Just two hours' drive from Nairobi, Lake Nakuru is among Kenya's finest national parks. Flanked by rocky escarpments, pockets of forest and at least one waterfall, the park is gorgeous year-round and is home to black and white rhinos, lions, leopards, hippos and giraffes. Rising water levels in 2014 forced the park's famous flamingos to flee, as well as the park authorities to move the entrance gate – the old one now stands submerged along with hundreds of now-dead trees, a haunting first impression.
The southern end of the lake is the best place to see wildlife, away from the busy city of Nakuru, which borders the park's northern extent. The forested area below Flamingo Hill is a favourite lion-spotting point – lionesses love to sleep in the trees – while leopards frequent the same area, and are also seen around Makolia camp.