What to See in Lake Nakuru

Beautiful Places in Lake Nakuru

For pure variety of landforms and wildlife few parks equal this gem sitting on a pretty alkaline lake just a short drive from Nairobi. Lake Nakuru National Park offers visitors the chance to spot exotic birdlife but also rare species like rhinos and endangered Rothschild’s giraffe. Also keep a safari eye out for lion, leopard, and cheetah. This unique reserve has it all.

Besides the lake, Nakuru is a picture-perfect blend of acacia forests, waterfalls, woodlands, and distinctive euphorbia trees all nestled under towering rocky escarpments. Here you’ll find a surprising variety of wildlife in these picturesque settings – look for hyena, monkey, baboon, wild dog, hippo, and even python hanging from the trees!

Rhino and flamingoes at Lake Nakuru National Park
Bird standing on the back of a hippo in Lake Naivasha safari park

The Birds of Lake Nakuru National Park

Perhaps Nakuru’s signature attraction is its complement of assorted birdlife found on and around the lake. Most famous, of course, are its flocks of Greater and Lesser pink flamingos, sometimes filling the shoreline in bright ribbons of color.

They are joined by the avian company of cormorants, kingfishers, ostriches, pelicans, geese, storks, and raptors such as eagles and herons. During your visit here you’ll see quite a few of the over 500 species that inhabit this rich eco-system.

The Rare and Endangered

Besides great populations of birds, Nakuru also boasts large numbers of endangered species such as the black and white rhino. The park’s special sanctuary gives safari-goers a chance to encounter these large, elusive creatures.

Also roaming the acacia forests look for the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe, and keep an eye out for the uncommon African wild dog, which makes its home here.

Giraffes seen on a East African safari tour with Africa Kenya Safaris

Pick of the Best Highlights of Lake Nakuru National Park

Monkeys seen on an East African safari tour with Africa Kenya Safaris

Lion Hill, Out of Africa & Baboon Cliff – Lake Nakuru features awesome points of observation to enjoy viewing the wildlife below. You’ll get pretty views of the park from these vantage points. Look for lions near Flamingo Hill.

Sea of Pink – The numbers of flamingos vary with the season and also from year to year. At one time their numbers were in the millions but you can still see bright flocks adorning the shoreline  – a colorful contrast to the blues, greens, and rich ochres of the park’s foliage.

Makalia Falls – Amongst the park’s scenic spots, the falls are their most visual after the rains. You’ll find a nearby campsite with plenty of opportunities for bird watching.

Big Cats – Although Nakuru makes its reputation with its birdlife and rhinos, there are still opportunities to spot lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, serval cat, jackal, and smaller carnivores like civet, genet, and mongoose.

Hyena in a tunnel shelter in Amboseli National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park Statistics

The park is on the smaller side – 188 sq. km (73 sq. mi) – but this makes it easier to cover its hills, grasslands, and forests. And, to spot the wildlife as you safari through its verdant topography.

Location: Near to Nairobi – 170 km (105 mi) – it’s easily reached in just a few hours. You can take a day trip and even combine it with other nearby parks.

Climate: The park has a surprisingly higher elevation at 1,756 m (5757 ft.) and is cooler than most Kenya parks, even though it is near the equator. Not too hot or cold, nor wet or dry. Temperatures range from 120 – 250 c  (540  – 770 f).

Best time to visit: Lake Nakuru is open throughout the year. Even the rainy season can’t put a damper on travel through the park as the roads are well-maintained. However, the dry season from July through December still presents the best conditions for spotting the park’s colorful diversity of wildlife.

Operating hours: The park is open from 6 am to 6 pm daily. Entry is not allowed on foot and visitors can only hike in special areas in the company of a KWS ranger.

Getting there: Book a tour with Africa Kenya Safaris. We’ll take you there in style – a specially outfitted 4 x 4 Safari Jeep.

By air – we’ll arrange for you to fly into the nearby Naishi airstrip.

Pelicans by Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru National Park Facts

Want to discover more about the enchanting Lake Nakuru National Park? Our quick Q&A guide will help you with useful Lake Nakuru facts and information on its location, wildlife and just what makes it one of our finest safari destinations!

Yes – Lake Nakuru is an enchanting freshwater lake nestled in the heart of Kenya’s spectacular Rift Valley. This breathtaking natural wonder is renowned for its remarkable biodiversity and awe-inspiring landscapes. With its shimmering blue waters and surrounding lush vegetation, Lake Nakuru captivates visitors from around the world. Let’s delve deeper into the captivating features and ecological significance of this extraordinary freshwater lake.

Abundant Wildlife and Avian Splendour

Lake Nakuru’s freshwater ecosystem is home to a diverse array of wildlife, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts. The lake’s nutrient-rich waters support a thriving population of flamingos, which form a mesmerizing pink carpet along its shores. These elegant birds create a breathtaking spectacle, attracting visitors with their graceful movements and vibrant plumage. Additionally, Lake Nakuru National Park, situated around the lake, offers a sanctuary to numerous animal species, including endangered black rhinos, zebras, giraffes, and buffalos. Wildlife enthusiasts can embark on exhilarating game drives and witness the remarkable coexistence of different species within this captivating freshwater ecosystem.

Ecological Significance and Conservation Efforts

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, Lake Nakuru holds significant ecological importance. It serves as a crucial habitat for various bird species, including over 400 recorded avian species, making it a paradise for ornithologists. The lake’s ecosystem thrives on an intricate balance, where the abundance of algae supports an array of aquatic invertebrates, which, in turn, attract a plethora of birdlife. To preserve this delicate balance and protect the diverse wildlife, concerted conservation efforts have been implemented. Lake Nakuru National Park and its surrounding areas are managed meticulously, ensuring sustainable tourism practices and safeguarding the lake’s rich biodiversity for generations to come.

Lake Nakuru has an approximate average depth of just 1 foot (0.3m). This shallow depth is a characteristic feature of the lake, which is situated within Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley. Despite its shallow waters, Lake Nakuru attracts a remarkable variety of wildlife and remains a significant natural habitat for numerous species.

How the shallow depth of Lake Nakuru attracts flamingos

The shallow depth of Lake Nakuru is ideal for the proliferation of algae, a primary food source for the large flocks of flamingos that gather along its shores. The alkaline lake provides the perfect conditions for the growth of this algae, attracting thousands of these iconic birds and creating a stunning pink spectacle.

Shallow yet abundant in wildlife

While Lake Nakuru’s depth may be relatively shallow, it does not diminish the abundance of life that thrives within its waters and along its banks. The lake supports a diverse ecosystem and sustains a wide range of bird species, including pelicans, cormorants, and various waterfowl. Additionally, the park’s surrounding woodlands and grasslands provide a habitat for mammals such as rhinos, giraffes, and buffalos, further enhancing the overall biodiversity of the area.

A naturally beautiful shallow lake

Despite its shallow nature, Lake Nakuru continues to captivate visitors with its natural beauty and its vital role in supporting an array of wildlife. Its unique characteristics make it an exceptional destination within Lake Nakuru National Park, offering visitors a memorable experience amidst the stunning landscapes and thriving ecosystems of this remarkable Kenyan treasure.

Lake Nakuru National Park spans an impressive area of approximately 188 square kilometers (73 square miles). This compact yet diverse park is situated in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya, East Africa. Its manageable size makes it an ideal destination for visitors who want to explore a concentrated area bursting with natural wonders and abundant wildlife.

Captivating landscapes and habitats

Despite its relatively smaller size compared to some other national parks in Kenya, Lake Nakuru National Park offers a wealth of captivating landscapes and habitats. From the shimmering waters of Lake Nakuru to the surrounding woodlands, grasslands, and rocky cliffs, the park showcases a variety of ecosystems that support a rich and diverse array of flora and fauna.

See amazing wildlife

Within the park’s boundaries, visitors can witness an impressive concentration of wildlife, including lions, leopards, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, buffalos, and countless bird species. The park’s compact size allows for excellent wildlife viewing opportunities, as animals are often within close proximity to each other and to the park’s well-maintained roads and trails.

A jewel in Kenya conservation

Lake Nakuru National Park’s size may be modest, but its offerings are anything but. It is a jewel in Kenya’s wildlife conservation efforts, providing an immersive experience in a condensed and easily accessible space. Whether you’re embarking on a day trip or a longer safari, the park’s size ensures that every moment is filled with remarkable encounters and breathtaking scenery.

Lake Nakuru is famous for its spectacular display of flamingos and its thriving population of rhinos. These unique features have earned it a well-deserved reputation as one of Kenya’s most renowned national parks. Here’s more about why Lake Nakuru is famous:

1. Flamingo Spectacle

Lake Nakuru is widely recognized for its awe-inspiring spectacle of flamingos. The lake’s alkaline waters attract thousands of these vibrant birds, creating a breathtaking sight. The shoreline becomes a vibrant pink carpet as the flamingos gather to feed on the abundant algae and small crustaceans that thrive in the lake. Witnessing this mesmerizing scene is an unforgettable experience and a dream come true for birdwatchers and photographers.

Flamingos in Lake Nakuru

2. Rhinoceros Conservation

Lake Nakuru National Park is also famous for its successful rhinoceros conservation efforts. It serves as a sanctuary for both white and black rhinos, two endangered species. The park’s dedicated conservation initiatives have led to a significant increase in the rhino population, making it one of the best places in Kenya to spot these majestic creatures. Observing these ancient mammals in their natural habitat is a rare and thrilling opportunity.

3. Diverse Wildlife

Lake Nakuru’s fame extends beyond flamingos and rhinos. The park is home to a rich diversity of wildlife. Visitors can encounter lions, leopards, giraffes, zebras, buffalos, baboons, waterbucks, and many other fascinating species. Exploring the park’s diverse ecosystems, including the woodlands, grasslands, and acacia forests, offers a chance to witness the intricate web of life that thrives in this remarkable ecosystem.

Lake Nakuru’s fame as a destination lies in its ability to captivate visitors with its breathtaking display of flamingos, its vital role in rhinoceros conservation, and its incredible array of wildlife. Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking an extraordinary safari experience, Lake Nakuru National Park is a must-visit destination that promises to leave a lasting impression.

Lake Nakuru is located in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya, East Africa. It is nestled within Lake Nakuru National Park, which spans an area of approximately 188 square kilometers. The park is situated about 170 kilometers northwest of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya.

What is the latitude and longitude of Lake Nakuru?

The precise coordinates of Lake Nakuru are approximately latitude 0.35° S and longitude 36.08° E. This stunning lake is part of the East African Rift System and lies at an elevation of 1,756 meters above sea level. Its picturesque surroundings, including the lush woodlands and rocky cliffs, make it a captivating destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.

The perfect location for day trips and longer safari tours

Lake Nakuru’s strategic location within the Great Rift Valley offers visitors easy access to this natural wonder. Its proximity to Nairobi makes it a popular choice for day trips or longer safaris. Whether you’re embarking on a wildlife adventure or simply looking to soak in the breathtaking landscapes, Lake Nakuru’s location in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley provides a remarkable backdrop for an unforgettable experience.

For non-resident adults, the entrance fee is $60USD, while non-resident children are charged US$35USD. Citizens of Kenya and Residents of East African Community countries pay an entrance fee of 860KSh for adults and 215KSh for children. Please note that these fees are subject to change, and it is advisable to visit the official website of Lake Nakuru National Park for the most up-to-date information.

Lake Nakuru park entrance fees included with our safari tours

If you’re interested in visiting Lake Nakuru National Park and want a hassle-free experience, Africa Kenya Safaris offers fantastic safari tours that include the park entrance fees in the tour price. Their tours provide an opportunity to explore the park’s stunning wildlife, including the iconic pink flamingos, rhinos, lions, and more. With experienced guides and comfortable accommodations, Africa Kenya Safaris ensures that you have an unforgettable adventure in Lake Nakuru National Park. So book your safari tour with us and enjoy the convenience of having park entrance fees included, whichever safari park you visit!

When visiting Lake Nakuru National Park, you’ll be treated to a remarkable display of diverse wildlife. From rare rhinos to vibrant flocks of flamingos, the park is a haven for animal enthusiasts. Here are ten of the best animals to see in Lake Nakuru National Park:

1. Rhinos

Lake Nakuru National Park is renowned for its successful rhino conservation efforts. Both white and black rhinos can be spotted here, offering a rare opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures up close.

A rhino grazing near flamingos in the lake at Lake Nakuru National Park

2. Flamingos

The park’s shimmering lake is often adorned with a breathtaking sight – vast numbers of flamingos. These vibrant birds create a stunning pink carpet along the shoreline, presenting an unforgettable spectacle.

3. Lions

Lake Nakuru National Park is home to a healthy population of lions. Keep your eyes peeled for these majestic predators as they roam the grasslands, exhibiting their raw power and grace.

4. Leopards

Although elusive, leopards can be spotted in the park’s dense woodlands. Patiently scour the trees and rocky outcrops for these stealthy big cats, known for their striking beauty and agility.

5. Giraffes

Lake Nakuru National Park offers an excellent opportunity to witness the elegant giraffes in their natural habitat. Watch in awe as these gentle giants gracefully move through the acacia trees, reaching for leaves with their long necks.

6. Buffalo

Large herds of buffalo can be observed in Lake Nakuru National Park. These robust animals, known for their iconic horns, gather near water sources and create an impressive sight as they graze and wallow in the mud.

7. Zebras

With their striking black and white stripes, zebras are a common sight in the park. Capture photographs of these beautiful creatures as they graze peacefully or gallop across the open plains.

8. Baboons

The park is home to several troops of baboons, providing an opportunity to witness their complex social dynamics and playful antics. Keep an eye out for these intelligent primates as they move through the trees or forage on the ground.

Baboons in Lake Nakuru National Park

9. Waterbucks

Lake Nakuru National Park offers sanctuary to various antelope species, including the elegant waterbucks. These large antelopes can be spotted near water bodies, showcasing their unique physical characteristics.

10. Warthogs

You’ll likely encounter warthogs during your visit to Lake Nakuru National Park. These peculiar-looking creatures with their distinctive tusks and warty faces roam the grasslands, adding a touch of charm to the park’s wildlife.

Witnessing these incredible animals in their natural habitat is an unforgettable experience. By visiting Lake Nakuru National Park, you’ll have the chance to encounter these ten remarkable species and many more, creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

This is Lake Nakuru National Park

A rich expression of water, forest, towering rock, and exciting peaks, Nakuru is a small treasure to discover. A fun addition to any safari, this beautiful park serves up the bright colors of its birdlife with the thrills of big cats and the quiet certitude of its protected species.

Flamingos in Lake Nakuru

Join us at Nakuru National Park

Africa Kenya Safaris offers several safari adventures to this magnificent reserve. Just contact us to get your safari started.

Here are some of our Lake Nakuru tours:

Rhinos seen on an East African safari tour with Africa Kenya Safaris

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All fields with an asterisk (*) are required

Tour Information

Help us create your perfect Safari! Tell us about your travel choices, any unique experiences you desire, and upcoming special occasions.