highlights and main attractions of lake nakuru

Set in the Nakuru district of the Great Rift Valley, the centre of Kenya, the varied ecosystem of Lake Nakuru consists of a shallow soda lake at its centre, immediately surrounded by alkaline swamps and backed further by grass plains and bushy woodland. The flocks of pink flamingo that are drawn to the lake’s algae provides one of the most popular sights in, not just Kenya, but the whole of east Africa. 

It is one of the most breathtaking bird spectacles on earth, and many visit the lake purely to witness these vibrant community birds that move in unison as one blanket descending on the lake, feeding and taking flight in an explosion of bright colour.

where is lake nakuru?

wildlife and habitat

Located 140 kilometres northwest of Nairobi, this is one of Kenya’s major national parks and is widely considered one of the best areas to sight the endangered white and black rhinos, which are often seen by the shores of Nakuru having been brought back from near-extinction by a successful breeding campaign. Lying at an altitude of up to 1,800 metres above sea level, the park was designated as a bird sanctuary in 1960 and gained national park status in 1968 to protect the colonies of greater and lesser flamingos.

habitat

The varied habitats of the park from lake to swamp, bush to woodland attract equally varied wildlife. Aside from the ubiquitous flamingos which can number as many as one million at certain times of the year, around the lake a game reserve has been created and you may see Bohor’s reedbucks, zebras, rhinos, lions, hyenas, hippos and white clawless otters in the lake itself. Daytime leopard sightings are also sometimes experienced and are amongst Kenya’s most common. 

As you would expect from the lake system birdlife here is highly prolific, and up to 400 species of terrestrial birds have been recorded here, from yellow-billed storks to pelicans.


The lake can be visited as a stopover as part of an itinerary including the Masai Mara, and the excellent colonial Loldia House is set on a 6500-acre ranch filled with acacia, providing access to Nakuru as well as nearby Lake Naivasha.

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