5 Days tours. Lake Nakuru National Park – Lake Naivasha – Maasai Mara National Reserve tour



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Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru national park is located in the central part of Kenya on the floor of the great rift valley in the northwestern direction from Nairobi. This national park is characterized by woodlands as well as grasslands which act as habitat for the different wildlife species which can be seen during game viewing experiences in Lake Nakuru national park. Kenya Wildlife Services manages Lake Nakuru park as well as other national parks and national reserves in Kenya and is also in charge of the conservation of wildlife.

Lake Nakuru national park has beautiful scenery with attractions such as Lake Nakuru which the national park is known for, the rift valley escarpment. The landscape of this national park also consists of steep rocky escarpments, dense forests as well as hills which act as viewpoints during game watching experiences at this destination. This national park is also strategically located at a short distance from Nairobi which is the capital city of Kenya. Lake Nakuru park is also found close to Hells gate national park and Naivasha national park which makes it worth visiting. Soysambu Conservancy is also found on the south-eastern boundary of the national park.

Entry gates at this national park include the Nderit gate which is less used for entry, Lanet gate or the main entrance gate which is located not far from Nakuru town. Park entry fees for tourists visiting Lake Nakuru park can be paid according to citizens, residents, and non-residents.

Forms of payment for park entry fees at Lake Nakuru park include Mpesa, visa card as well as direct deposits to the Kenya Wildlife Services bank account at any of the gates used to access the national park.

Activities in Lake Nakuru National Park

Activities which tourists can engage in during their safaris to this destination include the following;

Game drives are among the ways of experiencing Lake Nakuru national park. These drives provide wildlife viewing experiences close to the wildlife species such as the white rhinos, leopards, lions, giraffes, hippos, impalas, waterbucks among others. These game drives take place at different times of day which provides unique experiences during safaris at this destination.

Bird watching is another interesting activity that is carried out in Lake Nakuru national park. This is because of the various bird species which can be seen in the different birding spots around the national park.

Hiking is another activity that takes place in Lake Nakuru national park and it takes place as tourists visit the viewpoints around the national park.

Attractions in Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru national park also has a number of attractions which include the following;

Lake Nakuru is one of the attractions which this national park is famous for. This is because of the large numbers of flamingos which can be seen along the shores of this lake. The lake is a shallow soda lake that attracts the flamingos to its alkaline shores as they feed on algae.

Many other bird species can also be seen at this lake which makes it a good birding spot and a birders haven to experience both the native and migratory birds.

The types of flamingos which can be seen at this lake are lesser and greater flamingos which flock the lake with their pink color. These flamingos can be seen from viewpoints around the national park such as baboon cliff and Lion hill.

Wildlife species of a variety can also be seen in Lake Nakuru national park despite its smaller size compared to other national parks and reserves around Kenya. The wildlife species which can be seen include waterbucks, white rhinos, black rhinos which can be seen in the woodlands, Rothschild giraffes, leopards, lions, cheetahs among others.

Not far from Lake Nakuru is the fenced off sanctuary where some of the wildlife species such as giraffes and rhinos can be seen. The fence around the sanctuary keeps poachers away as well as restricting the movement of the wildlife species.

Bird species which can be seen in Lake Nakuru national park include both the migrant and native bird species such as the greater and lesser flamingos, African fish eagle, goliath heron, hammer kops, pied kingfishers, eagles, white pelicans, Hottentot teals, starlings, black winged lapwings, crab plovers, grey crowned cranes and many others.

Waterfalls in Lake Nakuru national park include Makalia waterfalls which is located in the southern part of the national park is a good spot for hikes as well as picnics for tourists as they explore the beautiful scenery and surroundings at this destination.

Viewpoints within the national park provide good vantage spots to see the different wildlife species as well as other attractions within Lake Nakuru national park. some of the viewpoints include the baboon cliff, Makalia cliff among others.

Rivers that provide water to Lake Nakuru include the Njoro River, Makalia river, and Enderit river.

Lake Naivasha National Park

Lake Naivasha National Park is a sheer adventure, positioned outside the town of Naivasha in Nakuru Country, in the northwest of Nairobi City. Lake Naivasha is one of the great rift valley lake found in Kenya standing at the highest elevation that rises 1,884 meters in the combination of volcanic rocks and sedimentary deposits that flows from a large Pleistocene Era Lake. Apart from being water streams, the lake is fed to other closer rivers that is Maleewa and Gilgil rivers. Get this right, there are no visible outlet, but the main issue is that Lake Naivasha water is relatively fresh to assume it’s an underground outflow. However, the park is cantered in the fresh water lake at the bottom in the center of the park. The fresh water lake is named Lake Naivasha which means ‘’rough water’’ by the maasai locals who live around the park. To note, Lake Naivasha is among the few fresh water lakes found in Kenya positioned a few kilometers away from the town of Naivasha. And it is one of Kenya’s national park that are visited frequently.

Furthermore, lake Naivasha is also part of the great rift valley features which can be adventured by tourist visit to Kenya destination. The word ‘’Naiposha’’ is derived from the Maasai local language which means ‘’rough water’ ’because of unpredictable sudden storms that rises usually. The park is surrounded by other two small lakes that is Lake Oloidied and Lake Sonichi which are called green crater lake.

Lake Naivasha rises from the floor of the Great Rift Valley from the extinct volcano of Mount Longonot. The park offers a unique feature like thick forest that sits within the crater of the mountain. And at the rim of the crater it provides great rewardable views across the beautiful Rift valley all way to Lake Naivasha. Major highlight of wildlife to see at Mount Longonot are buffaloes, Common Zebras, giraffe, elands, lion, leopard, bushbucks, Grant’s gazelles among others.

In general, the park was established on 10th April 1995, on a surface area of 140 square kilometers and surrounded by stunning swamp area which covers an area of 64 square kilometers that provides great sight-seeing of bird life. The largest part of the park is covered by the fresh water lake not very deep and seasonal. The water tends to increase on its level during the rainy season and decreases during the dry season. Lake Naivasha national park is positioned in the Northwest side of Nairobi along the great Rift Valley region. Interestingly it sounds as one of the best birding Kenya tourism destination with more than 400 unique different bird species which can be spotted along the shores of the lake and it is a place with high populations of hippos, Lake naivasha national park is closer to Hells gate national park.

Lake Naivasha National Park is an ideal destination one to enjoy Nairobi city life for a fresh new environment. Since it is approximately 1:30hour drive from Kenya capital city ‘’Nairobi’’ with spectacular view of the beautiful Rift Valley escarpment. One can decide to relax for two days’ safari adventure at Lake Naivasha national park.

Tourists Attractions at Lake Naivasha National Park 

The national park looks to be small inside but gifted with numerous attractions which makes your short safari quite wonderful. It has become a famous destination as transit route that differentiates between Lake Naivasha national park and Hells gate national park since they are closer to each other and both can be adventured in the same day.

Highlight Attractions in Lake Naivasha national park is as follows;

Crescent Island: This is one of interesting private Island sanctuary that sits along the great Rift valley region and is quite rewarding. It is unfenced Island thus allowing animals to roam freely around. The Island can be accessed by the boat or by 4×4 wheel drive through the narrow swampy route that leads to the sanctuary. This route/road is commonly used by buffaloes and other number of animals; it becomes poor during rainy season. Along this Island tourist can enjoy scenic nature walk with great views of the Island.

Elsamere: This looks to be stippled trees with sisal that form the forest along the edge of lake Naivasha. In short, it is a forest composed of more tree species such as yellow fever trees and Candelabra Euphorbia and many others. The national park is popular destination for being a home of the great conservationist Joy Adamson who wrote about the bestselling book Born Free fame.

Lake Naivasha: This is the park’s highlight since the park was named after the blue water lake. The shallow lake can be seasonal though very rough during wet season. The water banks are covered by papyrus and other forest species that attract various species of birds and mammals. Here, birders have to get a boat at Lake Naivasha in order to access swamp bird species along the lake banks.

Crater Lake Game Sanctuary: The name crater lake means small size but offers a thrilling jade-colored lake formed by the process of volcanic activity. Sits in the center of the park and it’s a main touristic destination for birders with over 150 bird species recorded around. It is also a right place to explore large game animals such as giraffes, leopards, Zebras and anymore.

Mount Longonot: This is extremely an extinct volcano with the height of 2776 meters above sea level. It is noted that, Mount Longonot last erupted in the 1860’s. And now days it has been recognized as a national park of its self-named by Maasai locals with the name OIo Nongot which means ‘’Mountain of the Many summits’’. It offers a unique large crater edge on top with no water, depending on hiking experience along this Mountain can take between 2 to 4 hours to access the summit.

Animals: Lake Naivasha is deep blue water rich in acacia forests at its bank and imposes bottomless gorges that bring drams at the park. The national park hosts over 100 species of grazers and hunters. Big cats which can be sighted here include leopards and lions and others to be spotted are hippos, giraffes, zebras, buffalos and many more.

Lake Naivasha Activities

Though Lake Naivasha national park is a small park but offers gainful experience to the travelers. It becomes silent when one is interested in adventuring African ‘’big five’’ but has more species of wildlife, it can be booked as a combined tour by visiting hells gate national park, Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara.

Below are the park’s activities to engaged in by the tourists;

Game Viewing: Game viewing is the most done activity in here and best enjoyed early morning or full day game drives which brings out real adventure of the park. The park is a home of various species of animals which are best spotted throughout the year, though the best time is dry season when the park is out of water source. Some animals to see include waterbuck, wildebeest, giraffes, zebras among others. Game viewing can be on bike, foot, horse ride and safari vehicles.

Horseback riding safari: This is one of unique activities done in a few Kenya national park. An activity that gets you closer to wildlife in the park while on the back of the horse with escorted ranger who brings you close to animals and directs you to all best game viewing areas in the park. This horse back experience is also good for honeymooners as they get to enjoy cool breeze air of African environment.

Hike Mountain Longonot: To someone who wishes to achieve his or her dream of hiking one of African mountain till top, Mountain Longonot is one of the great chance since does not need any experience but needs some physical fitness. The hike takes between 2 to 4 hours depending on hiker’s/travelers physical fitness. At the top you will have great aerial view of the entire Lake Naivasha national park, the mountain also offers scenic large crater on top of the mountain and at the volcano base are habitant to zebras, buffalos, giraffes, hartebeest and others.

Bird watching: The park is a home to over 400 bird species, which can  be spotted along swampy areas, acacia trees and many others. Some of sighted birds include; herons, flamingo, fish eagles, doves, marabou stork, flamingos, kingfishers, weaver mentioned but few. This is one of the best birding protected areas on Kenya safaris.

Boat cruise: The lake contains fresh water which dominates the largest side of the park to allow boat rides mostly during the wet season. While enjoying your boat ride experience, you can be able to sight see water species of birds along the water banks.

Maasai Mara National Reserve

Masai Mara National Reserve is located in south west Kenya and is a vast scenic expanse of gently rolling African savannah plains measuring 1510 square kilometers in area and bordering the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the south. Masai Mara is a unique wildlife conservation haven famous for its spectacular natural diversity of wildlife and is the premier Kenya Safari location in East Africa, offering visitors numerous reasons to visit this animal paradise. Large numbers of Lions, Cheetah, Elephant, Rhino, African Buffalo, Wildebeest, Giraffe, Zebra and many more animals are found in the park in their natural habitat, unconfined and free to roam the vast Kenyan wilderness stretching for miles on end.

It is no surprise that tourists from the world over travel here to experience a Masai Mara Safari tour, more so as the reserve has been voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Regarding the origin of the name, the word ‘Masai’ comes from the Maasai tribe, nomadic inhabitants of the area and the word ‘Mara’ is their word for ‘spotted’, referring to the ubiquitous flat topped acacia trees, shrubs and bushes that dot the landscape across most of the reserve.

Things To Do In Maasai Mara

There are numerous activities in Masai Mara which range from luxury experiences such as Hot Air Balloon flights over the plains where you can see wildlife down below, to less costly bush meals and nature walks or wildlife treks. Some of the most popular activities are brief visits to a traditional Maasai tribal village during which travelers get a fascinating glimpse into the unique way of life of these nomadic peoples. Tourists visiting Masai Mara may book these activities below in advance of their visit to Kenya. Photo credit Sutirda Budhiman – Unsplash Images

Game Drives

Included in virtually all safari packages, some may want to book specialized night game drives or full day photographer drives.

Hot Air Balloon Safaris

A thrilling and romantic once in a lifetime experience, Balloon Safaris which take place at dawn are costly yet just so worth the price.

Maasai Village Visit

Experience a traditional Maasai manyatta village and get a glimpse into the unique way of life of this proud and famous nomadic tribe of East Africa.

Walking Safaris & Nature Hikes

Nature walks can be done in the main Mara reserve though longer treks and walking safaris only happen in conservancies outside the main reserve.

Horseback Safaris

Experience the charm of a romantic, close-to-nature experience, Horseback Safaris are only provided by limited operators in the larger Mara eco system.

Bush Meals & Sundowners

Lodges & Camps offer a variety of activities such as enjoying a sundowner at a scenic spot or having a romantic candlelit dinner in the wilds of Africa.



  • Park fees
  • Transport on a pop-up safari vehicle
  • Accommodation on Fullboard basis
  • Services of an English speaking guide
  • Drinking water
  • Transfers
  • Tips
  • Alcoholic Beverage

Tour Plan

Day 1: Nairobi - Lake Nakuru National Park

Pick up from your Nairobi Hotel and drive to Lake Nakuru National Park arriving in time for lunch at your Lodge. Relax, refresh and head for an afternoon game drive around the shore lake. Besides the flamingos that the lake is famous for, there are approx. 400 other species of birds visiting the lake. Also, many species of game can be found in the park including the introduced Rothschild‟s giraffe, black and white rhino, waterbuck, reedbuck, lion, buffalo, leopard, baboon and many species of plains game.

Dinner and overnight at the camp/lodge

Accommodations: Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge, Sarova woodlands, Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge, Lake Nakuru Lodge, the cliff or similar.

Meals: Lunch and dinner

Day 2 Lake Nakuru National Park - Lake Naivasha

Early morning game, return for heavy breakfast then drive to Lake Naivasha. Settle down for lunch, relax a while and then go for a boat ride in Lake Naivasha in search of hippos and the birdlife. After the boat ride you will have time to relax or take a walk in the nearby village to meet with the locals before you settle down for a delicious dinner.

Dinner and overnight at the camp/lodge


Accommodations: Kiboko Luxury Camp, Enashipai Resort and Spa, Lake Naivasha Sopa Resort, Lake Naivasha Resort or similar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3 Lake Naivasha - Masai Mara National Reserve

After breakfast, Descend the escarpment to Narok Town with a quick stop over to grab yourself snacks before you proceed to Masai Mara. Arrive in time for lunch and relax as you refresh waiting for an afternoon game drive. Afternoon game drives around the Mara plains famous for its big cats.

Dinner and Overnight at the camp at the lodge/camp

Accommodations: Sarova Mara Game Camp, Mara Simba Lodge, Keekorok Lodge, Mara Leisure Camp, Mara Serena Safari Lodge, Azure Mara Haven, Jambo Mara Safari Lodge or similar.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and dinner

Day 4 Masai Mara National Reserve

Breakfast at the lodge then proceed with picnic lunch for a full day game drive. Spend the day in Masai Mara, Kenya’s most popular game sanctuary where you will have high chances of spotting the Big Five – lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant. Game drives are flexible, with the option of going out with picnic lunch boxes to spend entire day in the park, or you can choose to have an early morning and late afternoon game drives. At extra cost you may visit a local Masai village to see their nomadic lifestyle; the Masai are famous for their bravery, as they have co-existed with the animals over the years or go for a Hot Air Balloon ride.

Dinner and Overnight at the camp at the lodge/camp

Leisure Camp, Mara Serena Safari Lodge, Azure Mara Haven, Jambo Mara Safari Lodge or similar.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and dinner

Accommodations: Sarova Mara Game Camp, Mara Simba Lodge, Keekorok Lodge, Mara

Day 5 Masai Mara National Reserve - Nairobi

Early morning game drive, return to your lodge for a full buffet breakfast. Leave for Nairobi to arrive in time for drop off at your hotel/Airport.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch


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