I always love receiving emails that have the words, ‘We would like to invite you to join us for a FAM trip…’. This past Saturday, I was part of a FAM trip to Lake Nakuru National Park that Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) had organised for tour operators, bloggers and travel agencies. Now don’t get me wrong but I should have managed my expectations from the word go. For some reason I thought we were few and we would be travelling in Land Cruisers. You can imagine my confusion when I saw a KWS 64 seater (I think) bus pulling into our collection point.
I headed straight to the back seat…you know…the cool catz club! Off we were! I’ve been to Lake Nakuru National Park several times before but this was different. We were being hosted by the park ‘custodians’ meaning, we were going to learn and re-learn a lot of stuff.
Upon arrival at the park, we were welcomed by the KWS team who manage the park. Very cool folks. They took us through the history of the park, the challenges they face and then the senior warden mentioned that they would be trans-locating 5 herd of buffaloes to Tsavo in November. I sat up and a smile beamed from left to right! I almost raised my hand shouting ‘Me teacher! Me teacher!’ I have to be part of this experience. Eeeerrmm….KWS if you are reading this, I WANT TO GO FOR THIS TRANS-LOCATION!!!
After the welcome, we started the game drive and the wardens re-assured us that the drive was to dispel all the myths we had recently heard about the park; that ALL the flamingos and most of the other wildlife had moved elsewhere.
We were shown the effects of the flooding of the lake which are quite visible. KWS even had to move the main gate entrance together with their offices to higher ground.
I know people have heard and sadly believed that the flamingos packed their bags and left the park. Well guess what? They are still there! Not as many as they are on postcards…but they are there!
There are 3 view points in the park; Lion Hill, Baboon Cliff & Out of Africa. At these points, you can get out of your vehicle and enjoy the scenery. We visited Baboon Cliff where I had last visited in 2011.
In addition to its 400 species of birds,the park is home to 50+ mammal species & over 500 species of flora. The park was also the first national rhino sanctuary and hosts one of the world’s highest concentrations of the Black Rhinos.
One thing that surprised me was that there’s a waterfall in the park. How did I ever miss that? Makalia Waterfalls. Now I know! (NB: KWS, it’s DANGEROUS not DANGEROURS)
In between the game drive, we stopped at 3 accommodation properties within the park. Our first stop was at Flamingo Hill Tented Camp, the only tented camp in the park and which by the way was fully booked at the time of our visit. PRAISE JESUS!
We also visited Lake Nakuru Lodge, which is the closest lodge to Lanet Gate.
Then lastly…drum rolls please….we stopped by Sarova Lion Hill. I really cannot explain my love for this place. It’s my favourite spot in the world. The hospitality, the comfortable beds, the food, the friendly lodge manager…everything about Lion Hill is PERFECT! Sigh…
After what seemed like a 10 hour drive in the park, we headed home. Thanks KWS for the awesome and very insightful trip! Fellow Kenyans (yes fellow Kenyans), make a point of visiting this park which happens to be 1 of the 2 premium parks in Kenya. The other being Amboseli. Don’t listen to stories from other people, #TembeaKenya ujionee!