Lake Nakuru- is it worth it?
Replies: 21 - Last Post: Jun 28, 2012 7:21 AM Last Post By: dgreensl
May 30, 2012 10:14 AM
Lake Nakuru- is it worth it?Hello,
I'm travelling to Kenya this summer but am not spending much time there as I am continuing on into Tanzania to go to Zanzibar. We have a few days however in Nairobi and I've heard its a dangerous place to go walking around in- is this true?
I was thinking that while my boyfriend and I are there, however, to go on a day excursion or an overnight stay to Lake Nakuru. Has anyone been there and is anyone able to give advice on how I should get there etc? Here's something I've been looking at:
Do you think a day excursion is something I would have to book in advance before I've arrived in Nairobi or is something I could book a few days in advance when I am there?
I have also got trouble finding a place to stay in Nairobi (I'm looking for hostels), a lot of the hostels I've found have really terrible ratings and don't recommend other people staying there. Is there anywhere you could recommend for me? Ideally somewhere that also organises trips around Kenya too
Thanks in advance!
May 30, 2012 10:18 AM
1A couple years ago I spent a week in Nairobi and felt it was not the safest place to be wandering around aimlessly. I'd be careful about where you spend your time.
On one of those days I took a day trip to Lake Nakuru. I really enjoyed it. I went with three other people and we booked it the day before we did it. In my opinion it's a great way to spend a day.
May 30, 2012 10:29 AM
May 30, 2012 10:39 AM
I stayed at the Jacaranda. It's a bit upscale and definitely not in the hostel catagory. We arranged for the tour through the hotel. That said, the tour I took is available to anyone. It wasn't part of the hotel, they just booked it through another agency. My guess is where ever you stay they'll be able to arrange a day tour to Lake Nakuru for you.
Have a great trip.
May 30, 2012 11:58 AM
4Thank you for your tips! Just a few more questions (sorry!)- is the Jacaranda easy to find in Nairobi and also how much did the tour cost you around?
May 30, 2012 1:10 PM
5No problem. Ask as many questions as you have. That's why we're here. :-)
The web site for the Jacaranda Hotel is here .
As I mentioned it's not a budget hotel, but if you're willing to splurge I recommend it. The food was good and the location was fine.
I honestly don't remember the cost of the tour, but I do remember it wasn't out of line with expectations. I don't remember hesitating due to cost.
May 30, 2012 11:07 PM
I would also recommend either a day trip to Nakuru or an overnight if you have time. Nakuru is about 170 Kilometers from Nairobi a scenic drive in the Great Rift Valley. Nakuru is a haven for ornithologist, millions of flamingoes, pelicans, fish eagle..name them. It is also a nice place for game drive especially if you dont have much time because its small in size yet you can find all the big five but for Elephants. A big plus is that you are lamost gueranteed to see white rhinos!
You might also think of going to Ol Pejeta Conservancy about 200 kilometers from Nairobi (for an overnight) here you will have an opportunity to see the Chimpanzees and the big five all in one ecosystem!
For a day trip to Nakuru it should be around US$150 including lunch...In Naiorbi depending again on you budget there many options for accommodation,..nice places ranging from US$ 60 - 200 per person sharing..I reccommend you do your booking in good time since this period is usually busy and its good to have all your plans set in advance.
I hope you enjoy your short stay!
May 30, 2012 11:56 PM
7Lake Nakuru is definitely worth it- more so, if you are a bird lover. Nice weather, very serene. We stayed at the Flamingo Hill Camp- was there just 7 days back. Do remember to carry your windcheater/ umbrella! We spotted the elephants, rhinos and a variety of birds.
May 31, 2012 1:52 AM
8Thank you all so much for your replies! They are so useful and helpful.
Would you all waiting till I got to Nairobi and then organise or organise in advance? I'm travelling from Kampala coach from Kampala to Nairobi and am a bit unsure about the reliability of what they say in terms of the time we will be arriving.. what do you think?
May 31, 2012 2:32 AM
9Kampala Coach is pretty reliable. Duration will depend on whether you're travelling in the day or at night and which route the bus is taking. The last time I took KC (from Nairobi), it was at night and it passed Eldoret and Bungoma. Took about 8hrs to reach Busia (at the border). Another 4hrs to reach Kampala. Could also be massive traffic jams in Kampala. Journey will likely take longer in the day.
If you're looking for budget options in town, Africana is pretty decent. It's close to River Road. Friends living in Nairobi have also mentioned Upper Hill Campsite as a good option as well but I've never stayed there.
May 31, 2012 2:41 AM
May 31, 2012 3:45 AM
11I think Lake Nakuru excursions will be offered by most hotels. Afterall they don't actually run them (they only sell them) and it represents an additional revenue source.
May 31, 2012 4:05 AM
12Considering the time you are traveling its very important to arrange before you get there,there are Lodges in Lake Nakuru where you can spend a night like Lake Nakuru Lodge or Sarova Lion Hills.If not you can do the game drive and book yourself a hotel in Nakuru Town which are cheaper as compared in the Lodges.A reasonable hotel in Nakuru would cost you like 80usd double room.In Nairobi I would suggest you think of YMCA its also reasonable.The whole trip would ideally cost you like 480usd for 2 of you.Transport with a safari van,Park entrance fees,Accommodation in Nakuru Town.
May 31, 2012 4:21 AM
13Kampala Coach is pretty reliable. The duration will depend on the route and whether you're travelling in the day or at night. The last time I took KC (at 8pm, from Nairobi), the bus too 8 hours to reach Busia (via Eldoret and Bungoma). It's another 4hrs from Busia to Kampala. In the day, the journey will probably take even longer (more cars, difficult to pass slower vehicles).
For budget options close to town, Africana is a decent option. It's close to River Road too. Upper Hill Campsite has also been recommended by friends living in Nairobi but I've never stayed there.
May 31, 2012 2:22 PM
14The nickname for Nairobi is Now-rob-me but that being said, my hubby and I were there for the first week of January, between a camping safari and a lodge safari tour. We stayed at the Boulevard Hotel on a relatively quiet dead-end road within walking distance of downtown. Great pool with poolside bar. Good internet for a fee. It's on Harry Thuku Road where you will also find the Fairmont Hotel, the Kenya National Theatre and the University. The National Museum is also within walking distance and very informative.
We actually really enjoyed Nairobi. We didn't walk around at night- rumours of Somali pirates cruising around. You have to have thick skin to deal with the high pressure sales everywhere but especially the Masai market. We only used our credit card to pay for the hotel, a large purchase at a large chain store and dinner at a very reputable Italian restaurant downtown but still the info was scanned and fraudulent charges started showing up a week after we left. So I suggest cash only. People were very friendly otherwise. Very little begging. Plenty of travel agents downtown. We also had the number for a personal driver from a friend who has visited Nairobi several times. We used him for local tours to the elephant orphanage, giraffe house and Karen Blixen House. We spent a half day safari drive in the National Park on the edge of town and saw wild giraffes, ostriches, a hippo and a rhino.
Lake Nakuru- yes, it's worth it.
(5 star Hotel)
From US$670.04 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$89.85 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$81.68 per night