Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the primary bird-watching 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, very convenient for weekend breaks even for day birding trips
It 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 Birdwatching
Lake Nakuru National Park is home to five globally threatened species of birds. Lake Nakuru terrestrial zones host important populations of many mammal and bird species that are globally or regionally threatened. It is home to over 100 species of migratory birds and supports globally important populations of Black-Necked Grebe, African Spoonbill, Pied Avocet, Little Grebe, 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. Lake Nakuru previously hosted over 1.5 million Lesser Flamingos, but the vast majority no longer throng the shoreline due to changes in the water levels. The flamingoes have sadly moved on to other Rift Valley lakes, especially Lake Bogoria as the algae levels in the lake have dropped due to an increase in water level which has reduced the salinity.
You can still expect to see quite a core population of both Greater and Lesser Flamingos in the lake. 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
Lake Nakuru is an excellent birdwatching site in Kenya with more than 500 species recorded. The 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. Unfortunately, the Lesser Flamingos are no longer in big numbers in Lake Nakuru because the chemistry of the water has changed. Lake Nakuru is also one of the best places in Kenya to see the conspicuous, Long-tailed Widowbird during the breeding season, males have exceptionally long tails. Raptors are well represented in the park too, Augur Buzzard, Bateleur, Martial Eagle, Long-crested Eagle, African Fish Eagle won’t be missed in a birding tour
Lake Nakuru National Park Common Birds