Situated 164 kilometres or only a 3-hour drive from Nairobi, Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the most toured national parks in Kenya. It was set up in 1960 to safeguard the huge numbers of flamingos that were seen along the shores.
As an entry fee, a Kenyan pays Sh800 and it is always wise to carry your national identity card, otherwise you will be charged the tourist fee without any proof of identification. Here are some of the activities that you can engage in while at the park:
Go for a game drive
The park is relatively small and one can do a game drive for half a day. You are only permitted to step out in designated camping or picnic sites. I love game drives and watching how animals relate and survive in the jungle opens my mind to many life lessons.
Having a great guide is also a great way of maximizing and saving time during the game drive. We drove past the wooded and bushy grassland, which offers sanctuary to white and black rhino.
The park hosts a large population of rhinos and was the first rhino sanctuary in Kenya to offer protection to this endangered species.
The health of the white rhinos, in particular, is monitored carefully by the rangers; coloured patches on the skin are likely to reflect recent medical treatment.
Warthogs are common all over the park, as are waterbucks, elands, zebras, and buffaloes, while Thomson’s gazelles, impalas, and reedbucks can be seen further into the bush.
Around the cliffs you may catch sight of hyraxes and birds of prey amid the countless baboons; the latter are by no means shy about enthusiastically mating in the full glare of onlookers and snapping cameras.
The fact that the park is small makes it compact and encountering wildlife during a safari is as easy as ABC.
Go bird watching
Despite the fact that the lake is renowned for having huge numbers of flamingoes, this is not their breeding ground.
Their numbers have greatly dwindled over the years as a result of rising water levels and the changing alkalinity of the lake that has made the algae, which act as food for the birds, to decrease. The park is also an ornithological paradise with over 450 bird species.
Visit Makalia falls
This is a scenic attraction at the Park and is just 30km from the main gate. The falls are at their best when they swell after the rain which is from April to August.
There are excellent picnic areas set at the Makalia falls where one can have their lunch as they bond with their loved ones as they hear the sound of the waterfalls.
Lake Nakuru has a number of ‘special’ campsites, which are wild spaces with no facilities, just you, the stars, and the sound of the animals and probably your loved ones.
However, since the lake’s water levels fluctuate, one has to ask for their availability as the camps might not be accessible during the time of your visit. To deter animals from venturing nearby, the rangers will light night fires. Though I’m still yet to do this, it’s in my travel bucket list.