Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park, in Central Kenya, is famous for its huge flocks of pink flamingos. The birds throng on Lake Nakuru itself, one of the Rift Valley soda lakes that covers almost a third of the park’s area.
The park was established in 1961, and more than 450 species of birds have been recorded here, as well as a rich diversity of other wildlife. Lions, leopards, warthogs, waterbucks, pythons, and white rhinos are just some of the animals you might see, and the landscapes range from sweeping grasslands bordering the lake to rocky cliffs and woodland.
The park also protects the largest euphorbia candelabrum forest in Africa. These tall, branching succulents are endemic to the region and provide a bold textural element to the arid landscapes.
The sight of thousands of pink flamingos feeding on the surface of Lake Nakuru is one of the world’s great wildlife spectacles. A few years ago, millions of these elegant, colourful birds could be seen at any one time on the lake. Then, mysteriously, they disappeared altogether. Now they’ve returned again, but in diminished numbers, as they migrate out to other lakes across the Rift Valley too. At Lake Nakuru though, there are still thousands of flamingos to be seen. This majestic sight is best observed at the height of the dry season in January and February when the birds are at their most numerous.
The Out of Africa Lookout
Out of Africa was the film that inspired a generation of travellers to undertake safaris in Africa. This classic movie was filmed in part within Lake Nakuru National Park, and many shots were taken from a lofty hilltop that’s become known as ‘The Out of Africa Lookout’. Drive to the top of this steep hill for excellent views across the entirety of Lake Nakuru and the surrounding land, and immerse yourself in the romantic scenes that inspired the film.
Baboon Cliff is the most popular lookout in the national park because it offers incredible panoramas of Lake Nakuru while remaining accessible. Visitors have to share the experience with the resident population of baboons who also enjoy the surroundings. While most are harmless and used to safari-goers, the larger males can occasionally be aggressive, so take care when visiting.
The Makalia Falls are best enjoyed after a long rainy season when the water is in full flow and forms a spectacular sight. During the dry season, the falls can empty completely, leaving a dry, hot basin. The falls attract an unusual array of wildlife whatever the season and you can never be sure what will be waiting for you here in this hidden corner of Lake Nakuru in Kenya.
Of course, the best thing to do at Lake Nakuru is to go on safari. Join a game drive to truly experience this stunning part of Africa. Exploring in the early morning or late afternoon will give you the best chance of seeing the most wildlife, as this is when the animals are most active. All of the big five with the exception of elephants can be found within the park, as well as other classic African wildlife such as zebras, giraffes and cheetahs. Many people will visit just for the opportunity to see white rhino in its natural habitat, an opportunity found