Having been on many safaris in Africa and never seeing a rhino it was time to change that with a visit to Lake Nakuru National Park.

Lake Nakuru is well known in Kenya for its rhino population, and it has one hundred white and fifty black rhinos to be seen.

This is an account of a Lake Nakuru safari to give you an idea of what to expect, with some practical information at the end.

If you are on a short break in Kenya have a read of my 2 weeks in Kenya itinerary as well.

Lake Nakuru National Park Safari


flooded lake nakuru in kenya

Sunrise on Lake Nakuru.

Lake Nakuru has the added benefit of being very scenic.

Surrounded on three sides by steep hills that are heavily forested in parts, and the beautiful lake itself, makes it a great destination for a Kenya safari.

flooded lake nakuru

Upon entering a herd of buffalo were seen lazing about on the early morning dew covered grass, with a jackal family nearby hunting for food.

Far in the distance and only seen by binoculars was a rare black rhino. The first sighting of the day.

Moving further into the park many baboons and zebras moved along the road ahead, making driving tricky at times.

zebras in kenya

Zebra crossing….

baboon in lake nakuru in kenya

Bamboo mother with babies.

Deer and jackals were spotted in the undergrowth.

lake nakuru mouse deer

deer at lake nakuru safari

safari in lake nakuru

At the far end of the lake away from Nakuru city we reached a large grassy area. This is where many wildlife congregate, with plenty of impala, buffalos, and flamingos hanging about the watery edge.

flamingos in lake nakuru

Flamingos on Lake Nakuru.

flamingos in lake nakuru

Then a group of six white rhinos appeared on the grass at the edge of the forest.

It was spectacular to finally see not only a rhino on safari, but six of them together, and not to far from the road either.

White rhinos in Lake Nakuru

Six white rhinos in Lake Nakuru.

We had lunch at a scenic point where you get great views across the lake.

lake nakuru

After lunch you can take a short walk to a waterfall to have a swim if you want to cool off.

You may see some wildlife on the short walk there but don’t worry the rangers will be around in case any dangerous animals are about.

safari in lake nakuru kenya giraffes

Unbelievably just two hours after the encounter with the six white rhinos, two more large rhinos were seen only a few metres from the road after we had moved on from lunch.

Being so close to such pre-historic creatures feels like going way back to dinosaur times.

Jurassic park safari!

rhino in lake nakuru national park

rhino in lake nakuru

Rhinos are known to charge at vehicles so being that close meant having to be slightly cautious, but that should go without saying.

The magnificent horns that could do so much damage to the vehicle are unfortunately their downfall.

Poachers kill rhinos for the material in the horn that fetch a huge price in China for non-sensical medicines, that have no reason to be used.

rhinos in lake nakuru kenya

Rhino crosses the road ahead.

We then went to lave the park and on the way out nine more white rhinos were spotted, with some only fifty metres away.

It was most likely that the six white rhinos seen earlier were part of that group and in the fading light of the day they made an impressive sight on the landscape.

rhinos in lake nakuru

White rhino at Lake Nakuru.

lake nakuru kenya rhinos

rhinos in lake nakuru

It was a fantastic experience and opportunity to see these rhinos in the wild, and the rhinos are relatively safe in the park from poachers due to the rangers working there.

I say relatively because sadly poachers can still get in, and with the rhino population in the world at risk of extinction this is an animal that needs to be protected.

rhinos in lake nakuru kenya

Lets hope that these so-called alternative medicines in China that use the rhino horns are soon stopped.

Only then will the rhino be able to be safer.

At the end of that perfect safari day the sun set spectacularly from the homestay.

Lake Nakuru is a great place to get into the wild and see rhinos in Kenya and I recommend visiting.

Information on Lake Nakuru


Lake Nakuru can be reached easily in an hour or so from nearby Lake Naivasha and around 4 hours from Nairobi by bus, depending on how long the bus stops for.

You can stay at a Nakuru lodge on the edge of the national park and that’s what I recommend doing to get closer to nature and maybe have some wildlife spotting.

It’s easy to arrange a safari on the spot in Nakuru city as there are plenty of agencies that will book one for you. If you show up early enough they can probably get you out on one on the same day.

If you go for the budget option the Nakuru safari cost should be just over $100 a day including a nights accommodation at a lodge, although the lodge would be a simple affair.

I hope you see some rhinos!


rhinos in kenya


Jonny Duncan is a travel blogger and freelance photographer. He specialises in adventure and budget travel with over 20 years of experience. He started blogging in 2013 to give advice for other travellers. He has lived in Japan, Amsterdam, Kiev, and more.

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