Lake Nakuru – A Safari Soaked in Sunshine

Flamingos in Nakuru
Flamingos in Nakuru

After a day travelling in the heat, it was late afternoon when we arrived in a rainy Nakuru Town. Only the purple flowers in the trees along the road seemed to smile back at us, but my travel partner and I were both excited with the feeling that new places seed in travellers.

Most of all, though, we were looking forward to the following morning, when we were set to get acquainted with the buzz around Lake Nakuru National Park. After a lot of reading, Marcel and I decided to heed the advice of former visitors, that the park’s sunrises and mornings were not to be missed. That evening, in our decrepit hotel room surrounded by lovely staff, we relaxed, did some washing, and chose not to go sightseeing especially because we were quite far away from all the attractions in the area and I couldn’t even get a taxi to come pick us up.

View from the Safari car
A view from the safari car. Photo: © Marcel Bancila

Our lost time would be avenged! As soon as we drove through the gates together with our guide, everything seemed special. There was a lot of green to take in. Of all of Kenya’s mythical parks to go to on a safari, I didn’t know such scenery existed! Yes, we had been aware of the fact that the water level increased to dangerous highs, with the flora and the fauna affected, but it was still beautiful.

Impala at Lake Nakuru
An impala at Lake Nakuru. Photo: © Marcel Bancila

Our eyes were happy looking at the impalas hiding between the trees and at the monkeys playing with their cubs on the lianas, all soaked in the beautiful sunlight that would make their fur shine even brighter and give rise to curiously alluring silhouettes.

Pelicans at Lake Nakuru
Pelicans at Lake Nakuru. Photo: © Marcel Bancila

The road to the body of water was as romantic as it was saddening, with many trees simply drying out… the pelicans, though, were sunbathing, along with their friends – the cormorants! Just as joyful as I had recalled them from all of my kayaking trips in the Danube Delta, designed to see them. ‘We meet again’ I whispered to myself, as the vehicle stopped and we were allowed some minutes to make memories.

Zebra at Lake Nakuru
Zebra at Lake Nakuru. Photo: © Marcel Bancila

We convinced our guide to linger some more, although the day’s schedule seemed hectic, and managed to get to the left side of the park. Zebras were running around with that backdrop of high Nakuru buildings, to remind us once more of the thin line between the wild and men taking over. Finally, the typical view of the reserve had been constructed: sturdy yet fascinating white rhinos, seen for the first time by us, grazing against a background of pink.

Flamingos in Lake Nakuru
Flamingos in Lake Nakuru. Photo: © Marcel Bancila

Yes, my beloved flamingos were there! Not in numbers as high as in the past, we were told, but they were there! We were even allowed to step out of the car, walk and take pictures, as we got closer to the lake shore and kept a watchful eye on the buffalos that were also grazing in the distance.

I simply preferred gazing. Charging my batteries. Thankful for being there to see so much greatness in the way nature had settled things. Honestly, I didn’t want to leave and neither did Marcel.

Watching two ornithologists snapping shots of the ardent pink color, proof of the vast amount of shrimp out there, I had a thought. ‘Next time around, we must get to Lake Bogoria, too.’ No one talks about it, but many of the flamingos that once called Lake Nakuru their home had migrated from there because of the rising waters. Still, when you think of all the places in the world considered iconic, some may look worse than they do in pictures, some may look exactly as in pictures. Lake Nakuru looked (and felt) even better!

Visit the ‘​Cradle of Mankind’ and explore its impressive wildlife and stunning natural beauty on a safari in Kenya!