Kenya is arguably the most popular safari destination for travellers and for obvious reasons. Famous for its diverse landscapes, wildlife and scenery, it’s impossible to see all of Kenya in one trip…or even five trips for that matter!
As hard as it can be to narrow down your to-do list of what you want to experience in this unique country, we recommend carefully choosing which places you’d like to visit. This way travellers can enjoy those experiences to the fullest rather than darting around from one destination to another. There are of course a few noticeable favourites such as the Maasai Mara and Meru National Park, and while we definitely recommend these places, there are also a lot of lesser known attractions that are just as incredible and special. Lake Nakuru National Park is one of those places.
Situated in the heart of the lush and abundant Southern Rift Valley region in Kenya, Lake Nakuru National Park was originally protected as a bird sanctuary and is well-worth the visit. Here are just three reasons to love Lake Nakuru National Park from Journeys Discovering Africa:
1. Lake Nakuru and the flamingos
Lake Nakuru is one of Kenya’s renowned soda lakes and is world-famous for attracting millions of flamingos to its alkaline shores. Feeding on the abundant algae that grows in the warm and shallow waters, witnessing these legions of fuchsia-pink flamingos is a sight to behold. Sadly, rising water levels in 2014 and human pressure on the lake ecosystem means that the huge flocks of birds are slowly diminishing or fleeing in search of more unspoilt soda lakes.
However, when conditions are just right, between one and two million lesser and greater flamingos feed around the shores of the shallow lake. Aside from the flamingos the park is also home to over 400 different bird species, including five globally threatened species, and is also an important stop on the African-Eurasian migratory flyway, making Lake Nakuru a genuine bird lover’s paradise.
2. Spectacular scenery
In Lake Nakuru National Park, you can see a variety of diverse and beautiful landscapes. Flanked on three sides by steep rocky escarpments, dotted with dense forest and bushy grasslands, the park offers incredible natural scenery all year-round. Set against the backdrop of the hilly Great Rift Valley, the picturesque landscape is best explored in the golden light of the afternoon sun and the many hills in the area offer viewpoints from which the lake, woodlands, and sometimes even wildlife, can be seen.
3. Rhinos and wildlife
If you’ve never seen a rhino in the wild, Lake Nakuru National Park is the place to go. Declared as the first national sanctuary for rhinos in 1987, the park hosts one the highest concentrations of the black rhinoceros in the world. Black rhinos are solitary browsers and can often be seen in the woodlands, while impressive numbers of white rhino graze along the shorelines.
Other common wildlife sightings include the highly endangered Rothschild’s giraffe, which were relocated for safety from western Kenya beginning in 1977, as well as both the Kenyan waterbuck species. Leopards are also spotted regularly and they’re not the only big cat you might spot in the trees! The lions at Lake Nakuru have a knack for climbing and can sometimes be seen lounging along a tree branch.
Find out more about our Kenya Safari Tours here.