Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the best birding destinations in Kenya, with more than 450 bird species recorded, particularly favored by large flocks of finicky Lesser Flamingos. Lake Nakuru National Park is located along the shores of one of Kenya’s startling Great Rift Valley Lakes. Lake Nakuru National Park was formed in the year 1961. Lake Nakuru National Park is a small park with a size of 188 kilometers square and an easily explored wildlife destination in Kenya that will delight and surprise you at every turn. Lake Nakuru is one of the Ramsar sites in Kenya. Lake Nakuru National Park’s central location makes it the perfect Kenyan wildlife destination for both locals and international visitors.
Lake Nakuru National Park is just 2 hours by road, 160 kilometers from Nairobi, and very convenient for weekend breaks and even for day birding trips
Lake Nakuru is also the perfect overnight stop en route to the Maasai Mara Game Reserve and is easy to include in a safari featuring Aberdares National Park, Lakes Baringo and Bogoria, Samburu National Reserve, and Kakamega Forest.
Lake Nakuru National Park offers exceptional close-up views of birds and mammals, where can find huge flocks of the Lesser Flamingos feeding on the lake’s shore, and a large concentration of the Great White Pelicans searching for fish in unison. The park’s terrestrial zones host important populations of many mammal and bird species that are globally or regionally threatened. The lake is home to over 100 species of migratory birds and supports globally important populations of Black-necked Grebe, African Spoonbill, Red-necked Phalarope, Saddle-billed Stork, African Darter, Pied Avocet, Little Grebe, Long-tailed Widowbird, Southern Ground Hornbill, Yellow-billed Stork, Black-winged Stilt, Grey-headed Gull, and Gull-billed Tern.
Many Palaearctic migrant birds arrive each year to over-winter and feed at the lake, which includes huge numbers of species of waders, phalaropes, ducks, terns, gulls, raptors, and different species of warblers. Wildlife is also well represented, in Lake Nakuru National Park. The park acts as a breeding sanctuary for both black and white rhinos, tree-climbing lions, and the ever-elusive Leopard which is regularly spotted resting in the Acacia trees in the forested areas near the lake’s shores.
Lake Nakuru National Park lies at an elevation of 1754 meters above sea level. The park also has many hills with established viewpoints from which the lake, the woodlands, and intermittently the herds of buffalo can be seen. Roads in Lake Nakuru National Park are motorable throughout the year, but it is advisable to use a four-by-four or strong car during the rainy season. Lake Nakuru National Park makes a vital contribution to the conservation of the natural values within the Great Rift Valley, as a central part of the most important route of the African-Eurasian flyway system where billions of birds species are found to travel from northern breeding grounds to African wintering places
Birding in Lake Nakuru
Lake Nakuru is an excellent birdwatching site in Kenya with more than 500 bird species recorded. This saline lake is a birding hotspot and supports a lot of birdlife, including large flocks of Great White Pelicans, Whiskered Terns, Grey-headed Gulls, Glossy Ibis, waders such as Common Sandpipers, Little Stints, Kittlitz’s Plovers. Lake Nakuru is also one of the best places in Kenya to see the conspicuous, Long-tailed Widowbird during the breeding season when males have exceptionally long tails. Raptors are well represented in the park too, Augur Buzzard, Bateleur, Martial Eagle, Long-crested Eagle, and African Fish Eagle won’t be missed in a birding tour
Lake Nakuru National Park Common Birds: Common Ostrich, Knob billed Duck, Southern Pochard, Northern Shoveler, Hottentot Teal, Cape Teal, Yellow-billed Duck, Northern Pintail, Helmeted Guineafowl, Hildebrandt’s Francolin, Black-necked Grebe, Greater Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo, Jacobin Cuckoo, Nyanza Swift, Horus Swift, Spotted Crake, Grey-crowned Crane Black-tailed Godwit, African Snipe, Broad-billed Sandpiper, African Skimmer, Saddle-billed Stork, African Darter, Secretarybird, Lemon-rumped Tinkerbird, White-fronted Bee-eater, Giant Kingfisher, Brubru, Grosbeak Weaver, African Firefinch, Grassland Pipit, Pectoral-patch Cisticola, Mosque Swallow, Brown Parisoma, Arrow-marked Babbler, Slender Starling, Violet-backed Starling, Martial Eagle, Gabar Goshawk, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Verreaux’s Eagle, Blue-naped Mousebird, Red-throated Wryneck, Bearded Woodpecker.