In the heart of Kenya lies two of the most breathtaking natural wonders the country has to offer; Lake Naivasha vs Lake Nakuru – which is the best to visit. These two lakes are both marvels of nature that attract thousands of visitors every year, from nature lovers to adventurers seeking the ultimate safari experience.
Both lakes boast unique characteristics and offer distinct experiences to those who visit, making it difficult to choose between the two. As pillars of Kenya’s tourism industry, Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru have undoubtedly put the country on the map.
This article aims to explore the unique features of both lakes and help you decide which one to visit based on your interests and preferences. So, get ready to embark on a journey that will take you through the beauty and diversity of these two magnificent lakes.
Geographical Location of the Two Lakes:
Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake located in the Great Rift Valley, approximately 90 kilometers from Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. The lake covers an area of 139 square kilometers and is situated at an altitude of 1,884 meters above sea level. The lake is fed by several rivers, including the Malewa and Gilgil, and drains into the Lake Victoria Basin.
Lake Nakuru, on the other hand, is a shallow soda lake located in the Rift Valley, approximately 160 kilometers from Nairobi. The lake is part of the Lake Nakuru National Park and covers an area of about 62 square kilometers. The lake is situated at an altitude of 1,754 meters above sea level and is surrounded by wooded and bushy grasslands.
Animals to See in Each Park
Lake Naivasha offers visitors a chance to see a variety of wildlife, both on land and in the water. The lake is home to a large number of hippos, and visitors can take boat rides to get a closer look at these majestic animals. The rich flora around the lake also attracts a variety of animals, including buffalo, antelope, giraffe, warthog, and monkeys. Bird enthusiasts will also be thrilled with the large number of bird species in the area.
Lake Nakuru, on the other hand, is famous for its black and white rhinos, which are a major attraction for visitors. Visitors can also spot other wildlife such as Cape buffalo, African wild dog, zebra, eland, waterbuck, lion, and leopard. The lake is home to large flocks of flamingos, and visitors can watch them feed on the algae that thrive in the alkaline waters of the lake. The park is also home to other bird species, including the African fish eagle and the yellow-billed stork.
The Accommodation Available at Lake Naivasha Vs Lake Nakuru
A great safari experience is not complete without comfortable and convenient accommodation options. Fortunately, both Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru offer an array of accommodation options that cater to different budgets and preferences.
Near Lake Naivasha, visitors can choose from luxury, mid-range, and budget options. Examples of luxury accommodations include the Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge, Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge, and Twiga House, which offer premium amenities and stunning views of the lake.
Mid-range accommodation options include Hippo Point, Kongoni Lodge, and Kiangazi House, which offer comfortable rooms and convenient amenities at an affordable price.
For those on a budget, options such as Elsamere Lodge, Chui Lodge, Fisher Mans Camp, Fish Eagle Inn, and Camp Carnelley’s offer basic but comfortable accommodation.
Similarly, Lake Nakuru offers a variety of accommodation options that cater to different budgets. The Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge, Lake Nakuru Lodge, and Lake Nakuru Flamingo Lodge offer luxury accommodation options with breathtaking views of the lake.
Mid-range accommodation options include the Flamingo Hill Tented Camp, Maili Saba Camp, and Mbweha Camp, which offer comfortable and convenient amenities. Budget options include Sarova Lion Hill Camp and Ziwa Bush Lodge, which offer basic accommodation with affordable rates.
The Experiences at Lake Naivasha Vs Lake Nakuru
Both Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru offer an array of experiences that cater to different interests and preferences. At Lake Naivasha, visitors can enjoy nature walks, cycling, hiking, and boat riding to explore the lake’s serene surroundings.
Additionally, visitors can visit nearby attractions such as Hell’s Gate National Park, Mt. Longonot, and Crescent Island, where they can interact with giraffes, zebras, and other wildlife species.
At Lake Nakuru, visitors can enjoy guided game drives, which allow them to witness the park’s wildlife up close. Visitors can also engage in birdwatching, where they can spot thousands of flamingos and other waterbirds. A visit to the Hippo Pool, where visitors can view hippos up close, is also a must-do experience.
In terms of experiences, Lake Naivasha offers a more diverse range of activities such as hiking and cycling, while Lake Nakuru is more focused on guided game drives and birdwatching.
Birdlife Watching at Lake Naivasha Vs Lake Nakuru:
Both Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru are renowned for their diverse birdlife, attracting bird watchers from all over the world.
Lake Naivasha is home to more than 400 recorded bird species, making it a bird watcher’s paradise. Some of the notable species include the African fish eagle, pied kingfisher, grey-crowned crane, and Goliath heron. Visitors can also spot different species of ducks, pelicans, cormorants, and storks.
Lake Nakuru, on the other hand, has around 400 resident bird species, including the beautiful flamingos which form a pink blanket on the lake’s shores, a magnificent sight to behold. In the European winter, the lake receives many migrant waders such as sandpipers, redshanks, and ruffs. Besides, visitors can also spot other water birds such as African fish eagles, pelicans, and storks.
Comparing the two lakes in terms of bird-watching opportunities, both offer unique experiences. While Lake Naivasha has a larger number of recorded species, Lake Nakuru is known for its vast flocks of flamingos, an unforgettable sight for any bird lover. However, both lakes provide excellent opportunities to spot a wide range of water birds, including storks, pelicans, and ducks.
Overall, both Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru offer a perfect destination for bird enthusiasts. Whether you are an experienced bird watcher or just starting, you are guaranteed to have a memorable experience exploring the diverse birdlife in these beautiful Kenyan lakes.