Lake Nakuru is a must see soda lake in Kenya’s Rift Valley.
Teeming with flamingos and a wide array of birdlife and wild animals, this lake offers world-class bird watching and game viewing.
Most tourists gather at the lake during peak season to watch more than 1 million flamingos wade in the water.
The pink plumage contrasts well with the blue lake water making this destination a sight for sore eyes.
Things to do at Lake Nakuru
- Game viewing
- Sightseeing from Baboon Cliff
- Bush breakfast
- Set a picnic at Baboon Cliff
- Wildlife photography
- Watch magnificent views of the park from Out of Africa Lookout
- Spot lions at Flamingo Hill
Things to see at Lake Nakuru
- African fish eagles
- African pygmy kingfishers
- Goliath Herons
- Acacia woodlands
- Bat-eared Foxes
- Leaf-nosed bats
- Golden cats
- Striped hyenas
- Observation Hill
- Baboon Cliff
- Lion Hill
- Out of Africa Lookout
- Enasiot Hill
- Honeymoon Hill
- Euphorbia forests
- Makalia waterfall
- Endangered white rhinos
- Eastern black rhinos
- Rothschild giraffes
- Hyrax Hill Prehistoric Site
Lake Nakuru flamingos
You will see two types of flamingo at the lake – the lesser flamingo which has pink plumage and a deep red carmine bill and the greater flamingo which has a shallow black-tipped bill.
The greater flamingo feeds on fish, aquatic invertebrates, and insects while the lesser flamingo forages on microscopic organisms like spirulina platensis. Its head is usually in a reversed position so that its beak acts as a shovel when feeding.
Both the lesser and greater flamingo have fringed lamellae which filter the water so that the bird holds back the amount of food it needs. Each flamingo consumes about 180,000kg of algae per day.
Tilapia fish feed on these algae too after which they are preyed on by pelicans, herons, cormorants, eagles and other fish-eating birds.
Flamingoes tend to lay their eggs in mud nests and in Lake Bogoria and Magadi and only use Lake Nakuru to feed.
Lake Nakuru National Park history
Lake Nakuru was gazetted as a bird sanctuary in 1960 and upgraded to National Park status in 1968.
It is currently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to 56 types of mammals and 450 bird species.
Lake Nakuru National Park entrance fee
Lake Nakuru National Park is located on the Great Rift Valley floor and it is surrounded by bushy and wooded grassland.
Grazers, foragers, scavengers, and hunters can be found here as well as pythons and leopards which are spotted on occasion.
The ecological diversity ranges from the lake itself to the escarpment, savannah, forest, swamp, waterfalls and scenic ridges. You can go camping, have a picnic lunch or take a hike in the park.
Park fees are as follows:
- Adult citizen: KSh860
- Child citizen: KSh215
- Adult resident: KSh 1,030
- Child resident: KSh515
- Adult nonresident: KSh60
- Child nonresident: KSh35
Lake Nakuru national park safari
A safari to this destination is never complete without going up Baboon Cliff. From up there, you can see the baboon families and scenic views of the park and lake.
This tour will also allow you to view the greater and lesser flamingo, water and terrestrial birds, wildlife, euphorbia trees, unique plant life and Makalia Waterfall.
Remember to check out the numerous white and black rhinos protected at the Rhino Sanctuary within the park.
Apart from Baboon Cliff, other viewpoints include Lion Hill, Observation Hill, Enasoit Hill and Out of Africa Look Out.
Lake Nakuru lodges and hotels
- Sarova Lion Hill Lodge
- Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge
- Ziwa Bush Lodge
- Kivu Resort
- Capital Hill Lodge
- Sarova Woodlands Hotel
- The Alps Hotel
- Hillcourt Resort & Spa
- Maili Saba Camp
- Flamingo Hill Camp
- Mbweha Tented Camp
- Makalia Campsite
- Reedbuck Campsite
- Naishi Campsite
- Rhino Campsite
- Chui Campsite
- Soysambu Campsite
- Kambi Nyuki Campsite
Lake Nakuru facts
- It’s an alkaline rich lake
- The lake is 2.3m deep
- It’s been part of Lake Nakuru National Park, since 1961, which protects endangered white and black rhinos and giraffes
- The soda in the lake creates a perfect breeding ground for blue-green algae that flamingoes feed on
Best time to visit Lake Nakuru
The alkalinity of the lake is what determines the number of flamingoes at this destination. During the long and short rains, water levels rise and decrease the algae. Consequently, flamingos flock to Lake Natron, Oloiden, and Bogoria.
Long rains fall between March and May while short rains fall between October and early December.
These two periods are not ideal for birdwatching or game viewing, animals tend to hide in the bushes and visibility of birds is significantly reduced.
January to February records the largest number of birds and mosquitoes are few. Animals are also easy to spot as they search for prey, pasture, and water.
Lake Nakuru map – How to get there
- Air: Take a flight and land at Naishi Airstrip
- Road: The park may be accessed through the Lanet Gate on the Nairobi Nakuru Road, the Main Gate which is 4km from Nakuru Town or the Nderit Gate from if you’re driving from Elementaita or Masai Mara
If flamingos are on your wish list, check out the Lake Nakuru tour packages available or call an agent to customize your trip.
|Languages spoken||English, Swahili|
|Currency used||Kenya Shilling (KSh)|