Lake Nakuru

We love how Nakuru is packed with colour, filling the safari with vibrancy and incredible photos. A dramatic pink blanket covers the lake, over a million flamingos greeting you to a park that's home to rhinos and a healthy population of leopards.

One of our favourite places to see rhino.

Rhinos are the remarkable highlight and there aren't many places in Africa where we've seen both black and white species on the same game drive. Their bashful beauty can be admired for hours, whether you're deep in the woodland or eating a picnic overlooking the plains. Keep exploring and guides point out leopards hiding in the trees, their steely eyes luminescent beneath the canopy.

Lake Nakuru is relatively small and doesn't imbue the impressions of wilderness found elsewhere in Kenya. It had been falling off many safari itineraries, but the growing rhino population is bringing people back. As are some opulent lodges that are located in their own private conservancies. Sometimes safari is about the immersion in the wild; in Nakuru it's all about soaking up the luxury and savouring the extra touches.


It's not just flamingo here.

Joining the flamingos are another 450 species of bird and many colourful wings flutter around the lodges. The odd elephant and giraffe are easily spotted while the buffalo are usually giving a small tropical bird a piggyback. By staying in the private conservancies you might see these big mammals approaching the lodge, or on a carefully guided walking safari.


When should you go to Lake Nakuru?

Nakuru's relatively small size is advantageous and you can see the best of the park in a day. A one-night two-day stay gives better opportunities to see the leopards. As with most safari destinations, the Nakuru experience is dictated by rain. December to February is peak for both game viewing and the quantity of flamingos. We'd be cautious about visiting in April and May, when the wildlife is widely scattered and the flamingos have migrated onwards.

We adore the photos we've taken in Lake Nakuru, the pink lake juxtaposed with one of Africa's rhinos. And we love how easy Nakuru is to incorporate into an itinerary, its location in the centre of Kenya allows you to move on to half a dozen other safari destinations that are close by.

Places to stay in Lake Nakuru National Park

Getty flamingo in flight at Lake Nakuru

Other parks and reserves near Lake Nakuru National Park