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Lake Nakuru National Park. Home of Millions of Flamingo.


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Lake Nakuru National Park.

Nakuru means "Dust or Dusty Place" in the Maasai language. Lake Nakuru National Park, close to Nakuru town, was established in 1961. It started off small, only encompassing the famous lake and the surrounding mountainous vicinity. Now it has been extended to include a large part of the savannas.

Lake Nakuru National Park is world famous for, and was created to protect its stunning flocks of lesser flamingo, which literally turn its shores pink. Its bird life is rich; a beacon for leading ornithologists, scientists and wildlife filmmakers.

LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK

Lake Nakuru is a small shallow alkaline lake near Nakuru town. It can therefore be visited in a days trip from Nairobi or as part of a bigger tour including the Maasai Mara, Lake Baringo or Samburu. The lake is world famous for its millions of flamingoes.

They feed on the abundant algae, which thrives in the warm waters. 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. The Lesser flamingos are ones that are commonly pictured in documentaries mainly because they are large in number.

Flamingo populations in Lake Nakuru are on a steady increase again. The numbers had been reduced due to the El-Nino weather pattern that flooded the lake, and changed the alkaline concentration. The flamingos feed on algae, created from their droppings mixing in the warm alkaline waters, and plankton. But flamingo are not the only avian attraction, also unforgettable are two fish eating birds, pelicans and cormorants. Despite the tepid and alkaline waters, a diminutive fish, tilapia has flourished after being introduced in the early 1960's. The lake is rich in other bird life.

There are over 400 resident species on the lake and in the surrounding park. Thousands of both little grebes and white winged black terns are frequently seen as are stilts, avocets, ducks, and in the European winter the migrant waders. Lake Nakuru National Park, which surrounds the lake, has recently been enlarged partly to provide a sanctuary for the black rhino. This undertaking has necessitated a fence - to keep out poachers rather than to restrict the movement of wildlife.

The park now has more than 25 rhinos, one of the largest concentrations in the country, so the chances of spotting these survivors are good. There are also a number of Rothschild's giraffe, again Tran located for safety from western Kenya. Waterbucks are very common and found here. Among the predators at the Nakuru Park are lions and leopards, the latter being seen much more frequently in recent times. The park also has large sized python snakes that inhabit the dense woodlands, and can often be seen crossing the roads or dangling from trees.

The Great Rift Valley is the longest rift on the surface of the earth. The Rift Valley starts all the way from Jordan, Middle East, and runs through Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Congo, Malawi, and ends near the coastal town of Solada in Mozambique. The amazing attribute about the Rift Valley is that once it reaches the Kenyan border, it diverges into two rifts, which later converge near Lake Rukwa in southern Tanzania.

The Great Rift Valley is approximately 4,000 miles long and 35 miles wide. It was formed due to geological tension in the earth's crust that caused a deep depression, while probably forcing the sides upwards. The floor of the valley is normally below sea level. In Kenya, the Rift Valley gave rise to many lakes like Lake Nakuru that have become a habitat for diverse wildlife.

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