Lake Nakuru Safari Kenya

Best time To Visit Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park was named after the famous Lake Nakuru and the word Nakuru is a Masai word that means ‘dusty place’. It was established in 1963 to protect the endangered wildlife in the country. Found in Nakuru town, the National Park was named after Lake Nakuru which is home to more than hundreds of both lesser and greater flamingos. Lake Nakuru National Park is located North-west of Nairobi in the Great Rift valley surrounded by both savannah grasslands and woodlands. The park opens at 6:00 am and closes at 6:30 pm every day and note that no one will be allowed to access the National park on foot.

Lake Nakuru National park is home to over 50 animal species and 400 bird species all of which can be found in the different habitats around the National Park. It is one of the best and top destinations for both ardent birders and animal lovers. Just like any other National Park in Kenya, Lake Nakuru National Park experiences two seasons and these are the wet and dry seasons. Both the wet and dry seasons have a short period and long period dividing them into two rainy seasons and two dry seasons.

Lake Nakuru National Park has different habitats where the wildlife can be found with the first being the alkaline Lake Nakuru, the Acacia woodlands and the savannah grasslands. The western part of the Lake is filled with scrubs and bushes and this is where most of the baboons are found. As you drive through the National Park, you will realize that most of the wildlife is found in their natural habitat unless when they are looking for food and water.

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The dry season

The dry season has short and withered grass which makes it easy for tourists to spot the animals. It is also easy to drive through the National Park trail routes with the short grass unlike when the rains start. The animals can also be seen moving around the Park in search of food and water during this period and can be seen cooling off along the banks of Lake Nakuru and other waterholes within the National Park. The dry season is the best time for tourists to go for game drives, nature walks and those that are interested in camping. The months of June to September and December to February are considered to be the driest months in Lake Nakuru National Park. The months however experience light showers of rain.

The Wet season

The wet months in Nakuru are November, and December with April and May being the wettest months. These months will receive minimal and heavy rainfall with the sun coming out in intervals. And although the rains sometimes interfere with some of the activities that are carried out inside the National Park, it still is a good time for tourists who are travelling on a budget because during this time the costs are almost half the normal price and you can still carry out other activities like animal viewing although it might not be as easy as it would during the dry season. The climate experienced during the rainy season is the semi-humid which allows for other activities to be carried out. The rainy season which is also considered to be the low season is famous for birders because of the large crowds of birds ranging from endemic, near-endemic and migratory birds.

The festive season runs from December to early January and is one of the best times for tourists to visit Lake Nakuru National Park.  It is the perfect time for tourists who want to relax after a long year in a more relaxed environment. Animal viewing in this period is also a calm season as the park is not as crowded as it normally gets from June to September and the cost of the safari is also low during this period.

The best time for tourists who would love to see the pink lesser and greater flamingos is in January and February but this does not mean that you will not be able to see flamingos in the other months of the year. It is also pretty crowded in these months and you will find many tourists packed around the shores of Lake Nakuru watching the flamingos and other bird species.

The best time for birders to visit the National Park is from November to April. The above months are known to be good for breeding and you will be able to see different bird species both young and old. Some of the bird species that you should look out for include the crab-plover, Kenya Rufous sparrow, Maccoa duck, Brown-backed scrub robin, Abyssinian thrush, Great spotted eagle and the Pallid Harrier among others.

The peak season in Lake Nakuru National Park is experienced in October, February, July, August and September. Many tourists can be seen thronging the National Park during this time and the downsides of visiting during this period include large crowds, increased accommodation rates and a general high cost of your safari.

Lake Nakuru National Park is considered to be an all-year-round destination with the many activities that are carried out by tourists who visit the National Park. The different activities carried out include flamingo watching, game drives, Birding excursions and nature walks, and climbing up the viewpoints and each of these are carried out in the different two seasons that is the wet and dry season with both seasons being further subdivided into tow that is the long and short wet season and the long and short dry season.

In conclusion, the best time to explore Lake Nakuru National Park depends on the different activities that are carried out by tourists. Birding is best carried out immediately after the rains whereas game drives and nature walks are best done during the dry season. And if you want to try out all the activities, then you can visit at any time of the year so that you can get to experience all that the park has to offer.