Sitting prestigiously on the floor of the Rift Valley escarpment, 170 kilometers northwest of Nairobi county, is the famous Lake Nakuru national park. The park wears a thick woodland and grassland terrain dotted with steep rocky escarpments which make game viewing experiences a must-do for any tourist. The elevation of the lake is 1,754 meters above sea level and interestingly, the lake never freezes! It has no outflows either making it very salty. You can even prove it for yourself.
Did you know one of the best times to visit Lake Nakuru is during Kenya’s hot season from July through October which coincides with the great migration of the wildebeests? Such moments would present great memories one would agree.
Over the years, lake Nakuru national park remains one of Kenya’s most influential tourist attractions for its breathtaking natural sceneries. The chilly morning dew you meet after spending a night in one of the many lodges will laminate your face with the eerie morning ghost-like mist clouds, that hover over the natural lake to create captivating backdrops of wildlife. The fun doesn’t stop there as even when the dark crawls in, the horizon welcome the setting sun in red and yellow dancing rays that sets with the worries of the day. Breathtaking I tell you.
Perhaps one of the major drawcards of the Nakuru County lake, the flamingos have continuously maintained the pink blanket over the saltwater lake which gives it a unique pinkish shin. The lake has seamlessly offered home to the biggest population of flamingos in Kenya but do you know what really makes Lake Nakuru famous? Well, one reason dates from Kenya Wildlife Services’ historic records. In 1983, the park was declared a rhino sanctuary after the rhinos drastically started declining in numbers which necessitated a rhino stocking program to ensue with white rhinos being received from South Africa. Interestingly, after the restocking program, the park received international exposure for the highest concentration of white rhinos in the world. Now you know where to find a white rhino on your next marvel at the gifts of mother nature…
Getting to the Lake Nakuru national park is geographically made easy through the Nairobi –Nakuru A104 (Wikipedia) main highway. The common road for travelers is via the main gate entrance, 4 kilometers from the main town center. While this is the major approach for many revelers, one can also use the Lanet gate along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway as you find your way to the entrance of an experience of a lifetime!
The Nakuru national park is home to a handful of recreational activities that keep tourists flocking all around the calendar; such as engaging in bird watching and mesmerizing over 400 species of birds the site has to offer. Other than the flamingos that are evidently the most popular of the birds, other species include the Dusky Nightjar, African Fish Eagle, Pink-backed Pelican, Common Greenshank, and many more. The park is also home to over 50 mammals that make their life on Lake Nakuru. These animals include but are not limited to rhinos, buffalos, hippos, waterbucks, impalas zebras, and many more not to forget the Big 5.The cat family will wow you with their unique features and survival mechanisms and if you are lucky enough, you may witness a cheetah hunting its lunch all before your eyes.The park also harbors some pythons.
You can also enjoy a hot air balloon ride over the lake and see the wildlife from above. You can also visit the nearby Lake Naivasha and Lake Elementaita for more scenic views and attractions. Camping is also a popular activity that provides an outdoor experience of the wild and a light moment for you and your friends to feel the free the touch of world. The Nakuru government, led by Governor Susan Kihika, has maintained the firm authoritative protection of the resources of the tourist attraction site that works to ensure the protection of the home to millions of flamingos and its environs.
Nakuru County has been hitting on milestones ever since being granted city status by former president Uhuru Kenyatta and through local and national government-boosted efforts, the National park has earned its bragging rights to host national events and a handful of corporate team-building projects, a key major in making the park a number one destination for many tourists and entrepreneurs all over the world.
Not only does the park inspire tourism for Lake Nakuru national park, but it also plays a crucial part in providing a host for the socialization of businesses and stakeholders at large. In other words, Lake Nakuru offers accommodation and a class of hospitality for your travel bunch to enjoy any time any season and what’s better; Costs associated with logistics, parking fees, meals, activities, guides, and other aspects of your visit remain the same throughout the year so no panic budgets on this one.
Lake Nakuru Park’s main entrance gate is located a short distance of 2 kilometers from Nakuru town and it would only take you 10 minutes to reach the main entrance. The trip gets even better with the presence of Naishi airstrip which serves the Kenya Wildlife Service and tourists for trips in between Maasai Mara national reserve and Lake Nakuru national park. The park has accessible motorable roads that make navigation within the traverse easy for touring vehicles and a great destination for off-road lovers.
Do you know as per Lake Nakuru National Park’s historical records, the lake dramatically dried its banks between 1951 and 1953 after the soda dust levels dropped insanely? Bravely, the stakeholders initiated efforts to restore the salinity of the lake afterward in succession which subsequently paved the stage for the fish industry of the county to shine. A little secret. Nakuru County has a climate system that is very moderate all year round, only a few counties own this right! The benefit of this initiates the long rainy season in late March to June with April and May being the primary months of the long rains.
The precipitation consequently rejuvenates the grasses and pools to create fresh rainwater sources for the wildlife in the park who sadly cannot drink from the salty lake due to high alkalinity levels. Wet seasons reduce the alkalinity of the lake and thus fewer algae for flamingos who migrate to other neighboring soda lakes such as Bogoria.Your best bet is to plan your flamingo-watching trip during the dry hot seasons in January and May.
Depending on the season and water level, you can see thousands or even millions of these pink beauties nesting along the shores. It is a sight to behold!
The tourism conversion rates of the national park speak for themselves and with more and more years of successful hospitality rankings on the international radar, Nakuru County has great things coming its way how amazing it would be if you and I were aboard, don’t you think?
Here comes great news for lovers of travel. Guests numbers and lodgings rates do vary over the year as Christmas, New Year, and Easter seasons are peak seasons for the park. In April and May, Nakuru room rates are reduced as this is considered one of the lowest seasons.
The tourist attraction site plays a crucial role in the hospitality industry by offering accommodation to individuals and stakeholders all around Nakuru city. This is according to a recent post by Naxcity on Nakuru city’s milestone in achieving a M.I.C.E (Meetings, conferences, incentives, excursions) status. Many of these lodges are situated in the proximity of the park and are open to all visitors who are in the park for a safari. Of the many lodges the site has to offer, here are some of the popular lodges to guarantee a revamped experience:
- Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge
- Lake Nakuru lodge
- The Cliff Hotel
- Flamingo Hill Camp
For the adventurers like me, another popular area of interest is the numerous campsites areas to pitch your camping tent.
- Rhino Campsite
- Naishi Campsite
- Chui Campsite
- Baboon Cliff
- Makalia Campsite
The park has expansive space for your you or family to set up a campsite and one has the free will to choose from a number of options from the official camping page for the Kenya Wildlife Service.
Camping has always been associated with the outdoors and so it is always advisable to be extra packed by being self-sufficient in terms of basic necessities. Campers may also be at times gifted a random visit during the nights by a passing buffalo but that should not stop you from taking the trip, the Kenya Wildlife Service is ever on your case.
I would say of the many great experiences I have ever had during my visits, is that Lake Nakuru National Park is top-notch in the hospitality extended to visitors. The local people are friendly and welcoming to guests from all walks of life, and they ensure visitors feel at home during their stay. The local community also organizes cultural dances and performances, providing an interactive experience that merges entertainment and education in one place.
In conclusion, the Lake Nakuru National Park is a must-visit destination for tourists in Kenya. With its rich wildlife, scenic beauty, and warm hospitality, the park offers an experience unlike any other. The reasonable prices and the variety of accommodation options make it an affordable and reachable destination for any budget. So, pack your bags, visit Lake Nakuru National Park, and experience the trip of a lifetime…