The Lake Nakuru National Park is situated in Central Kenya, 140km north-west and two hours from Nairobi in Nakuru district of the Rift Valley Province, nestling on the banks of one of the most famous soda lakes, Lake Nakuru. Nakuru means "Dust or Dusty Place" in Maasai language. Lake Nakuru National Park, close to Nakuru town, was established in 1961. Inecially it was a small park, encompassing the famous lake and the surrounding mountainous vicinity. Later it was extended to include a large part of the savannahs also. It now comprises of the lake, surrounded by mainly wooded and bushy grasslands. The lake Nakuru is extremely variable in size- changing from 5 up to 30 sq kms in area
Nakuru National park provides one of best known images of Kenya. Thousands of flamingos, in a massive flock, fringe the shores of this soda lake. A pulsing pink swathe of life that carpets the water is a breathtaking sight. The lake has become world famous for these birds, who visit the lake to feed on algae which thrives in the warm waters. The flamingos consume about 250,000 kilos of algae every year. There are two types of flamingo species: the Lesser and greater flamingos. The lesser can be distinguished by its deep red carmine bill and pink plumage. The greater has a bill with a black tip. The Lesser flamingos are larger in number. Avid bird watchers feast on the spectacular display of these birds. The park is aptly described as "The greatest bird spectacle of the world".
This park is not only famous for flamingos but also for other birds like pelicans and cormorants. There are over 400 resident species on the lake and in the surrounding park. Thousands of both little grebes and white winged black terns are frequently seen as are stilts, avocets, ducks, and in the European winter, the migrant waders.
This park is also an important sanctuary for Rhinos. Both Black and White Rhinos are found here, and are often seen resting under acacias by the Lake shore. The park abounds with other game as well. There are huge herds of waterbuck, zebra, buffalo, the endangered Rothschild Giraffe which was trans located from western Kenya. This park is one of the best chances of seeing Leopard and there are several large prides of Lion. The park also has large sized python snakes that inhabit the dense woodlands, and can often be seen crossing the roads or dangling from trees. Exploring beyond the lake is always rewarding and there are forests, cliffs, waterfalls and more to be found here.
Nakuru town is a busy and thriving local centre with a bustling market. The town is a hub for local transport and travel. Main road access to Nakuru is directly from Nairobi. The highway passes by Naivasha, GilGil and Elmenteita on the way. There is an airstrip in Nakuru which charter flights can use.