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Why is Lake Nakuru National Park?

Reasons as to Why is Lake Nakuru National Park Famous?

Lake Nakuru National park is located in Central Kenya, about 140km Southwest of Nairobi and lies in the South of Nakuru town in the rift valley of Kenya. The park was established in 1961 and was originally protected as a bird sanctuary. This park was also the first national Rhino sanctuary and hosts one of the largest concentrations of black rhinoceros in Africa and the world. Lake Nakuru, found in the middle of the park occupies about a third of the National park and is surrounded by an ecosystem of wooded and bushy grasslands. The park is famous for thousands of flamingos that hang around the lake. The highly saline nature of the lake supports the abundant growth of algae which is the main food source for the flamingos, therefore, attracting a vast flock together with pelicans that famously nestle around the shore. During the peak season, these birds reach up to 2 million in number and attract about 300 million tourists who travel from all over the world annually to majorly experience this beauty. The baboon cliff gives the best viewpoint for the birds and other wildlife species in the park. It is estimated that the flamingo population consumes about 250,000 kilograms of algae per hectare of surface area per year.

lake Nakuru flamingos
lake Nakuru flamingos


About Flamingos

Flamingos are a large family of brilliantly colored warding birds in the family Phoenicopteridae and inhabit alkaline and saline lakes and lagoons. They prefer to live in hot dry regions, avoiding cool moist forested areas; except in the Andes where they are found on freezing alkaline lakes 14000ft (4250m). Regularly swim, upend and fly with their necks extended. In Africa, two flamingo species exist and both are present in Lake Nakuru National Park;

Greater flamingos

Greater flamingos in Lake Nakuru
Greater flamingos in Lake Nakuru

The Phoenicopterus Roseus is much larger than the Lesser flamingo in structure(large individuals standing nearly 6ft tall ), pale pink or white at a distance with a line of bright coral pink in the folded wing.

Greater flamingos are adapted to feeding on relatively large organisms in the bottom and deep water, whereas the deep keeled species adapted for feeding on the surface or shallow water.

Lesser flamingos

The Phoeniconaias minor is the smallest and most numerous species of flamingos. They have a pinkish white plumage and live on the shores of alkaline lakes and lagoons. Most flamingos feed on filtering small or microscopic plant life from mud and water. Lesser flamingos feed on the surface and can feed equally when swimming or walking as long as the water is calm: they don’t feed in rough water.

Flamingos prefer to breed on soft mud on which they built characteristic molts usually 6 to 18 (15-46cm) high, shaped like truncated cones with a hollow opening at the top.

lesser flamingos on lake Nakuru Kenya
lesser flamingos on lake Nakuru Kenya


Flamingo Feeding

Chicks are fed on liquid regurgitated food from the parent’s crop into the mouth of the chicks. Small chicks are often fed while being brooded under the parent’s wing but as soon as they become active they are normally fed standing. Both parents take the responsibility of feeding the chicks. 

The chick and parent both face forward but the adult bill points backward and upwards down.

How to get to Lake Nakuru National Park?

When you visit Lake Nakuru national park, it’s hard to miss out on the birding moment. The park is known to be the best place for birding especially flamingos. It is also a home for other bird species such as Pied kingfisher, Goliath heron, Hammerkop, African kingfisher among others.



When you visit Lake Nakuru national park, it’s hard to miss out on the birding moment. The park is known to be the best place for birding especially flamingos. It is also a home for other bird species such as Pied kingfisher, Goliath heron, Hammerkop, African kingfisher among others.

Game viewing

After encountering birds, viewing wildlife in the park can be one of the most memorable activities on your safari. You will have a chance to see animals like lions, cheetahs, and waterbuck among others. Game viewing can also be experienced in other national parks in East Africa like Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda, Akagera National Park in Rwanda, and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. To have an excellent and memorable safari in lake Nakuru national park and around other East African countries (Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya); book your safari with Jewel safaris.


Go hiking to Malaika falls. The falls can be accessed by car and it’s about an hour’s drive from the main gate. The spectacular views from the top of the cliffs are worthwhile and mind-rejuvenating after a strenuous climb. 


The park also offers adventures on some of the most scenic ridges and stunning views of the rift valley which complement the beauty of the park. The baboon cliff near the Western part of the park is an ideal location for viewing birds, sightseeing, and interacting with the baboons which are very common here.

On the North-Eastern shore of the lake is Lion hill where on a good day, you are able to see Lions, spectacular views of the park, and the surrounding environment.

The Southwestern shore of Lake Nakuru has the Out of Africa Look Out. This site is famous for its scenic views showcased in the movie of the same name.


The park has three gates; the main gate, Lanet gate, and Nderit gate which ease road access. The park is commonly accessed via the main gate, 4 km from Nakuru Town Centre. It can also be accessed from the main Nairobi-Nakuru road at Lanet Gate. Nairobi-Nakuru highway is the most frequently used and provides the best access for visitors coming from Nairobi. This drive takes about 3-4 hours through beautiful sights of vegetation and communities.

Visitors coming through the Southern part of the park can also have access through Maasai Mara or Elementaita using the Nderit Gate.

Naishi airstrip in Lake Nakuru National Park facilitates access by air from Jomo Kenyatta airport.

Kenya Safari Packages

2 Days Tsavo East National Park Safari

3 Days Samburu National Game Reserve Safari

3 Days Masai Mara Safari

3 Days Tsavo East & Amboseli Safari

3 Days Lake Naivasha & Lake Nakuru Safari

4 Days Masai Mara Safari

6 Days Masai Mara Wildlife Safari

7 Day Kenya Safari

8 Days Kenya Budget Safari

12 Days Best of Kenya and Tanzania

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