Quoted as the "Bird Watcher's Paradise", Lake Nakuru National Park is located on the floor of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. Surrounded by escarpment & picturesque ridges, the drive to this National Park from Nairobi is worth the hours.
How did I land up here -
While planning my Kenya itinerary , my main idea was to cover Masai Mara. However, the idea of clubbing it with one more site was very tempting and hence I started exploring the neighboring wildlife habitats apart from the Mara Conservancy. I compared Naivasha, Nakuru and Amboseli and finally zeroed down on Nakuru (end of July, 2016) because of three primary reasons -
- The drive from Nairobi takes only 2 hours and covers the Great Rift Valley. After a long journey from India, this was a tempting pitstop.
- Lake Nakuru is well known for it's Flamingo population along with Buffalos & Zebras.
- Options of staying inside the park at an affordable cost - stayed at Lake Nakuru Lodge which was inside the park.
Where to stay -
I stayed at the Lake Nakuru Lodge. A great property offering you the experience of driving through the park to reach it's entrance. Along with great food, it also arranges for an entertainment evening with the local tribals dancing & rejoicing with the guests. It surely gives a glimpse of the culture & creates a fun environment after a long game drive or a tiring journey.
The rooms are in top condition, with all the basic amenities and a terrific view. The staff is very helpful and works hard to maintain the area. I had no complains personally and would love to stay at this place again. There is a souvenir shop as well inside the premises.
Couple of other options in the same category are:
- Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge
- Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge
- Flamingo Hill Tented Camp for the tent lovers
What to do -
Going for an early morning game drive is a great idea. The cool breeze of the lake and the chirping birds kickstarts the day very well. You can expect to see Baboons, Buffalos, Lion, Zebras, White Rhinos, Impalas apart from the natural flora and fauna. It's said that because the alkaline level of the lake has gone down , there are less number of flamingos now foraging in the shallow lake. My experience has been very similar, could spot only few of them from a distance. But am sure another day would have been enough to spend time at the lake and witness it a bit closer.
- Spend more time - My stay at the lodge lasted for one night half a day only. When I now reconsider, I do feel this place deserves atleast 2 days - one to explore the wildlife & the area; other to relax and enjoy the hospitality.
- Plan a weekend getaway - Nakuru can easily serve as a weekend getaway for folks living in Nairobi. The drive is beautiful and short.
- Explore other sites of interest - due to limited time, I could retrict my itinerary only to the Park. But it is important to know that you can also visit some very interesting sites nearby ,eg- Menangai crater, a dormant volcano; Lake Bogoria & Lake Baringo are also accesible from Nakuru in a day trip.
- Spend time at the lake - The lake surely offers endless flocks of flamingos still. Just have time & patience.
Some of the photos from my trip