Bird’s HavenLake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru is a shallow, alkaline lake located in the Great Rift Valley, with the vast numbers of both lesser and greater flamingos sometimes the water literally turns pink. Nothing beats the beauty of the sight of the pink dots of the flamingos lined on the shores of the lake. The tinted rose glow of a million flamingos feeding within blue hued alkaline waters create the greatest bird spectacle on earth with unforgettable moments of the most stunning scenic images in Kenya.
Lake Nakuru National Park is known for its rich diversity in birdlife with over 500 species on the lake and in the surrounding national park. Lake Nakuru is a large and shallow lake surrounded by marshes, woodland and grassland with rocky outcrops and the largest euphorbia forest in Africa on the eastern side and covers an area of 180km².
Lake Nakuru is fed by three main rivers; the Njoro, the Makalia and the Enderit rivers, as well as several springs with excellent viewpoints overlooking the lake from Baboon Cliff and Lion Hill. With its shores spread with over 1.5 million fabulous pink flamingoes the waters are shimmering waters both the greater and lesser flamingo to extract blue green algae for food forming the pink clouds from far and are main attraction in the park.
Lake Nakuru National Park is Kenya’s first Rhino Sanctuary and is surrounded by wooded and bushy grasslands, a splendor of a grey-green forest of euphorbia candelabrum and offers sanctuary to some of the world most endangered creatures like both the white and black rhino.
Initially established as a bird sanctuary, Lake Nakuru National Park has ensured a thriving mammal fauna which includes some of Kenya’s most rare species like the rare Rothchild’s giraffe and endangered black and white rhino.
Wildlife in Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru supports a wide ecological diversity with Flamingos (Greater and Lesser) and other water birds being the major attractions of the area. The ecosystem provides for about 56 species of mammals including the white rhino and buffaloes and a variety of terrestrial bird species of over 450 species.
Lake Nakuru National Park also offers sanctuary to huge numbers of native African animals including waterbucks, warthogs, impalas, buffalo, Rothschild giraffes, elands, endangered black rhinos, white rhinos the Rock Hyrax, Colobus monkey, water buck, stripped hyena, the golden cat, Thomsons, Grant gazelle and, occasionally, leopards, hippos have a territory in the northern part of the lake making it easy to encounter wildlife during the safari trail.
The acacia and euphorbia forests are havens for animals during the heat of the day, making Nakuru an excellent wildlife-viewing destination with Kenya’s largest population of rhinos. The surface of the Lake Nakuru occupies about a third of the park.
Lake Nakuru National Park boosts over 500 bird species in the Lake Nakuru area with the most striking, numerous and colorful of the avian residents as the flamingos. The flamingos occur in two species; the massed pink ranks of the lesser flamingo and the greater flamingos which visit in smaller numbers.
Alongside the beautiful flamingos are the flamboyant pelicans,the great white pelican and the pink-backed pelicans,dark geese, heron, stilt, sunpiper plover, African fish eagle, flouncing ostrich, iridescent sunbird, glimming starling, swooping bee eater, chattering weaver and the jaunty ox-pecker
Lake Nakuru supports the blue-green Cyanophyte Spirulina Platensis, which is the main food source for the brilliant pink flamingoes that can be found wading on the lake’s edge. At times, there can be up to two million greater and lesser flamingoes and tens of thousands of other birds.
Attractions in Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park has a lot to offer to the human eye’s pleasure from the beautiful birds to the amazing wildlife variety and the flora in the park.
Bird watching: The park is home to the most fabulous water birds and other bird species and the best place to view the birds is from Baboon Cliff, where you get an excellent view over the lake, and the wonderful spectacle of pink flamingoes along its edge including the lesser and greater Flamingos, little grebes, white-winged black terns, black-winged stilts, pelicans, cormorants, avocets, ducks and many migrant waders.
Game viewing: Enjoy views of the endangered white rhinos and other animals including waterbucks, warthogs, hippos, impalas, buffalo, Rothschild giraffes as you drive through the unique vegetation and the biggest euphorbia forest in Africa.
Visit Lion Hill, Baboon Cliff and Out of Africa as they are the best view points in the park for both the wildlife and birdlife
Visit the beautiful waterfall at Makalia.
Plant life: Covered by a mosaic of acacia woodland and bush with patches of forest in the higher areas, the parks flora is an attraction too.Pure stands of yellow-backed acacia fringe the lake while the eastern hillside are cloaked in some of the largest stands of euphorbia candelabrum, croton bushes and olives form gnarled stands mixed with scented, silver leaved ol-leleshwa on rocky slopes. The shallow alkaline algae water supports a dense blue-green alga which provides the staple diet of the flamingos and gives the lake it’s sparkling sapphire blue hue.
Insect life: Aquatic insects such as midges, primitive crane flies and water boatmen thrive in the lake and a stunning diversity of beetles, butterflies, ants, bees, and termites, all play their essential role in maintaining a healthy balanced eco-system by re-cycling nutrients and providing food for other creatures, are plentiful too.
Reptiles: The cliffs and crevices, reeds and rocks of the park suit snakes, lizard, chameleons and tortoises including the legendary African rock python, leopard tortoise and the sky blue and coral headed agama lizard.
Accommodation in Lake Nakuru National Park
Accommodation establishments around and in Nakuru National Park provide for all clients according to their safari budget from budget to midrange to luxury travelers and they include: Naisha Guest House, Lake Nakuru Lodge, Sarova Lion Hill Lodge, and Merica Hotel.
Climate and best time to visit Lake Nakuru National Park
The best months to visit are June to September and January to March, even with the rainy the roads are quite passable compared to other areas. The wettest months are March to May and October to December, but even at these times it is not as rainy as other areas. The climate around the lake ranges from cool to hot and humid with annual rainfall at 965mm.
How to get to Lake Nakuru National Park
Amboseli National Park can be reached by:
Getting to the park is not hard as use can use your own vehicle, take public transport, safari vehicle with a tour guide. Nakuru National Park is 160km northwest of Nairobi.
Chartered aircrafts may land at Naishi airstrip and then connect to Nakuru National Park
Located: Bwamba County, Bundibugyo District, in western Uganda
Best Time to Go:
Jan to February and June to September
June to September (Peak time for Uganda)
Size: 220 km² (85 sq mi)
Altitude: 670 to 760 m (2,200 to 2,490 ft)