By: JEFF OPIYO
Nakuru is the fourth largest town in Kenya and one of the most beautiful places to be.
Although its population is predominantly African, a sizable population of Indians of Kenyan origin and a few remnants of White settlers give Nakuru a unique flavour.
The town is largely known for partying. The younger generation calls Nakuru Nax Vegas — in comparison to the American partying city Las Vegas.
Lake Nakuru National Park is adjacent to the city. It is an alkaline lake with bushy grassland. It is a perfect scenery with the beautiful flamingoes foraging in the shallow waters.
With more than 400 species of birds, Lake Nakuru is surely a birdwatchers’ paradise.
Nakuru is rich in wildlife that includes lions, giraffes, baboons, hyenas, leopards, buffaloes, wildebeests, wart hogs and several species of wild cats and dogs.
It is also a perfect place for camping and has strategic points that offer a good view of the Baboon Cliff and Lion Hill to watch animals.
A waterfall called Malaika crowns it all. Nakuru has world class accommodation that can be found at Sarova Lion Hill Lodge, Mbweha Camp, Lake Nakuru Lodge, Top Cliff Lodge.
In addition, Lake Elementaita on the Nakuru-Nairobi highway has been a world heritage site since 2011. The Soda Lake is important because it hosts Soysambu Conservancy, which has the biggest population of the endangered Rothschild giraffe. Other attractions include flamingoes, great crested grebe and the great white pelican.
The second largest volcano crater in the world, Menengai Crater, is found in Nakuru.
It is 8km from the main road to Nyahururu and is an ideal place for bird watching, hiking, crater walks or camping at the Maili Saba Camp.
Pre-historic sites are also in this town. Eight kilometres from the central business district is the Hyrax Hill where archeologists, the Leakeys, excavated artifacts. A nearby museum has archeological and ecological materials.
Another pre-historic site is Olorgesailie. Items such as hand axes, skeletons of extinct species of elephants and hippopotamus dating back to 1.2 million years were discovered in Nakuru.
The town hosts one the biggest rugby tournaments in Kenya — the Great Rift 10-a-side Rugby festival.