Lake Nakuru – Background Information and video
I’ve put the wildlife video of the animals that we saw at the park in this post (rhinos, hyenas, etc) while the other posts on the park will follow specifically what we saw on each day/drive. – Graeme
The following information was provided to us by our tour operator GAP Adventures in their tour itinerary – Ron
Kenya’s fourth largest town and the capital of the Rift Valley province, Nakuru, meaning “dusty place” in the Masai language, is a cheerful and vibrant agricultural town with a variety of coulourful local markets.
Lake Nakuru is a shallow soda lake, renowned for its huge concentration of flamingos and over 460 species of birds. Our safari lodge is located within the national park, and en route to the lodge you will have your first chance to see some of Africa’s best wildlife up close. After checking in, enjoy lunch before embarking on an afternoon safari game drive, in search of the resident black and white rhino, buffalo, impala, and the elusive leopard. Lake Nakuru National Park began in 1961 as a small protected territory, only encompassing the famous lake of the same name, and the surrounding mountainous vicinity. Now it has been extended to include a large part of the area’s grassland savannahs and woodland slopes, and covers an area of roughly 188 km sq.
Lake Nakuru itself is one of the Rift Valley soda lakes. The alkaline lake’s abundance of algae attracts the large quantity of flamingos, estimated into the millions, that famously line the shore. The surface of the shallow lake is often hardly recognizable due to the continually shifting mass of pink. There are two types of flamingo species: the Lesser flamingo can be distinguished by its deep red carmine bill and pink plumage unlike the greater flamigo, which has a bill with a black tip. But flamingos are not the only avian attraction, also present are two large fish-eating birds, pelicans and cormorants. The park is rich in other birdlife, including grebes, white winged black, stilts, avocets, ducks, and in the European winter, the migrant waders.
The park has recently been enlarged partly to provide the sanctuary for the black rhino. This undertaking has necessitated a fence – to keep out poachers rather than to restrict the movement of wildlife. The park now has more than 25 rhinos, one of the largest concentrations in the country, so the chances of spotting these survivors are better than in other parks. There are also a number of Rothschild’s giraffe, again translocated for safety from western Kenya beginning in 1977. Numerous other mammals can be seen, including zebra, impala, gazelle, waterbuck, lion, warthog, bushbuck, many buffalo, and even at times leopard.