Book Flights to Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru NP – Kenya

Lake Nakuru is one of the soda lakes in the Rift Valley and this lake is one of the main features of the park. It attracts a huge amount of wildlife, including many water birds and migratory birds. Lake Nakuru NP offers excellent game viewing options.

The name Nakuru means ‘dusty place’ in the Maasai language. The lake and the surrounding woodlands and grassy areas are all protected in the Lake Nakuru NP, a small national park of only 188km2/116miles2.

It is home to a large number of black and white rhinos, as well as leopards, lions, and buffalo, giving you the chance to see 4 of the Big 5 in a small area.

Main attractions

Lake Nakuru NP is small but has a huge diversity of wildlife, including some rare and unusual species to look out for.

The main reason many people visit Lake Nakuru NP are:

  • The waterbirds that come to the lake, including many flamingos and pelicans
  • An abundance of wildlife
  • Admire a different type of giraffe in the wild, the Rothschild’s giraffe
  • Check out the views from one of the lookouts

Thousands of waterbirds visit Lake Nakuru, including migratory birds like flamingos and pelicans

Millions of flamingos used to flock to Lake Nakuru NP each year, but recently the lake’s water levels have risen dramatically and even some of its roads are now under water. Flamingos can still be seen at the edge of the lake even if not in the high numbers as there used to be. And of course many other animals coming down for a drink.

Lake Nakuru NP has an abundance of wildlife, including the big 4

If you are lucky you might see some of Lake Nakuru’s tree climbing lions. They sometimes escape the heat and find a cool breeze in the smaller trees, but are incredibly hard to spot when they are up a tree.

Lake Nakuru also offers a good chance to see rhino with both black and white species present and often coming down to the lake for a drink. The leopard is elusive, but is occasionally spotted in the more forested areas of the park. And the buffalo is usually easily found around the airstrip. But there are many more animals and birds to be seen in Lake Nakuru NP, all waiting for you to pay them a visit.

Visit one of very few locations where you can see the Rotschild’s giraffe in the wild

The national park is the only place in Kenya where you can see the Rothschild’s giraffe in the wild. They were always thought to be a subspecies of the giraffe, but are now believed to be a species in their own right. The biggest difference is the pattern on their skin, some say it is much prettier than the more common Masai giraffe.

Stunning views in Lake Nakuru NP from the viewpoints

The park has three excellent viewpoints, each giving an amazing bird’s eye view of the lake and the rest of the park. The best one is Out of Africa which is higher than the others, but has a steeper and rockier road to get to it. You can pack a picnic and admire the view whilst eating your lunch.

How to get there

The main gate for Lake Nakuru NP is right in Nakuru town.

Fly to Lake Nakuru NP

To get to Lake Nakuru NP you can fly to Nakuru (the town) or you can fly directly to the airstrip in the national park and start your safari from there.

Drive to Lake Nakuru NP

It is possible to drive to Lake Nakuru NP from Nairobi, approximately a 3-hour drive.

Book your cheap flight to visit Lake Nakuru NP with Tripindigo for a chance to see the black or white rhino, and the rare Rothschild’s giraffes.

Best time to visit

Kenya’s higher inlands are very pleasant with daytime temperatures between 20°C/68°F and 28°C/82°F, cooler at night.

Kenya has a dry season from June to October, a wet season called ‘short rains’ in November and December, another dry spell in January and February, followed by the ‘long rains’ in March, April and May.

High season

Lake Nakuru NP can be visited year-round, but for those who want to avoid the rain as much as possible, it is best to avoid April and maybe even May and August. Most rain in Nakuru falls between April and August, with a slight dip in June and July where it is drier. But even during those months it will usually not rain the whole day. Rains will come in a storm or it may last a few hours, but generally you will still be able to explore Lake Nakuru even when it rains.

Low season

The majority of people avoid the rain in April and this month will usually see fewer visitors than other months.

Birdwatching in Lake Nakuru NP

Migratory birds are in the area from October until April and Lake Nakuru NP is an excellent spot to find many different bird species, including many waterbirds.

In some years thousands of flamingos nest at the lake, but even though the flamingos are usually around, they haven’t been seen in the large numbers as previous years. This is most likely due to the increased water level of the lake, making it unsuitable as a habitat for the flamingos to feed and nest with millions. Your best chance of seeing the huge numbers of flamingos is in January or February.


  • Once a year it is possible to ride a mountain bike through Lake Nakuru NP if you sign up for the Rift Valley Odyssey, a 3 or 5-day mountain bike ride through Kenya’s spectacular Rift Valley.
  • Lake Nakuru NP is protected as part of the Ramsar Convention on wetlands, around 450 species of birds have been spotted.
  • You can visit the waterfall in the south of the national park and stretch your legs at the campground located near it.

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