Photographer's Note

Lake Nakuru is famous because the great number of flamingos leaving into its alkaline shallow waters, but the lake is much more then this.

Lake Nakuru National Park (188 sq. km)
Three kilometres south of Nakuru Town. It was established in 1960 as the first bird sanctuary in Africa, later becoming a National Park in 1967. The park comprises the lake, surrounded by areas of sedge, reeds, marsh and wooded grasslands broken here and there by rocky cliffs as one moves away from the lake. A beautiful yellow-barked acacia woodland stands on the northern edge of the lake and a unique Euphorbia forest (Euphorbia Candelabrum), said to be the largest single euphorbia forest in Africa stands on the eastern edge of the lake. The lake is shallow with no outlet. It is thus drained by evaporation leaving behind large accumulation of mineral salts which make its waters alkaline. The combination of sunshine and alkaline waters creates ideal conditions for the growth of microscopic Blue algae which is the first link in food chain and which forms food for one to two million lesser flamingo, making the lake the greatest bird spectacle on earth where flocks of about 300,000 birds can be seen at one sighting. Greater flamingo feed on the crustacean in the lake. Even when the flamingo population is relatively low, the lake is worth a visit as there are well over 400 species of other birds. The lake shores and hinterland abound with forest and plains game. Among the mammals, Waterbuck are the most numerous while leopard and rhino are the most exciting. A herd of hippo is found on the north-eastern corner of the lake in the spring water pools. Bohor reedbuck are seen in the acacia woodland .Rothschild’s giraffe introduced into the park in 1977 from Soy farm near Eldoret have succeeded and the herd is doing well. Other common mammals include: Black-faced velvet monkey, Blue or Sykes monkey, Olive baboon, Black and white colobus, Jackals, Bat-eared fox, Eland, Buffalo, Common zebra, Impala, Grant’s and Thompson’s gazelle, Spotted hyena, Bush duiker, Dik dik, Steenbok, Klipspringer. Common birds include: Eagles, Hawks, Ducks, Buzzards, Plovers, Sandpipers, Cuckoos, King-fishers, Bee-eaters, Honey guides, Super starlings, Spekes weaver and Sunbirds. The Park has been established as a special rhino sanctuary where over 35 Black rhinos and about 10 White rhinos have been placed behind electric fencing and safe from poachers. It is possible to drive right round the lake stopping at the bird watching hides along the Northern and Western Lake Shores.

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