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.
Lake Nakuru National Park Safari
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 Kenyan safari.
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.
Deer and jackals were spotted in the undergrowth.
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.
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.
We had lunch at a scenic point where you get great views across the lake.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 For a Lake Nakuru National Park Safari
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.
If you are on a short break in Kenya have a read of my two weeks in Kenya itinerary as well.
I hope you see some rhinos!
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