lake nakuru national park

Lake Nakuru National Park

Background Information

Lake Nakuru National Park is renowned as a bird sanctuary with over 400 bird species, including huge flocks of flamingoes and many other water birds. It is an excellent park for wildlife spotting and is home to many water-loving animals such as hippos and waterbucks.


Lake Nakuru National Park was established in 1961. It now covers an area of 180km² (69.5 square miles) and is situated in the Great Rift Valley – 156km northwest of Nairobi in the Nakuru district of the Rift Valley Province. The park is managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service.Lake Nakuru is a large, shallow lake surrounded by marshes, woodland and grassland. There are some rocky outcrops and the largest euphorbia forest in Africa on the eastern side. The lake is fed by three main rivers; the Njoro, the Makalia and the Enderitrivers, as well as several springs. The park has very good roads and some excellent viewpoints overlooking the lake from Baboon Cliff and Lion Hill.

The lake supports the blue-green Cyanophyte Spirulina Platensis, which is the main food source for the brilliant pink flamingoes that can be found wading on the lake’s edge. At times, there can be up to two million greater and lesser flamingoes and tens of thousands of other birds. Food conditions change periodically, and the number of birds fluctuates at times so, if possible, you should check with the national park before making a long journey to view the birds. It is also a good idea to carry a spotter’s guide to identify the many animals and Kenya birds you will see here.

Where to find Lake Nakuru National Park

About Amboseli National Park:
Amboseli is renowned for its large herds of free-ranging African elephants. There are over 900 African elephantsin Amboseli, as well as huge herds of wildebeests and many other animals including giraffes, African lions, monkeys, zebras, hyenas and antelope.

Getting there:
By Road: Use your own vehicle, take public transportation, or book an open-topped minibus or safari van tour with a tour guide.The road from Nairobi to Namanga (240km/149 miles) is tarmac, but becomes rough with potholes from Namanga to the Meshanani Gate. Access from Mombasa is generally best through Tsavo West National Park via Kimana (Olkelunyiet) Gate. Amboseli National Park has gates at Kelunyiet, Iremito, Ilmeshanan, Kitrua and Airstrips.

By Air: A chartered light aircraft may land at the airstrip at Empusel Gate. Other airstrips exist at Namanga and Kilimanjaro Buffalo Lodge. You can also book a scheduled flight departing from Nairobi to Amboseli.

What to do:
Amboseli National Park is known for its large herd of over 900 free-ranging elephants. This is the best national park to visit to see these wonderful and huge creatures. Herd of Elephants in Amboseli View or even climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding mountain in the world. Visit Observation Hill, which overlooks the park, swamps and, of course, the herds of free-roaming elephants. Meet the Maasai people and learn about the Maasai culture and their indigenous lifestyle.Bird watching is best between October and January if you want to see Kenya’s migratory birds, including African skimmers, red and yellow bishops, goshawks, buffalo weavers and palm nut vultures, to name a few.

When to go:
January and February are good months to visit Amboseli, as well as June through September. Avoid April and May, which are the rainy season. There may also be some rain from November to December, which may make the roads in Amboseli impassable.Temperatures year round are 27-31°C (81-88°F) in the day and 22-24°C (72-75°F) at night. For Kenya birdwatchers, the best months to see migratory birds are October to January. The best times for viewing are early and late in the day, as animals tend to sleep in the hot midday sun.

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