Size: 188 sq km (73 sq miles)
Small in size but rich in biodiversity, Lake Nakuru was granted National Park status in 1968 and is situated 160 km (99 miles) north-west of Nairobi. It is best known for its thousands, sometimes millions of flamingos nesting along the shores. The surface of the shallow lake is often hardly recognizable due to the continually shifting mass of pink. The number of flamingos on the lake varies with water and food conditions and the best vantage point is from Baboon Cliff.
It is a sanctuary to protect Rothschild giraffe and black and white rhinos. While flamingo and rhino top most visitors’ wish lists, Nakuru offers excellent bird-watching and game viewing, with all the Big Five present, alongside giraffe, waterbuck, gazelle and baboon.
The Rift Valley escarpment rising to the southeast of Lake Nakuru supports Kenya’s largest concentration of the cactus-like euphorbia, a striking tree sized succulent whose thick sap is poisonous to most animals. The southern part of the park supports a cover of lush acacia woodland dominated by the fever tree, so named because early European settlers associated its jaundiced bark with malaria, and is the best place to look for black rhino, lion, leopard and woodland birds.
Black and white rhinos, leopard, lion, hippo, waterbuck, impala, striped hyena, bat-eared fox, wildcat, reedbuck, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle, colobus monkey, long-eared leaf-nosed bat, rock hyrax, golden cat, elephant, baboon. There are also over 400 bird species and is recognised as being an ideal location for bird watching.
Best time to visit: All year round.