Discovering Nakuru: 10 Must-See Gems of Kenya’s Rift Valley

Discovering Nakuru: 10 Must-See Gems of Kenya’s Rift Valley

In essence, Nakuru County stands as a shining example of Kenya’s multiculturalism, where people from different backgrounds come together to create a vibrant and inclusive community. Below is a selection of destinations worth visiting during your time in Nakuru County:

Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park is renowned for its vast population of pink flamingos that flock to the alkaline lake’s shores. It is a home to over 400 bird species including the flamingos that live on the lake and in the park Savannah grassland. Activities include game drives to spot rhinos, lions, giraffes, and other wildlife, as well as birdwatching and picnics by the lake. The entry fee is Ksh.600 for an adult and Ksh.215 for a minor and only 10.5 Km away from Nakuru town.

Menengai Crater

This is a massive shield volcano with one of the biggest hollow opening in Africa. It’s volcano forms rich loam soils which enrich the adjacent farmland around it’s flanks. Activities in the crater include cycling, camel and horse riding , camping, rock climbing, forest walk, bird watching and geothermal education tours among others. It is located 10 Km north of Nakuru town with an entry fee of Ksh.300 for adults and Ksh.100 for children.

Lake Naivasha

This is one of the major tourist attractions in Kenya where you get to experience a leisurely boat ride around the lake during which you’re able to see dozens of hippos wallowing in the water with a cool breeze of the lake and a couple of birds moving above you. You’ll also get a chance to visit Crescent Island which is a peninsula with impalas, wildbeasts, giraffes, zebras, and waterbucks. Located in Naivasha town, approximately 60 kilometers from Nakuru town, Lake Naivasha doesn’t charge an entrance fee for viewing its beauty. However, there is a nominal fee of Ksh. 300 for those interested in enjoying a boat ride on the lake.

Hells Gate

Hell’s Gate National Park offers a thrilling array of activities amidst its unique landscapes. Visitors can embark on exhilarating hikes through the park’s dramatic gorges and towering cliffs, providing opportunities for breathtaking views and adrenaline-pumping adventures. For those seeking an alternative mode of exploration, rock climbing is a popular activity, with various routes catering to climbers of all skill levels. Additionally, the park is ideal for mountain biking enthusiasts, with scenic trails winding through rugged terrain and captivating scenery. Wildlife viewing is another highlight of Hell’s Gate, providing opportunities to spot buffalo, zebras, giraffes, and other indigenous species in their natural habitat. For a more leisurely experience, picnicking amidst the park’s serene surroundings is a favored pastime, allowing visitors to unwind and soak in the beauty of their surroundings. Birdwatching is also rewarding, with numerous avian species calling the park home, including vultures, eagles, and colorful songbirds. The entry fee is Ksh.300 for an adult and Ksh.200 for a minor and a 2hrs drive from Nakuru town with a distance of 111 km.

The Great Rift Valley

Take leisurely drives along the rim of the Rift Valley, stopping at various viewpoints to admire the breathtaking scenery and capture memorable photographs. Experience the Rift Valley from a different perspective by taking a hot air balloon safari. Drift peacefully over the scenic landscapes at sunrise or sunset, enjoying panoramic views of the valley below. The viewpoint is free and only 8km from Nakuru town.

Lake Elementaita

Lake Elementaita is a haven for bird enthusiasts, with over 400 bird species recorded in the area. Take a leisurely stroll along the lake’s shores or explore the surrounding wetlands to spot a variety of resident and migratory birds, including flamingos, pelicans, cormorants, and kingfishers. Explore the diverse ecosystems surrounding Lake Elementaita on a guided nature walk. Trained guides will lead you through acacia woodlands, savannah grasslands, and alkaline flats, providing insights into the area’s flora, fauna, and geological features. It is a 1r drive from Nakuru town, a distance of 38.4Km with an entry fee of Ksh.215 for an adult an Ksh.125 for a child.

Kariandusi Pre-historic site

Marvel at the fascinating artifacts and remains unearthed at the Kariandusi Prehistoric Site, which date back over a million years. Admire ancient tools, fossils, and other relics that offer clues about the early human occupation of the area. Take a leisurely stroll around the Kariandusi area to appreciate its natural beauty and diverse ecosystems. Enjoy scenic views of Lake Elementaita and the surrounding landscape as you explore the picturesque surroundings of the prehistoric site. The Kariandusi Prehistoric Site is situated 52 kilometers from Nakuru town, and visitors are required to pay an entrance fee of Ksh. 100 for access.

Hyrax Prehistoric Site:

This archaeological site is famous for its ancient rock paintings and engravings, depicting the daily lives of early humans. Visitors can explore the site with a guide to learn about the region’s prehistoric inhabitants and their cultural practices. The pre-historic site is only 4Km outside Nakuru town with an entry fee of Ksh.500 for adults and Ksh.100 for children.

Lord Egerton Castle

It is also known as the ”castle of love” where you get to learn an interesting story of Lord Egerton who constructed a four-room cottage to impress his Austrian fiancee .On the other hand the lady wasn’t impressed which prompted Egerton to build a larger house but still didn’t fit the lady’s status and left for England refusing to marry Lord Egerton. It is styled like a fortress 14Km away from Nakuru with an entry fee of only Ksh.150.

Lake Bogoria

Lake Bogoria is famous for its geothermal activity, which creates numerous hot springs along its shores. Visitors can explore these natural wonders, including the famous “Geysers of Bogoria,” which periodically shoot hot water and steam into the air. It is is a designated Ramsar site and an essential bird area, home to over 350 bird species, including flamingos, pelicans, and various species of waterfowl. Birdwatchers can enjoy observing these colorful avian residents in their natural habitat. The driving distance may vary depending on the specific route taken and any stops along the way, but it generally takes 2 hours to reach Lake Bogoria from Nakuru by car covering a distance of 85Km.The entry fee is usually Ksh.500.

With its convenient proximity to Nakuru Town and a range of accommodations and amenities available, Nakuru County offers an accessible and immersive experience for visitors seeking adventure, relaxation, and cultural discovery. Whether embarking on a safari, delving into history, or simply enjoying the tranquility of its natural landscapes, Nakuru County promises unforgettable moments and lasting memories for all who venture to explore its treasures.

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