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Lake Nakuru National Park

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Nakuru provides the visitor with one of Kenya’s best known images - A world famous view of flamingos as far as the eye can see. Thousands of flamingo, joined into a massive flock, fringe the shores of this soda lake. A pulsing pink swathe of life that carpets the water is one of the most picturesque African sights.

The vegetation is mainly wooded and bushy grassland with a wide ecological diversity and characteristic habitats that range from the lake waters to the escarpment and ridges. The normally water-covered surface of the lake occupies about a third of the park. The lake water supports a dense bloom of the blue-green Cyanophyte Spirulina platensis from which it derives its colour and which is the major food source for the flamingo.

The lake has become world famous for these birds, who visit the lake to feed on algae that forms on the lake bed. They move back and forth, feeding and occasionally and spectacularly taking to flight, filling the sky over the lake with colour. The lake is extremely variable in size- changing from 5 up to 30 sq kms in area. Nakuru has more than just flamingos. This is a major National Park and an important sanctuary for Rhino. Both Black and White Rhino are found here, and are often seen resting under acacias by the Lake shore.

The park abounds with game. There are huge herds of waterbuck, zebra, buffalo, the endangered Rothschild Giraffe and more. This is also one of your best chances of seeing Leopard in Kenya, and there are several large prides of Lion. Exploring beyond the lake is always rewarding and there are forests, cliffs, waterfalls and more to be found here. Nearby Nakuru town is a busy and thriving local centre with a bustling market. The town is a hub for local transport and travel.

Main road access to Nakuru is directly from Nairobi by bus/matatu or private transport. The main highway passes by Naivasha and GilGil/Elmenteita on the way. Nakuru is a 2 hour drive from Nairobi. There is an airstrip in Nakuru which charter flights can use. Many of the hotel and lodges here can arrange transfers to Nairobi. Getting to the lake itself is difficult without private transport. The lodge and camp here both organize local excursions.

The lake is fringed by alkaline swamps with areas of sedge, Cyprus laevigatus and typha marsh along the river inflows and springs. The surrounding areas support a dry transitional savanna with lake margin grasslands of Sporobolus spicatus salt grass moving into grasslands of Hyparrhenia hirta and rhodes grass Chloris gayana in the lower areas.

More elevated areas have dry forest with Acacia xanthophloea, olive Olea hochstetteri and Croton dichogamus; Euphorbia candelabrum forest; and bushland dominated by the composites, Mulelechwa Tarchonanthus camphoratus and Psiadia arabica. Rocky hillsides on the Parks eastern perimeter are covered with Tarchonanthys scrub and a magnificent Euphobia candelabrum forest.


The park lies in Central Kenya, 140km north-west of Nairobi, in Nakuru district of the Rift Valley Province. The ecosystem comprises of the lake, surrounded by mainly wooded and bushy grasslands. The park 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 different species of mammals including the white rhino and buffaloes and a variety of terrestrial birds numbering nearly 450 species.

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