Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park, a shallow alkaline lake, lies about 100 miles north of Nairobi. The lake is world-famous as the location of the greatest bird spectacle on earth – myriads of pink flamingo whose numbers are legion, often more than a million and which literally turn its shores pink. These birds feed on the abundant algae which thrive in the warm waters. But flamingoes are not the only avian attraction, as the lake is rich in other birdlife. There are over 400 resident species on the lake and in the surrounding park.
The lake varies in size from five to 30 square kilometres – depending on rainfall – and is rich in birdlife; there are 400 resident species on the lake and in the surrounding national park. Thousands of little grebes and white-winged black terns are frequently seen, as are black-winged stilts, pelicans, cormorants, avocets, ducks and – in the European winter – many migrant waders.
Black and white rhinos thrive in the surrounding national park, which also has its fair share of Cape buffalo, African wild dog, zebra, eland, waterbuck and lion. Large numbers of pelicans concentrate by the fresh-water streams that flow into the lake, and thousands of other birds may be seen including African fish eagles, white-winged black terns, stilts, avocets, ducks and in the European winter, the migrant waders. The national park surrounds the lake, offering a wide ecological diversity, from the lakeshore, woodland, grassy plains to rocky escarpments and ridges.
It has recently been enlarged to provide a sanctuary for black rhino and now has one of the largest concentrations of rhinoceros in the country (both black rhino and white rhino), so the chances of spotting these are very good. In recent years Nakuru has attracted fame for the high number of leopard sightings, and the rare Rothschild’s giraffe. Its acacia and euphorbia forests are havens for animals during the heat of the day, making Nakuru an excellent wildlife-viewing destination, while the hippo pool is a favourite spot for picnics.