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Lake Nakuru National Park

A shifting sea of pink flamingos, this is the iconic image of the Lake Nakuru National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is one of the archetypal images of the African safari.

Lake Nakuru National Park is a must for your central Kenya tour of the Great Rift Valley with AfricanMecca! Seasonally, see firsthand one to two million lesser and greater flamingos dip their curved bills into the warm, alkaline water of the lake to extract their favorite food – special algae that are found in abundance in this unique water outback. Established in 1961, the park has gained global recognition as an ecologically significant region having been named a RAMSAR Site and Important Bird Area. Lake Nakuru is also part of the Great Rift Valley Lake System that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park covers 73 square miles (188 square kilometers) that not only includes the lake, but also savannah, forests and swamps, and the southern end of the park also encompasses the Makalia Falls. The most prominent wildlife in the park includes 56 mammals and 450 bird species. Tour exploring Nakuru Park with an expert guide offers an opportunity to see and engage in many of East Africa’s most prized fauna in a natural and beautiful setting. The lake itself is frequently dotted with the pink tones of flamingos that are joined by pelicans, herons, storks and other wading birds. Overhead, you see the distinct brown, black, white and bright yellow coloration of an African fish eagle looking for meaty carcass of flamingos while gliding on wings that span six to eight feet. One of the most colorful birds at Nakuru lake is the African pygmy kingfisher. As one of the smallest in the kingfisher family, this little insect-eating bird is about five inches long, but the brilliant plumage more than makes up for the small size.

Explore beyond the lake, and you will find a world of forest dwellers, plains game and other creatures – large and small. Three species, though, have found the greatest solace at Lake Nakuru, and these animals are the reason that you will see an electrified fence around the park. The white and black rhinos, as well as the Rothschild’s giraffes that you see in the park have been rescued from the threat of poaching in other areas of Africa and also Kenya.

The Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the top tourist destinations in Africa, famed for the Flamingos, both lesser and greater, that flock to its shores to feed on the cyanobacteria that live in its alkaline waters. It is a very important breeding ground and stop over for many species of birds, and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

At some times of the year, there can be between one and two million flamingos forming a big pink band around the edge of the Lake. The Park is home to one of the greatest concentrations of Black Rhino in the World, and also has a thriving population of White Rhino. It is also a sanctuary for the rare Rothschild Giraffe and is also one of the best places in Kenya to see Leopards.

Getting There

The Lake Nakuru National Park is situated in central Kenya about 150 km (87 miles) north-west of Nairobi in the Rift Valley Province. The vehicle will travel along the main A104 road. The main entrance gate is situated 4km (2.4miles) from Nakuru town. Tourists travelling from the Masai Mara will enter the Lake Nakuru National Park through the Nderit Gate.

Airport – The Lake Nakuru National Park is serviced by the Naishi Airstrip.

Lake Nakuru National Park Highlights and Attractions

  • The main attraction is the millions of Greater and Lesser Flamingos which gather at the lake
  • The Park is one of the few places in Kenya you are sure to see endangered Rhino
  • Walking through the biggest Euphorbia forest in Africa
  • The Lake is a RAMSAR site and has over 450 species of birds making it a great stop for birders
  • 56 different species of mammals

What to do in the Lake Nakuru National Park – The main way to experience the Lake Nakuru National Park is on a game drive. This is best done in the company of an expert guide who knows their birds, as they really are the main attraction in this Park.

The Experience

Most visitors explore the park on guided game drives run by safari operators. It is one of the only parks in Kenya where you can drive up close to White Rhino and may even snap a shot of them with flocks of flamingos on the Lake in the background. Lake Nakuru is a must-see for any avid birder, not only will you witness the spectacle of up to two million Greater and Lesser Flamingos. There are also many other water birds, most notably pelicans, herons and storks that call the lake home.

The Park is one of the best places in Kenya to see Leopard and, as it is a Rhino sanctuary, this is one of the places in Kenya to see the Big Five. Leopards are elusive, so sightings are not guaranteed, but you may just come across one lounging on a branch. The Park is also a sanctuary for the rare Rothschild Giraffe.

Lake Nakuru Accommodation

Sarova Lion Hill – The Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge is situated on a hill overlooking Lake Nakuru. Accommodation is offered in chalet style rooms that are comfortably furnished. Guests can explore the National Park on guided game drives or delight in spotting some of the over 400 species of birds which occur in the park.


The Lake Nakuru National Park has a moderate climate but can be hot and humid, although it does not get as hot as other parts of Kenya such as Amboseli. The area has two main wet seasons, from March to May and October to December. The rain is usually in the form of short heavy downpours in the early afternoon, otherwise the weather is generally fine.


Visa Requirements
Visa is not needed for EU citizens. Everyone else needs a visa.
Languages spoken
English & Swahili
Currency used
Kenya Shillings(KES)
Area (km2)
580,367 km²

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