| The giraffes in Lake Nakuru are not the Masai giraffes found elsewhere in southern
Kenya and in Tanzania, but a different giraffe subspecies
called rothschild giraffes, brought to Lake Nakuru from areas in western Kenya in a
(Note: Modern research has indicated that some giraffe subspecies, including the rothschild
giraffe, may in fact be separate species. More knowledge on this is hopefully to come.)
Many yellow-barked acacias are seen in the national park, dominating the vegetation.
There are also large areas of open grassland along the lakeside. Much of the euphorbia
forest on the south-eastern side of the lake was destroyed in a recent bush fire.
Rhinos to the park
A re-introduction of black rhinos (also known as browse rhinos) began in the late 1980's.
Rhinos were brought to Lake Nakuru from South Africa and from Solio
Game Sanctuary in central Kenya. Also white rhinos (or grass rhinos) were later
introduced. There are now stable populations of both species, and Lake Nakuru is the
best park in Kenya to see them. The white rhinos are the least secretive, grazing in
open land, and are easiest to spot.
The African wild dog (also called hunting dog) appears in the park on rare occasions.
It's the most endangered large carnivore in Africa and seen by few visitors to Kenya.
Don't expect to see it, though.
Birding in Lake Nakuru
Lake Nakuru originally became a national reserve to protect its rich bird life. It is
well known for its many flamingos, which may sometimes be seen in millions on the lake.
Apart from the flamingos, you may see great white and pink-backed pelican, African darter,
hammerkop, white and black stork, African spoonbill, hadada ibis, glossy ibis, red-billed
teal and Cape teal, spur-winged goose, African fish-eagle, Egyptian vulture, bat hawk,
Wahlberg's eagle, martial eagle, Montagu's harrier and pallid harrier, three-banded
plover, blacksmith plover, crowned plover, African skimmer, black-winged stilt, laughing
dove and ring-necked dove, malachite kingfisher, broad-billed roller, white-fronted
bee-eater, African scops owl, pearl-spotted owlet, narina trogon, red-billed hornbill,
greater honeyguide and cliff chat.
Visiting Lake Nakuru
Lake Nakuru National Park is fairly small, and most safari itineraries include a brief
visit only, usually an afternoon game drive in the park followed by a night in one of
in the area. As a result, mornings may be a nice time for game driving, as there are
fewer vehicles seen than later during the day.
You can't see the Big
Five in Lake Nakuru National Park, as there are no elephants. It's a good
park for leopard, rhino and buffalo, though, and it's often combined with Masai
Mara, where you may see lions and elephants.
The roads in the park are fairly good.
Menengai Crater and Lake Elementaita
The large Menengai Crater is just north of Nakuru Town, offering good views of the landscape
and Lake Nakuru. Lake Elementaita, 15 km/10 mi south-east of Lake Nakuru, is also a
soda lake, but is smaller and receives fewer visitors. The lake and the land surrounding
it is a private reserve offering a good bird life and some wildlife.
There are two lodges, a tented camp and bandas inside the park, and more lodges
and camps in the surrounding areas. There is also accommodation in hotels and
sites in nearby Nakuru Town.
Lion Hill Lodge is built on a hillside east of Lake Nakuru in the park, in a forested area that
offers nice views of the lake. The lodge has some 60 rooms in bungalows, restaurant, bar, swimming
pool, sauna, conference facilities and massage. It is enclosed by an electric fence.
More about Sarova Lion Hill Lodge
Web site: www.sarovahotels.com
Hill Tented Camp in northern Lake Nakuru National Park is not far from the main park gate.
It has 25 furnished safari tents with ensuite bathrooms and verandas, a restaurant, bar and lounge,
gift shop and conference facilities.
More about Flamingo Hill Tented Camp
Web site: www.flamingohillcamp.com
Lake Nakuru Lodge is a tourist class lodge situated in the south-eastern
part of the park. There are some 60 rooms with ensuite bathrooms, restaurant,
two bars, swimming pool, conference facilities, gift shop and Internet.
Web site: www.lakenakurulodge.com
Mbweha Camp is a good new lodge in a private conservancy just outside the
eastern gate of Lake Nakuru National Park. The lodge has ten spacious lava stone
cottages with ensuite bathrooms, a restaurant and bar. Mbweha Camp is set right
in the bush and offers good opportunities for game driving, night game drives
and bush walks. Balloon safaris are also offered.
Web site: www.atua-enkop.com
Maili Saba Camp is a good tented lodge on the edge of the Menengai Crater
north of Nakuru Town, i.e. some 5 km/3 mi north of Nakuru National Park. It has
ten tented rooms with ensuite bathrooms and wide views of the crater. The lodge
has restaurant, bar, meeting facilities, e-mail service and swimming pool.
Web site: www.mailisabacamp.com
Deloraine House is a colonial estate house built in 1920, situated in a
1,400 ha/3,500 ac farm on the lower slopes of Mount Londiani on the western edge
of the Great Rift Valley, a 45-minute drive from Lake Nakuru. The house offers
stays in elegant surroundings, including gardens, croquet lawn, tennis court and
swimming pool. Deloraine Estate is mainly focused on riding, and has large stables,
cross country course, polo ground, and surrounding countryside fine for riding.
Lake Elementaita Lodge is a former ranch by Lake Elementaita that now offers
tourist class accommodation. The lodge has 33 rooms with ensuite bathrooms, satellite
television, mini bar, safe and veranda. There are dining room, bar and conference
facilities in the old main building, and a swimming pool in the garden. The lodge
offers horse riding and bird watching.