Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park is located in the rift valley of Kenya. This is an active continental rift zone that will result in the creation of a new ocean basin in about 10 million years. Fortunately, this will be a very slow process because the continental plates are only splitting apart at about 5-7mm per year.
This area facilitates the creation of the rift valley soda lakes and Lake Nakuru is one of those lakes. A soda lake is a natural phenomenon that is ideal for the production of algae. Therefore, this shallow lake is a gathering point for millions of flamingos throughout the year. When the conditions are right the flamingos line the shores of the lake and on occasion their large numbers can turn the entire lake pink.
However, Lake Nakuru is also the natural habitat for other African wildlife such as giraffes, black rhinos, white rhinos, plus many other species.
Traveling At Lake Nakuru
We amused ourselves observing the baboons at the park entrance while our guide spoke with the park rangers and acquired our permits. The baboons can get quite aggressive especially if they think you have food. Fortunately, we did not have any food.
After passing through the park entrance our guide informed us that the park rangers had warned him that certain sections of the road were flooded. Therefore, improvisation would be necessary to reach our overnight accommodation inside the park.
However, improvisation was not a problem for our rock star safari guide and we soon had a work around plan. Our guide had worked in this area for decades and therefore he knew how get to our hilltop lodge by traveling through the jungle. Plus, we would have some fun along the way.
Giraffe Family At Lake Nakuru
While we were traveling off piste we went through some pristine woodlands that we normally would not have traveled through. Therefore, we had some unique wildlife viewing opportunities. We soon discovered a baby giraffe and its mother. I have come across many giraffes on safari, but never a baby giraffe.
White Rhino Family at Lake Nakuru National Park
Next, we would be very fortunate and come across a family of white rhinos. The white rhinos are endemic to the local ecosystem in contrast with the Black Rhino that was introduced. There are limited numbers of rhinoceros located here with approximately 75 white rhinos and 25 black rhinos.
The white rhinos are predominantly grazers and they are characterized by broad mouths which they use to feed on grass. In contrast, the black rhinos have a more narrow mouth and prefer to feed on leaves and shrubs. The white rhinos also typically have a longer front horn and tend to be a bit slower moving than the black rhinos. In addition, the ears of the black rhino are noticeably different.
Black Rhinos at Lake Nakuru National Park
The next day while we were out on safari we would come across the black rhinos that live in the park. Here are a some photos of the black rhinos to compare and contrast.
Lake Nakuru Flamingos and African Buffalo
A flamingo and the African buffalo certainly make for an odd comparison. This is because the former is so elegant and in the latter mother nature has created the most perfect sloppy beast. However, the contrast can create nice photo opportunities.
Baboon Cliffs Overlook Lake Nakuru
Overlooking Lake Nakuru is a high vantage point that sits atop the Baboon Cliffs. This is an ideal location to observe Lake Nakuru when the flamingo flock is numbered in the millions. Unfortunately, large numbers of flamingos do not like to visit the lake when the water levels are this high. Alas, this was not the Lake Nakuru best time to visit. Therefore, I plan to return when viewing conditions are optimal so I can witness the millions of flamingos turning the whole lake pink.
Lake Nakuru National Park Lodges
Lake Nakuru Lodge is situated on a hill in the center of the park and it has sweeping views of the area. This view was very impressive and the villas where we stayed was also quite nice.
However, there were some encounters with security that make me hesitate to recommend this place. There are many villas at the lodge, I would estimate that there are at least 100 or more. However, there were only a few guests perhaps due to the high water levels or other reasons.
The aforementioned issues with lodge security notwithstanding we had a great time on safari here. Our guide had once again given us a great safari adventure. I was certainly going to give him nice tip when we got back to Nairobi. The next day we were going to spend the morning at Lake Naivasha and then we were driving all the way to Amboseli National Park. It was going to be a long day!