September, October and November. In the Park, February and March are the warmest months whilst January is both the coolest and driest month. High levels of precipitation are received in the months of April, May, June, July and August and September with April being the wettest month.

Bushbuck young male Bernard DUPONT Licence: CC

Other Safety Considerations

Though the risk of Malaria tends to decrease with altitude, visitors to Lake Nakuru National Park are advised against assuming that the area is Malaria free and should therefore take malaria prophylactics during their short stay.