Overview: Lake Nakuru National Park: Where the feathers flock

 No safari would be complete without a visit to the Lake Nakuru-this 45 sq km (close to 18 sq miles) giant of a watering hole exclusively occupies a major chunk of the illustrious Lake Nakuru National Park. What started as a proximal enclosure of the lake has now stretched over 233 sq km (90 sq miles) of fenced land across the beautiful African savannah. Apart from the lake’s primary surface area, there is a188 kilometres (116 miles) perimeter, which has been fenced off to protect the grazing giraffe herds, along with two variations of rhinos inhabiting the area.

The lake’s fluctuating water levels serve to add a contrast to the flocking duration of the wildlife on its majestic shores. The word Nakuru loosely translates to “dust”, or “dusty place,” referring to the texture of the local terrain. Located at the heart of the famed Rift Valley Province of Kenya, the unmatched beauty of the Lake Nakuru is rivalled by its diverse wildlife: over 400 avian species alone populate the lake and its surrounding areas, in conjunction with numerous species of other land and aquatic animals.

Day 1:  Arriving at the heart of diversity

After landing at Nairobi, you will be received at the airport by our tour guide, who will give you a run-down of the travel itinerary, along with a quick briefing on the safari itself. This will be followed by the commencement of the 180 kilometres (112 miles) drive to your lodgings at the Lake Nakuru National Park.

The drive itself is guaranteed to be a sight for your eyes, as you will have the opportunity to experience the scenic African landscape in broad daylight, all the while keeping the pace up, and arriving at your lodgings just in time for lunch. You may decide to catch a few hours’ worth of sleep after the lunch, or just step out for an afternoon game drive across the plains. After returning, you may enjoy a rich, traditional dinner, followed by an overnight stay at the lodge.

Day 2: Exploration

This is definitely one of the most thrilling days of the entire safari. You may set out at dawn after having breakfast at the lodge, and enjoy the full-day game drive at the Lake Nakuru National Park. You may stop at the shores of Lake Nakuru, and admire the iconic scene of innumerable flamingos flocking together. You may take some time to identify the two primary flamingo species: the Lesser and the Greater. While they bear some resemblance to each other, the Greater ones are distinguishable by their black-tipped bills, which are quite different from the deep-red carmine bills of their Lesser counterparts.  The latter species also form the majority of the flamingo population, hence justifying their recurrent media depictions.All the meals throughout the day will be at the lodging of your choice, followed by one more night of stay in the heart of the beautiful savannahs.

Day 3: One last time

The final day of your trip will be marked off by an early breakfast, followed by one last game drive before starting the return journey towards Nairobi. Similar to the days before, the journey will feature pit stops for photography, in case you haven’t been able to make enough memories before. The drive back will certainly be a one to remember, as you’ll be taken through the heart of the glorious African landscape dotted with zebras, ostriches, giraffes, elephants, and what not.

Notes to remember: The best way to reach the Lake Nakuru National Park

The most preferred way of travel is usually a drive from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi to the Lake Nakuru National Park. However, if you are one for air travel, you may charter a flight from Nairobi to one of the airstrips in the town of Nakuru, which will substantially reduce the travel distance to the park. You may enter through any one of the three gates: the Main gate, the Nderit gate, or the Lanet gate.

 The best time to visit

The dry season would be the apt time to visit the Lake Nakuru National Park, or any other national parks in Kenya for that matter. That’s the time the primary consumers gather near the watering holes, and the carnivores follow suit. It’s also the season where the probability of seeing a hunt in action is the highest. There are two yearly slots for this: June to October, and December to March. You may plan your trip accordingly.

 

The important highlights: Here are few of the things which everyone should aim to cover for the trip:

  • Bird watching: There are over 400 species to look out for. How many do you think you will be able to count?
  • Ample rhino sightings: The enclosure also happens to be the home of Kenya’s largest rhino population. Sightings are very common, and you are more than welcome to enjoy this ecological treat.
  • Mapping the ecology: Ever wondered how the lake ecosystem sustains the enormous flamingo population without a flinch? Your answer lies in the dense algae bloom on the surface of the lake itself (the blue-green Cyanophyte Spirulina platensis).
  • Observing the predators at work: The recent times have seen a sudden influx of apex predators into the game reserves (notably cheetahs and leopards), so the rare opportunity of actually seeing a predator in action persists. Apart from that, there are frequent sightings of pythons, and other top reptiles in the dense woodlands.

 

 

 

Price Includes:

  • Full accommodation on a sharing basis in the lodging of your choice.
  • Transport in our 4×4 Toyota Land Cruisers (with pop-up roofs, radio calls, mini-fridges, and charging cables).
  • Charges for availing the services of our safari/tour guides.
  • Park entrance fees as per itinerary.
  • All airport transfers – where applicable.
  • Government taxes and levies known to us till date.
  • Additional drinking water in the vehicle (for use during game drives only).
  • Our meet-and-greet services.

Price Excludes:

  • All optional costs (activities which are outside the scope of our itinerary).
  • Tips to our guides.
  • Items of a personal nature, such as: passport, visa, and travellers’ insurance.
Duration: 3 DAYS / 2 NIGHTS
Location: Lake Nakuru National Park
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