Overview - Lake Nakuru National Park

Scenic Lake Nakuru is Kenya’s 3rd most popular national park. It offers good wildlife viewing with four of the Big Five present. The small park doesn’t support elephants, but rhinos are particularly easy to see. Lake Nakuru NP’s main feature is a large, shallow lake, which was famous for big flocks of flamingos. However, since 2012, conditions have become unfavorable for the flamingos and most have moved to other Rift Valley lakes, however large flocks can still be seen here.

Flamingo (Greater and Lesser) and other water birds including a variety of terrestrial birds numbering about 450 species in total.

Mammals: 56 different species including white rhinos,waterbuck etc.

View-points: Lion hill, Baboon cliff and Out of Africa

Hills: Enasoit, Honeymoon, Lion hill ridge etc

Waterfalls: Makalia

Unique vegetation: About 550 different plant species including the unique and biggest euphorbia forest in Africa, Picturesque landscape and yellow acacia woodlands.

Cycle with rhino event every September yearly

  • Best Time To Go June to March
  • High Season July to March
  • Size 188 Sq KMs

Pros & Cons

“A beautiful wildlife haven”

On the floor of the Great Rift Valley, surrounded by wooded and bushy grassland, lies the beautiful Lake Nakuru National Park. Visitors can enjoy the wide ecological diversity and varied habitats that range from Lake Nakuru itself to the surrounding escarpment and picturesque ridges. Lake Nakuru National Park is ideal for bird watching, hiking,picnic and game drives.

June to Feburuary: Dry season

Pros:

  • It is sunny and dry, but it rarely gets hot

  • Short grass and few water sources make animals easy to spot

Cons:

  • The park gets very crowded and good sightings tend to attract a lot of vehicles

March to May: Wettest Season

Pros:

  • Less crowded and low season rates may apply

  • The park is green, the skies are clear, and there are lots of flowers

  • Newborn animals can be seen

  • Wildlife viewing is still fine in the Wet season as the park is fenced and animals can’t move out

  • Best time for bird watching with migratory birds present

Cons:

  • April can be very wet and rain might interfere with your game drives

  • Grass is long and animals are more difficult to spot

Best Time to Visit

Lake Nakuru can be visited throughout the year, but wildlife viewing might be more difficult in April and May, which are the wettest months. At this time, rain might interfere with your game drives and the grass tends to be very high making animal spotting more difficult.

Best Time : June to March is best for general wildlife viewing  and best time to visit the park little rain is experienced during this period

Wildlife

Most big safari animals are present in Lake Nakuru NP with the exception of elephants. The park is known for its populations of black and white rhino. White rhino is particularly common, and different groups can be encountered throughout the day. Hippo,waterbuck,burchell's zebra and Thomson's gazelle are common on the floodplains.Sometimes predators like Leopard and Lion maybe spotted.

Weather & Climate

The relatively high altitude of the park makes the climate slightly colder than might be expected this close to the equator. Temperatures are quite mild though, and consistent year-round. Daytime temperatures are pleasant in the mid to upper twenties, although it is much cooler at nights. Warm clothing for early morning game drives is a necessity. The wettest months are April and May. The rest of the year is relatively dry with some rain throughout.

Wild Life

  •   Occasional
  •   Common
  •   Very Rare
  •   Rare
  •   None
  • Giraffe

      Common
  • Elephant

      Common
  • Zebra

      Common
  • Hippo

      Common
  • Leopard

      Occasional
  • Buffalo

      Common
  • Hyena

      Occasional
  • Lion

      Common
  • Cheetah

      Very Rare
  • White Rhino

      Common
  • Black Rhino

      Occasional
  • Wildebeest

      Rare
  • Wild Dog

      Common

Wild Life

  •   Occasional
  •   Common
  •   Very Rare
  •   Rare
  •   None
  • Giraffe

      Common
  • Elephant

      Common
  • Zebra

      Common
  • Hippo

      Common
  • Leopard

      Occasional
  • Buffalo

      Common
  • Hyena

      Occasional
  • Lion

      Common
  • Cheetah

      Very Rare
  • White Rhino

      Common
  • Black Rhino

      Occasional
  • Wildebeest

      Rare
  • Wild Dog

      Common

Best time to Visit- Lake Nakuru National Park

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
  •   Excellent
  •   Good
  •   Fair
  •   Poor

Lake Nakuru offers good wildlife viewing throughout the year, but the rains might interfere with your game drives in the wettest months, April and May. Although there is great birdlife at the lake, conditions in recent years have become unfavorable for flamingos, which used to be a real attraction here. As a result, the flamingos have moved to other lakes in the Rift Valley.

Best Time: June to March is best for general wildlife viewing and best time to visit the park (Little rain)

High Season: July to March (The park gets very busy)

Low Season: April to June (The park is less crowded and low season rates might apply)

Best Weather: June to March (Little rainfall)

Worst Weather: April to May (Wettest months)

 
  • Best Time June to March
  • High Season July to March
  • Low Season April to June
  • Worst Weather Rainy

June to March

Lake Nakuru offers good wildlife viewing throughout the year, but the rains might interfere with your game drives in the wettest months, April and May. Although there is great birdlife at the lake, conditions in recent years have become unfavorable for flamingos, which used to be a real attraction here. As a result, the flamingos have moved to other lakes in the Rift Valley.

Dry Season

Dry season – June to February 

The pleasant days are usually sunny, but do not get too hot. It rarely rains, although don’t be surprised if there is an occasional shower at any time. It is recommended to wear warm clothing on early morning game drives.

  • June, July, August, September, October, November & December – Conditions are sunny with the occasional shower. Temperatures climb to around 25°C/77°F in the afternoon, but the beginning and the end of the day is cold with the temperature hovering around 9°C/48°F.
  • January & February  – These months, before the rains break, are the driest and warmest in the calendar. Temperatures climb to 28°C/82°F and push higher. Be aware of the chill factor in the early morning when the temperature only crawls up to 9°C/48°F.

Wet Season

Wet season – March to May

There are many overcast, cloudy days in the Wet season, but it rarely rains all day. Showers after lunch are typical. Temperatures in the afternoon are pleasant at around 27°C/81°F. Early mornings are a bit milder at 11°C/52°F. April is the wettest month, and by May, the rainfall is already subsiding.

  • March – March or April see the beginning of the rains, although it is rare for March to see much rain. Expect temperatures in the afternoon to reach around 27°C/81°F.
  • April – The wettest month, but it doesn't rain for long stretches very often.
  • May – The rains are already tapering off, but afternoon showers are still common.

 

Safety

Lake Nakuru is a very safe park to visit. Security within the park is high, and there is no cause for concern when staying here. It is located next to the small town with the same name. However, one should always be cautious when walking around any towns in Kenya without a guide. See ‘cities and other urban areas safety precautions’ for further information.

Medicine & Vaccines

Several vaccinations are required before a trip to Kenya. Lake Nakuru is a shallow soda lake in the Rift valley and malaria is a big concern here. Precautions should be taken seriously. Apart from bringing antimalarials, the use of mosquito repellent and covering up exposed skin in the evening is highly recommended.

Weather And Climate

 

The relatively high altitude of the park makes the climate slightly colder than might be expected this close to the equator. Temperatures are quite mild though, and consistent year-round. Daytime temperatures are pleasant in the mid to upper twenties, although it is much cooler at nights. Warm clothing for early morning game drives is a necessity. The wettest months are April and May. The rest of the year is relatively dry with some rain throughout.