- GENERAL INFORMATION
Nakuru means a “ Dust or Dusty Place” in the Masaai language.
The lake is world famous as the location of the greatest bird spectacle on earth – myriads of fuchsia pink flamingos whose numbers are legion, often more than a million – or even two million. They feed on the abundant algae, which thrives in the warm waters. Scientists reckon that the flamingo population at Nakuru consumes about 250,000 kg of algae per hectare of surface area per year. The number of flamingos on the lake varies with water and food conditions. Established as a reserve in 1961.
Area: 188 square kilometres (73 sq mi). An area of 188 km (116 mi) around the lake has also been fenced off as a sanctuary to protect Rothschild giraffes, black rhinos and white rhinos.
Lake Nakuru National Park is officially classified as dry sub-humid to semi-arid, which basically means it’s not too wet and not too dry, or too hot or cold. Late afternoon is the most common time for rain showers.
The picturesque landscape of Lake Nakuru area consists of woodland, grasslands, rocky cliffs, and hills. The Lake Nakuru National Park is also home of unique African vegetation including a big euphorbia forest & tarconanthus bushlands.
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 park now has more than 50 black rhinoceros, one of the largest concentrations in the country, plus around 70white rhinos. There are also a number of Rothschild’s giraffe.
Waterbuck are very common and both the Kenyan species are found here besides the Giraffe , Zebras, Impalas, Olive Baboons, Vervet Monkeys, Waterbucks and the Buffalo. Among the predators are lion, cheetah and leopard. The Leopard is seen much more frequently in recent times because it is less marginalized here due to the lesser number of Lions.
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, which has a bill with a black tip.Besides flamingos, there are myriad other bird species that inhabit the lake and the area surrounding it, such as Yellow-billed Pelicans, Marabou Storks ,African fish eagle, goliath heron, Hamerkop, pied kingfisher and Verreaux Eagle.
The park also has large sized pythons that inhabit the dense woodlands, and can often be seen crossing the roads or dangling from trees.