Lake Nakuru & Lake Naivasha Parks and Reserves
Two of the better known of the soda lakes of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha are within easy reach of the capital, Nairobi. Each offer a distinctive safari experience and are often included in a Kenyan safari.
* Lake Nakuru & Lake Naivasha Highlights
- ∞Part of Great Rift Valley's soda lake system
- ∞Within 1-2 hours' drive of Nairobi
- ∞Often included in Kenyan safari itineraries
- ∞Lake Nakuru best known for its incredible numbers of flamingo and other water birds
- ∞Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake, a favourite feeding spot for a wealth of fish-eating birds, hippo and other wildlife
Considered to be the great soda lakes of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru is situated some 160 km north-west of Nairobi and Lake Naivasha, only 102 km from the capital. Both offer a totally different safari experience and are easy to include on your itinerary.
It’s often one of the first stops on safari itineraries for two reasons: it is renowned for its incredibly vast flocks of flamingo that literally turn the lake pink – with numbers reaching into the hundreds of thousands (or even millions) It’s said to be the ‘greatest bird spectacle in the world’. As it’s within easy reach of Nairobi and is one of the few fenced national parks, it’s a safe haven for black and white rhino as the rangers are better able to protect them from poachers. The white rhino are grazers and are found on the grassy floodplains around the lake; black rhino are browsers and found more in the thick acacia woodlands on the southern reaches of the lake.
Wildlife is plentiful here and some of the more notable species include the endemic Rothschild’s giraffe, large numbers of buffalo, waterbuck, reedbuck and other antelope; even small numbers of lion and leopard. Apart from the flamingos, bird lovers should be able to spot large numbers of white pelican and a myriad other woodland and water birds.
This is an ancient freshwater lake in the Great Rift Valley and is set at its highest point – 1,890 m (6,200 ft) above sea level. The outlet for this lake, called Njorwa Gorge, forms the entrance to the Hell’s Gate National Park which has spectacular examples of rock formations and an abundance of flora and fauna; including some extremely rare breeding pairs of Lammergeyers, also known as bearded vultures.
Lake Naivasha is home to a wide variety of wildlife including a healthy population of hippo, a variety of freshwater fish like black bass, tilapia and crayfish, and many fish-eating birds like fish eagles, pelicans, kingfishers and cormorants.
Before you go to Lake Nakuru & Lake Naivasha Things you should know before you go!
Malaria is a consideration in Lake Nakuru & Lake Naivasha
Learn more about malaria areas and malaria prevention with our resource article.
Malaria Areas & Prevention
Related LocationsAmboseli National Park
Probably second only to Maasai Mara in popularity, Amboseli is a fairly small park known for its vast elephant herds. They're often photographed with nearby Mount Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. Only 200 km from Nairobi, Amboseli combines well with a number of other game parks for an outstanding Kenyan safari experience.
More about Amboseli National Park