' THE BIRD & RHINO SANCTUARY '
THE LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK
Lake Nakuru is a very shallow strongly alkaline lake 62 km2 in extent and situated on the edge of Nakuru county about 160 kilometres north of Nairobi. It can therefore be visited in a day tour from the capital or more likely as part of a circuit taking in the Masai Mara, lake Baringo and the Samburu. The park is world famous as the location of the greatest bird spectacle on earth and also as a rhino and the Rothschild Giraffe sanctuary. It is set in a picturesque landscape of surrounding woodland, grassland & marsh alternating with rocky cliffs, outcrops, stretches of acacia woodland and rocky hillsides covered with a Euphorbia forest on the eastern perimeter. More than 56 different species of mammals abound in this park. The lake catchment 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 water-covered surface occupies about a third of the park. The warm lake waters support a dense bloom of the blue-green algae (Cyanophyte Spirulina platensis) from which it derives its colour and which is the major food source for the myriads of fuchsia pink flamingoes whose numbers are often more than a million.