Lake Nakuru National Park is one of two premium national parks in Kenya. The other is the Amboseli National Park. Lake Nakuru National Park hosts one of the largest concentrations of Black Rhino in the world. There are an estimated 60 black and 40 white rhinos at the park. The 45,456-acre park is a world-famous conservation area and a designated Ramsar site which recently became a World Heritage site. Population pressure in the town of Nakuru is now threatening to kill this priceless Kenyan gem. But before that happens, here are four things you can still do here when you visit.
1. Explore the Pink Lake
Lake Nakuru, with its fantastic flamboyance of flamingos nesting along the shores, forms the main highlight of a trip to this park. The flamingos cover its surface, giving it its characteristic pinkish colour. At one point there was an estimated 1 to 2 million flamingo, mostly lesser. In the early 1990s, the lake’s level dropped dramatically but then rose to alarming levels in 2013. That is when the flamingos started the great exodus to Lake Bogoria in search of food.
2. Go Bird Watching
Lake Nakuru National Park boasts a population of over 400 species of terrestrial and waterbirds.
3. Camp at Makalia Fall
Makalia Fall lies at the southern border of the park. It formed out of the torrents of Makalia River. As you drive to the falls and back, you have a panoramic view of the eastern side of the valley. This site has a beautiful campsite that sits on a green clearing close to the water where visitors are kept company by impalas which come to graze near the tents. The campground, which is quite popular with tourists and overlanders, is equipped with restrooms, showers and well water. Did you know the waterfall is the only easily accessible in the region? The area is navigable throughout the year by all categories of vehicles. Here, you can see the Acacia xanthlophloea, also known as the yellow fever tree. The waterfall’s rock outcrop is an important sleeping site for baboons. It also offers an excellent location for bird watching.
4. Cycle with the Rhino
If you visit Lake Nakuru National Park in September, you could catch the annual Cycle with the Rhino Race which partially takes place inside the park. The 64-kilometre race is a family event which aims to raise money to protect the park’s fragile ecosystem through a baboon-proof electric fence. The fence is expected to significantly reduce human-wildlife conflict and bring down the number of road accidents on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway facilitated by crossing wildlife.
So whenever you are in Nakuru, take a trip to Lake Nakuru National Park and enjoy the pink lake before it disappears! Because it is a premium national park, the park entry rates tend to be higher than for most other parks, but it is well worth it. Check the KWS website for the latest prices to plan your trip better.