(White Rhino. Photo courtesy of Kenya Wildlife Service.)
The air is crisp, clean and inviting. All around, birds chirp, a swallow dives down for an unlucky grasshoper in the short grass. In front of me a rough car trail, I’m here, I’m at the mouth of the Lake Nakuru National Park.
(Entrance to the park. Photo by Superlight Safaris.)
A large game park in its own right, it covers 118 sq.km (square kilometres). Found just outside the town it shares its name with, Nakuru, its easily accessible with multiple access gates off the highway and the town. The park is a sanctuary, a haven to about 450 bird species including the gorgeous flamingos, over 56 mammal species and over 500 unique plant species. Home of the largest Euphorbia forest in Africa, its vast grassland area has the enchanting yellow bark acacia.
(Buffalo at the lake shallows surrounded by flamingos. Photo from OpenWalls)
The park provides protection to endangered animal species mainly the northern white rhino which are facing extinction due to poaching, human wildlife conflict and a change in climate.
Driving through the park, one can’t help but notice the peace of nature, the stillness in the air and the beauty of the landscape. Ours was an afternoon drive and as such we were lucky to spot prides of lions resting and taking cover under the acacia. The beautiful cubs playing and teasing the lionesses as the majestic king, the lion, gazed almost nonchalantly from a distance. Heading up the winding trail, we arrived at the aptly named, Baboon Cliff. Upon disembarking the vans, we found the baboons meticulously grooming each other, and curiously observing our movements.
(Baboon at the Baboons Cliff viewpoint. Photo by Travel Dudes.)
NOTE: It is imperative that you do not attempt to feed the animals i.e giving yourself unwillingly to the lions, or giving your own snacks to the baboons. The empty wrappers damage the ecosystem and can cause the baboons to attack you and the people you’re with. Follow all the rules of the guides and the park.
The view from Baboons Cliff is simply breathtaking. From the top its almost, daresay, otherworldly. You can see buffaloes and Rothschild giraffe head toward the watering hole. By the way, have you seen giraffe walk?? Their gait is beautiful, slow and deliberate; almost as if its a ballerina preparing for a show. Gentle, elegant and graceful as they stretch their long necks to munch the juicy leaves on the nearby trees.
(Rothschild Giraffe photo by John Abernethy)
The next post will be on the other wonderful yet smaller creatures in the beautifully diverse Lake Nakuru National Park.
PS: Here are some places to consider staying in while at the park with links to images and accommodation prices: