Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the premium parks in Kenya to be gazetted as a bird sanctuary in 1960 because of its massive flock of flamingoes and other birds. It is in Central Kenya, approximately 2 kilometers from Nakuru town and 164 km’s from Nairobi (2 hours’ drive).
There is an airstrip near the park that is known as the Naishi Airstrip. There are three gates that provide access to the park: Main gate and Lanet gate that link the park with the Nairobi-Nakuru Highway and Nderit gate which is rarely used.
Around 27% of the national park is composed of Lake Nakuru and the area around the lake is generally used for wildlife conservation while the land outside the park is used for forestry, ranching, and agriculture.
Lake Nakuru National Park was established in 1961 and was later expanded to 188 square kilometers to provide buffer zone perimeter to protect the lake from intrusion by settlements and to minimize the influence of urban and agricultural development in the lake catchment area.
The National Park is termed as a dry sub-humid (not too wet and not too dry) and semi-arid (not too hot and not too cold). Guests can visit the park all year round but the best time to visit is between January to March or July to December.
Lake Nakuru National Park was declared as a rhino sanctuary in 1983 and currently has approximately 45 black and 31 white rhinos. Lake Nakuru is designated as a Ramsar site, though it is threatened by human activities both inside and outside the park area.
The park has recorded over 450 species of birds including the Endangered Madagascar Pond-heron Ardeola idea, Near Threatened Grey-crested Helmet-shrike Prionops poliolophus and Martial Eagle Polemaetus bellicosus.
Due to the rise of the Lake Nakuru water levels in 2014, the famous park’s flamingoes were forced to flee although they are some remaining in the lake. The lake is also inhabited by water mammals mainly the hippopotamus and Africa Clawless Otter.
The terrestrial part of the park supports many mammals including the Rothschild’s giraffe, eland, steenbok, impala, reedbuck, dik-dik, rock hyrax, klipspringer, buffalo and many more. The park has the best viewpoints such as Lion Hill, Out of Africa and Baboon Cliff.
Beautiful waterfall (Makalia Waterfall), Enasoit hills, Lion hill Ridge and Honeymoon hills are found inside the park.