Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru

In 2005 the park was branded a “Bird watches paradise” due to the availability of the various bird species it hosts both aquatic and terrestrial. Approximately 450 bird species. It takes pride to be the first national park listed as an Important Bird Area (IBA) and an Endemic Bird Area (EBA) because it’s a home to hundreds of birds including the migrants, it host some endemic birds species and at least it’s a habitat for a percentage of flamingoes found worldwide.

The scenic park have various vegetation varying from open savannah grassland to thickets and woodlands, grass plains to dusty shorelines, high cliffs to sloppy sub escarpments and rocky grounds to marshy/ swampy areas. These different vegetation gives it different habitats to host a number of other animals and plant species where animals are left to move freely in the park as they mark their suitable territories. These animals include about 55 species of mammals where the common ones are the lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, waterbuck, impala, gazelles, Roth’s child giraffe, zebras etc. in the water there are the hippos and the water fowl (bird) and a special type of fish, Tilapia graham. On the rocks and cliffs are the snakes (pythons) amongst other reptiles.

The park have a number of spectacular sceneries where visitors can make stop overs and enjoy the views of the lake as they gasp a breath from the fresh-cool breeze. These are picnic sites where they can enjoy their packed lunch snacks or bites. These scenic sceneries include; the Baboon cliff view point, Lion hill, Out of Africa Look out and the Magnificent Makalia water falls.

Nakuru is famous for the spiraling dust-devils which are well visible in the park. The word NAKURU was derived from the Maasai word ‘Nakurro’ which means a place of dust/ dusty place, hence , the fine sandy dust in Nakuru.

More about Lake Nakuru National Park



Lake Nakuru National Park started as a bird viewing and sport shooting area of migratory birds in 1950s, but has since been expanded and fenced to protect populations of endangered giraffes and rhinoceros.

Located in Nakuru County, L. Nakuru is one of the Rift valley soda lakes (alkaline/salty water). It lies to the south of Nakuru and it’s a protected area managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) under the National Government, hence, L. Nakuru National Park.

It is situated on the south west of the Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi approximately 160km and can be accessed through the three gates; Main gate, Lanet and Nderit gates or the Naishi Airstrip.

The park covers an area of 188 square kilometers where the lake covers an area of between 51-54 square kilometers which keeps fluctuating. The depth of the lake is between 6-8.5 meters. Its altitude is 1,754 meters above the sea level. The park was established in the year 1961 and fully gazetted in 1968.

In 1979 it was recorded as the first Kenya’s Rhino sanctuary due to the conducive habitats for both black and white rhinos whose numbers are increasing commendably.

In 1990 it was given the status of a RAMSAR SITE meaning a wetland of International importance because of the flora and fauna species supported by this wetland.

  • 1957 - declared a conservation area
  • 1961 - Southern two thirds designated a bird sanctuary
  • 1964 - the bird sanctuary was extended covering the whole lake and a small strip of land around it
  • 1968 - gazetted as National Park
  • 1977- a number of Rothschild Giraffes translocated to the park from western Kenya for their protection
  • 1984 - established as first government managed rhino sanctuary
  • 1986 - an electric fence was erected around the park to replace the earlier chainlink
  • 1987 - the park was declared a rhino sanctuary.
  • 1990 - the lake was designated as a Ramsar [1] site
  • 2009 - designated as IBA (450 identified bird species)
  • 2011 – Designated by UNESCO [2] as one of the Kenya Lakes System (Lakes Elementaita, Nakuru and Bogoria) World Heritage Sites

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