LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK
Lake Nakuru National Park lies immediately south of Nakuru town. In 1960 it became the first bird sanctuary in Africa and in 1967 it became a National Park. The lake is shallow and alkaline. This provides ideal conditions for the growth of microscopic blue algae which is the first link in the food chain. It provides sustenance for 1 to 2 million lesser flamingos, making the lake one of the greatest bird spectacles on earth. There are over 56 species of mammals including the white rhino, giraffe, lion & leopard. Lake Nakuru is a very shallow strongly alkaline lake 62 km2 in extent. It is set in a picturesque landscape of surrounding woodland and grassland next to Nakuru town.
The landscape includes areas of marsh and grasslands alternating with rocky cliffs and outcrops, stretches of acacia woodland and rocky hillsides covered with a Euphorbia forest on the eastern perimeter. The lake catchments is bounded by Menengai crater to the north, the Bahati hills to the north east, the lion hill ranges to the east, eburu crater to the south and the mau escarpment to the west. Three major rivers, the njoro, makalia and enderit drain into the lake, together with treated water from the town's sewage works and the outflow from several springs along the shore. Lake Nakuru was first gazetted as a bird sanctuary in 1960 and upgraded to National Park status in 1968. A northern extension was added to the park in 1974 and the lake was designated as a Ramsar site in 1990. The foundation of the parks food chains is the cyanophyte spirulina platensis which can support huge numbers of lesser flamingo.
Location: Central Kenya, 140km north-west of Nairobi, in Nakuru District of the Rift Valley Province. It covers an area of 188 km2. Climate: Ranges from Cold, Hot and Humid, Hot and Dry. Annual rainfall is 965mm
HOW TO GET THERE:
Roads: The park has a tarmac road connection with Nairobi, a distance of 156 km north west of Nairobi on the main A104 road. The most commonly used route into the park is via the main gate, 4 km from Nakuru Town Centre. It is also possible to enter the park from the main Nairobi Nakuru road at Lanet Gate. The Nderit Gate is used by people accessing the park from Maasai Mara or Elementaita.
Airstrips: The Naishi airstrip services the park for tourism and KWS activities. Park Roads: The park has an adequate and well serviced motorable roads that make most parts of the park accessible. Park Gates: The park has three gates, Main Gate and Lanet Gate that link the park with the Nairobi-Nakuru highway and the less used Nderit Gate.
MAJOR ATTRACTIONS Flamingo (Greater and Lesser) and other water birds including a variety of terrestrial birds numbering about 450 species in total. Mammals: 56 different species including white rhinos. View-points: Lion hill, Baboon cliff and out of Africa Hills: Enasoit, Honeymoon, Lion hill ridge etc. Waterfalls: Makalia Unique vegetation: About 550 different plant species including the unique and biggest euphorbia forest in Africa, Picturesque landscape and yellow acacia woodlands.