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Nakuru

Travel Guide
  • Naivasha National Park is part of the Great Rift Valley which is similar to all the lakes in Kenya. Naivasha is actually just next to Nakuru. It is possible to go hiking or cycling here in some parts of the park. Naivasha lake is heaven for ornithologists and there is an island in the middle of the lake on which animals peacefully walk around: it is a nice place for a boat ride. When crossing the lake, ...
    Anna Omelchenko / INMAGINE
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Kenya

Naivasha National Park is part of the Great Rift Valley which is similar to all the lakes in Kenya. Naivasha is actually just next to Nakuru. It is possible to go hiking or cycling here in some parts of the park. Naivasha lake is heaven for ornithologists and there is an island in the middle of the lake on which animals peacefully walk around: it is a nice place for a boat ride. When crossing the lake, you will often see hippopotamuses bathing, it is quite a sight, but don't get too close to them because they are not very friendly.
When on a safari, take some binoculars with you, if possible, because although you can see some of the animals up close, others will sometimes be quite some way away. It is definitely easier to watch them this way. Also, you ought to get up very early in the morning because it gets hot in the afternoon and the animals hide away in the shade and take a nap for the most of the day!

Nakuru National Park, located in the north-western part of the country, surrounds the lake of the same name. The reserve does not boast many large mammals, except for a great number of white and black rhinoceroses, which were reintroduced to the area. Nakuru is also famous for the incredible amount of pink flamingos gathered around its lake, which has an approximate surface area of 17 sq mi. Several hundreds of thousands take up residence here. With their head in the trees, Rothschild giraffes are also visible - they are a rare species and are only distinguishable from other giraffes by their colour and the shape of their patches. Another species that you can see here is a cousin of the elephant: the hyrax. This very small herbivore lives as part of a community and as it is defenceless, its only means of survival is to flee: it is therefore difficut to see the family link between it and an elephant!
When on a safari, take some binoculars with you, if possible, because although you can see some of the animals up close, others will sometimes be quite some way away. It is definitely easier to watch them this way. Also, you ought to get up very early in the morning because it gets hot in the afternoon and the animals hide away in the shade and take a nap for the most of the day!

Nakuru: what to do?

Naivasha National Park: A safari in the reserve of course! You will have to watch carefully and be patient because some of the animals hide in the high grass...
A little bike ride around Hell Gate National Park. The cliffs are rather impressive and the narrow gorges lead to hot springs.

Nakuru National Parl: A safari in the reserve of course! You will have to watch carefully and be patient because some of the animals hide in the high grass...

The Crater Lake: as its name suggests, this lake is held within a crater.
The flower farms: miles and miles of greenhouses where Kenyans produce a huge number of flowers.

The reserve of Nakuru assembles a great number of animal species, including: zebras, among others, but also pink flamingos, as well as buffalo herds.

 Kenya  Kenya
Nakuru: the key figures

Surface area : 224080.0 km2

Population : 39002772 inhabitants

  • Hiking or cycling in the reserve
  • The poor condition of the mud tracks
  • The poor condition of the mud tracks

Reminders

Remember to get anti-malaria pills before leaving as this disease still rages in Kenya, and equip yourself with a repellent to avoid being bitten.
Take a jumper with you as you will definitely need it after nightfall. Night-time temperatures drop significantly compared to daytime temperatures.
Everyone who wishes to enter a natural park or reserve has to pay a fee. If you don't get a package holiday (which generally includes taxes), you will have to allow for this extra charge: tourist tax varies depending on where you are staying in Kenya.

To avoid

Do not get out of your car far out in the bush: some animals are very good at hide-and-seek and could very well surprise you. Your guide will know the savannah well enough to let you know when it is safe to walk outside or not.

Nakuru: what to eat?

The legacy of numerous colonisations is keenly felt in the local food - Kenyans use a lot of different spices and you will find, of course, a great variety of seafood and various different kinds of stew such as kuku wakupaka (chicken cooked in coconut milk). Kenyans often serve their dishes with ugali, a sort of porridge of crushed corn. Unfortunately, this dish does not really have any particular flavour. Very tasty Indian cuisine can also be sampled here: gourmands among you will be delighted to taste mandaazis (doughnuts) or even sambusas. The price of food is generally very low, it is therefore quite a rare thing to leave the table still feeling hungry!

Nakuru: what to buy?

Kenyan handicraft, which you can find in the hotel that you're staying at. It is very varied and consists of an incredible number of carved wooden figurines which all represent the animals of the savannah. There are also some very beautiful African masks and painting enthusiasts will love the very colourful Kenyan paintings. They mainly evoke villages, but also hunting scenes.
The wildlife reserves themselves are not ideal for shopping, you will mostly take home millions and millions of photos!

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