Many are times that when a typical Nairobian (like myself) thinks about doing a short distance trip, Naivasha or Nakuru pops up in their mind. One hour and two hours apart respectively, the two towns have for many years been a favourite with road trip lovers. This time for me, Nakuru was the destination. It’s amazing how fast this town has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years.
And let’s not forget that a lot of hotels have also mushroomed in Nakuru. But let’s talk about the Lake Nakuru National Park, which is a must-visit, if you are thinking of touring the Rift Valley.
As we toured the area, we were told that the water levels at the famous Lake Nakuru had lessened, marking the return of the flamingoes. Overhead, one could spot the brown-black African Fish Eagle, searching for its prey of flamingo. Lake Nakuru is popular for being home to different species of birds, and the most colourful one has to be the African Pygmy Kingfisher. One of the smallest in the Kingfisher family, but the dominance it poses, makes up for its small size.
One thing that stands out at the park is the presence of three endangered species of animals that have found solace there. The white and black rhinos, plus the Rothschild giraffe, were rescued from various habitats due to the growing threat from poachers in different parts of Kenya and the continent.
As we crisscrossed the park, which has well maintained all-weather roads, we came across the Columbus and Velvet monkeys. However, as you enjoy your ‘meet-up’ with these primates, be careful not to stand under them. Their eating is rather messy.
What’s unfortunate is that, any time I’m on a game drive, I never seem to spot the king of the jungle and its family kingdom. But I understand they can be so demanding to locate. Impalas, Thomson gazelles, waterbucks, buffalos and hippos, are some of the herbivores found within the park.
While at the park, you can decide to stay over and relax at the Sopa Lodges or the Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge. The two hotels give a proper view of the national park. The hotels organise great nature walks and divergent dining experiences within the park.