Best things to do in Nakuru
Find out more about those top places in Nakuru
Nakuru, Kenya’s fourth largest city, is a largely workaday town that is rightly famed as a gateway to the dramatic landscapes of the Rift Valley. While the town’s colonial-era center and buzzing market place have their charms, the region’s main draw is Lake Nakuru National Park, which begins just a few kilometers beyond the city limits. One of Kenya’s hidden gems, the national park is one of the best locations for spotting the elusive white rhinos and has one of Africa’s largest colonies of flamingos. While the park was severely flooded in 2014, the drowned acacia forests are now one of Kenya’s most instantly recognizable and eerily beautiful landscapes.
As one of Africa’s most biologically diverse national parks, there is no shortage of wildlife at Lake Nakuru National Park. Guided tours of the pristine wilderness take you on game viewing safaris where you can catch glimpses of rare white rhinos roaming across the savannah and leopards lazing atop acacia trees in the midday sun. However, what makes Lake Nakuru stand out from other East African national parks is its colorful birdlife – including a vast population of pink flamingos that flock to the shallow warm waters to feed.
Just beyond the frenetic urban buzz of Nakuru is the tranquil volcanic crater of Menengai. Rising nearly 500 meters above the nearby city, the craggy cauldron shaped caldera offers breathtaking vistas of the Rift Valley countryside, a bird’s eye view of downtown Nakuru and the chance to spot some of Kenya’s iconic wildlife. Look out for the geothermal steam rising from the crater’s base, which is rumored to be the swirling souls of Maasai warriors.
One of Nakuru’s few genuine urban attractions, the Hyrax Hill Prehistoric Site is a fascinating glimpse into the last 3000 years of East African history. Excavations have been on going since the 1930s and have uncovered settlements dating back to the 1st millennium BC, including enigmatic burial mounds. Signage in the area is scarce, so local guides are highly recommended.