lake nakuru national park

Lake Nakuru National Park

(Kenya)
Lake Nakuru National Park

Background

Scenic Lake Nakuru is Kenya’s most popular national park. The park’s main feature is a large, shallow lake supporting great birdlife, including big flocks of pelicans and variable flocks of flamingos. The lake was once famous for its flamingos, however, since 2012, conditions have become unfavorable for these birds and most have moved to other Rift Valley lakes.

Lake Nakuru offers easy wildlife viewing of most big safari animals with the exception of elephants. Black and white rhino were re-introduced in the 1990s and have bred to healthy populations. White rhino are usually easy to see on the lakeshore. Rothschild giraffe, buffalo and hippo are numerous as well. Lucky visitors might see lions, which occasionally climb trees. Leopard are present, but not often encountered.

Lake Nakuru National Park

Wildlife Experience

Most big safari animals are present in Lake Nakuru National Park with the exception of elephants. The park is known for its populations of black and white rhino. White rhino is particularly conspicuous, and different groups can be encountered throughout the day. Hippo, waterbuck, Burchell's zebra and Thomson's gazelle are common on the floodplains. The park is an important stronghold for the rare Rothschild's giraffe. It was introduced to the park in the 1980s and has now become locally common. Aside from the widespread vervet monkey and olive baboon, the beautiful black-and-white colobus monkey can sometimes be found in the acacia forest. A highlight, if you’re lucky enough, are the tree-climbing lions – Lake Nakuru National Park is the best place in Kenya to see them.

Locate the Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park | Birdlife

Lake Nakuru National Park is a great birding destination with more than 500 species recorded. The soda lake is a birding hotspot and supports a lot of birdlife, including large flocks of pelicans. Unfortunately, flamingos are no longer the drawcard here as unfavorable conditions have driven many of them to other Rift Valley lakes. Nakuru is also one of the best places in Kenya to see the striking, long-tailed widowbird. There is a good variety of raptors including Verreaux’s and long-crested eagle. The best time to visit the park for birders is from November to April. This is the breeding season and many birds are in full plumage. This is also a good time to tick of extra species as migrants from Europe and north Africa are present as well. Most interesting species are present throughout the year and therefore bird watching is good at any time. Although it’s good for birding, April tends to be very wet, and is a less productive time for general wildlife viewing.

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