LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK
Lake Nakuru National Park was originally created in 1961 around Lake Nakruru, however it has expanded over the years in order to protect populations of Rothschild’s giraffe, white rhinos and black rhinos among many other species. While it is a relatively small park, it is well known for being a birder’s paradise, as well as home to lions, leopards, and perhaps most famously flamingos. Tourists flock to the park to see the thousands, sometimes millions of flamingos found along the shores of Lake Nakuru feeding on the algae that blooms in the warm water. In recent years, the water level of the lake has increased, believed to be caused by crop intensification in surrounding areas which decreases the soils ability to absorb water, this has caused some of the flamingos to relocate, however there are still enough present to make the trip worth it.
The park itself is fenced in order to protect the animals, namely rhinos, from poachers entering the park and illegally killing members of their population. Though this means that the land animals are more restricted in their movements, there are hopes of creating wildlife corridors connecting nearby parks and conservation areas. The park has been designated a Ramsar site for sustaining important wetlands by the World Wildlife Foundation and the Ramsar Convention. Additionally, it is monitored and protected by Kenya Wildlife Service who have many conservation, education, research and wildlife security goals that are supported by visits to their park.
A visit to Nakuru National Park is possible as a fairly long day trip, typically in conjunction with Naivasha National Park, or as part of a multi-day tour often paired with Maasai Mara National Reserve. They do also have lodges, and cabins that can be booked to stay longer at the park if going for a day doesn’t seem like enough for you. As with any adventure that requires you to hire a tour guide company, do you research prior to departure to make sure you will be happy with your choice!