A Guide To Lake Nakuru National Park Kenya
Lake Nakuru National Park Kenya is about 188 sq km and is 160 km northwest of Nairobi in the Rift Valley Nakuru county. The ecosystem comprises of the lake surrounded by wooded and bushy grasslands. The main gate is 4 km from Nakuru town. It can also be accessed by air through the 12km long naishi airstrip in the southern part of the park. But there is a gate at Lanet that links the park to the Nairobi – Nakuru highway. At Lake Nakuru National Park Kenya there are flamingo and other water birds numbering about 450 species with about 1.5 million flamingoes.
Facts About Lake Nakuru National Park
Altitude: 1,756 metres above sea level.
Area: 188 sq km.
Location: Nakuru, Rift Valley Province.
Distance from Nairobi: 140 km northwest of Nairobi
Gazetted: Lake Nakuru was gazetted as a bird sanctuary in 1960 and elevated to status of National Park 8 years later.
Vegetation: 550 plant species and varied woodlands that include: acacia woodlands, Euphorbia and Olea forests.
Climate: The climate is warm and dry.
Fauna: Indigenous mammals include; the rare long-eared leaf-nosed bat, colobus monkey, rock hyrax, hippo, leopard, lion, rhino, waterbuck, impala, gazelle, striped hyena, bat-eared fox, wild cat, reedbuck, vervet monkeys, baboons and golden cat. Re-stocked mammals include: lion, black and white rhino and the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe.
Birds: 450 other species of birds. Up until 2012 before the lake’s water levels tremendously rose, well over 1.5 million flamingos belted its shores.
Roads: The park is well connected by a tarmac road from Nairobi and is networked by accessible, sufficiently passable roads.
What To See At Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru has 56 species of mammals including the white rhino and lion tree climbers. The park is Kenya’s firat rhino sanctuary. Other wildlife including thomson’s grant gazelle, the long eared leaf nosed bat colobus monkey, rock hyrax, hippo, leopard, lion, the waterbuck, impala, striped hyena and the golden cat.
Lake Nakuru National Park also has a unique vegetation with about 550 different plant species including the exceptional and biggest euphorbia forest in africa, picturesque landscape and yellow acacia woodlands. The park, too, has breathtaking viewpoints at lion hill baboon cliff and out of africa view points and the makalia falls.
Entry to the park is by safari card only and the card may be loaded or obtained at Mtito Andei gate. Proof of identification will be required. Lake Nakuru National Park has accommodation facilities which include Lake Nakuru lodge and Sarova lion hill lodge. Kws offers self – catering accommodation at Naishi guest house, while camping facilities are at Naishi, Rhino Soysambu, Nyati Chui and Reedsbuck.
Accommodation and Hotels in Lake Nakuru National Park
KWS Self Catering at Lake Nakuru National Park
Campsites in Lake Nakuru National Park
- Back Packers
- Makalia Campsite
- Reedbuck Campsite
- Naishi Campsite
- Rhino Campsite
- Chui Campsite
- Soysambu Campsite
- Kambi Nyuki Campsite
- Kambi Nyati Campsite
- Acacia Picnic Site
- Baboon Cliff
- Out of Africa
- Pelican Picnic Site
How to get to Lake Nakuru National Park Kenya
Roads: The park has a tarmac road connection with Nairobi, a distance of 156 km north west of Nairobi on the main A104 road. The most commonly used route into the park is via the main gate, 4 km from Nakuru Town Centre.
It is also possible to enter the park from the main Nairobi Nakuru road at Lanet Gate. The Nderit Gate is used by people accessing the park from Masai Mara or Elementaita.
Airstrips: The Naishi airstrip services the park for tourism and KWS activities.
Park Roads:The park has an adequate and well serviced motorable roads that make most parts of the park accessible.
Park Gates: The park has three gates, Main Gate and Lanet Gate that link the park with the Nairobi – Nakuru highway and the less used Nderit Gate.
Lake Nakuru National Park Entrance Fee and Charges
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The entry fee is $90 for adult, nonresident foreigners, 1200 ksh for nonresident children and $55 for non-resident students. If possible, pay in US$. If the fee is paid in Kenyan Shillings (KSH), the fee is converted to US$ at a highly unfavorable rate. For Kenyan nationals the fee is KSH 1,200 for adults, KSH 600 for children; for foreign adult residents of Kenya the fee is KSH 1,200 and one-half KSH 300 for children ages 3 through 17. If you’re using a currency other than the US$.
A really cool new thing that KWS has started is called SafariCard. You can buy a permanent one ahead of time and load it up with money to use at several of Kenya’s parks, or you can buy a temporary one at the gate, surrendered at the gate when you leave.
An additional vehicle fee is required, the amount of which is determined by the number of seats in your vehicle. For detailed list of vehicle and aircraft fees.
Lake Nakuru National Park Kenya Opening and closing time
The park opens at 7 am. If you are traveling from Nairobi, then take the Naironi – Nakuru highway. On the way to Nakuru you will have a great view of the Rift Valley, so drive slow and enjoy the scenery! From Nairobi, it is about a 30-minute drive to a scenic overlook at 7200 feet (2200 meters) above sea level and from here you can get a spectacular view of the volcanoes Suswa and Longonot.
There are also a group of great little curio shops at this stop where you can buy souvenirs. Seeing the entire park could take you a full day, so plan to arrive around 9 am unless you have more than a day in the area. It might take you few minutes to get your ticket and the vehicle checked.
The park has very well established roads that make most parts of the park accessible by 2-wheel-drive vehicles. Some less – traveled parts and most viewpoint hills will require 4 – wheel-drive. The park has three gates: the Main Gate and Lanet Gate that link the park with the Nairobi – Nakuru highway and the less-used Nderit Gate.
If you choose to fly: It’s about a 25 – minute flight from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi to the Naishi airstrip inside the park.
Lake Nakuru National Park Contacts
Attraction Type: Wildlife, Scenery & Landscapes
Category: National Park, Birding Site, Lake or River
Region: South Rift
City / Town: Nakuru
Road / Street: Nakuru Nairobi Highway
Telephone: 254 51 801 2070
254 722 383645
254 20 267 1685
Watch a tour video of Lake Nakuru National Park